On the heels of a wonderfully romantic weekend filled with wedding festivities for my sister, Valentine’s Day has fallen miserably by the wayside. While my daughters were chuffed to find homemade Valentines and baggies of various heart-shaped candies awaiting them at the breakfast table, they were completely unaware that the Valentines were made late the night before with an abundance of cursing and far less love than intended. Dare I reveal that the candy was left over from the love-themed candy bar at Saturday’s wedding? Nah.
Ben, on the other hand, was not even presented with a Valentine. I mustered just enough energy (after laboring over the cards for the girls) to pick up my iPad and peck out a Starbucks e-card. He picked up the e-card on his Blackberry on his way to the gym at 5:30am…a rather lackluster way to start Valentines Day, don’t you think?
Enough with the woe-is-me bullshit, though. I will say that I tried my hand at chocolate making last week, in an effort to make beautifully delicious favors for my thenwedding guests, only to be thoroughly discouraged by then tempering process. If you can master that, then you should have a go at making thesenlittle gems. To be fair, even though the chocolate was not perfectly tempered, they still tasted amazing and were well received by the limited number of guests at the rehearsal.
I don’t have exact measurements, but I’ll give you estimations and you can adjust as you like.
Dark Chocolate Hearts with Bacon & Sea Salt
Dark chocolate – preferably one with a high cocoa content. Do not use chocolate chips; stick with bar or block as chips have additives that allow them to retain their shape during baking.
Bacon – I used an all-natural low sodium bacon. Cook the bacon until very crispy, drain and crumble once cooled.
Sea salt – I used Himalayan Sea Salt. Admittedly the pink/orange hues played a role in my selection, you need not use this variety. The salt will not actually be seen. I would recommend, however, that you use flakes or freshly grind your salt.
I attempted to temper the chocolate in a double boiler; I would suggest that you do your own google search on tempering and find a method that suits you best.
Once the chocolate is ready, fill your mold halfway. For this occasion I used a heart shaped plastic mold. It was pretty shit, actually, and I would recommend buying nicer molds.
On top of the first layer of chocolate, drop bits of the bacon and salt. As mentioned earlier, use your judgement (and taste buds) to determine how much of each you should use per chocolate. I LOVE bacon so I went heavier with that.
After the bacon and salt are in place, fill the remainder of the mold with chocolate. Cool according to the tempering instructions you discover. With any luck your chocolate will have a creamy snap to it, while the bacon and salt will give a lovely crunch!
A bit late in posting this for Valentine’s Day but chocolate is CHOCOLATE! No rules on what day of the year you are allowed to enjoy it!