[print_this]Chocolate ‘Blocks’ with dried fruit and nuts, via orangette
These candies couldn’t be easier to make – well, if you discout chopping the nuts, but I like to see that as a meditative exercise – and are always a hit. I put out plates at my holiday party this past weekend, and happily have a few leftover. The recipe comes from Molly Wizenberg, who adapted it from a Gourmet recipe, and I’ve made a few of my own small adaptations, too. I used Trader Joe’s semi-sweet chocolate (‘pound plus) with great results.
1 ¼ lb good-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
Vegetable oil, for greasing the pan
2/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped
2/3 cup shelled, salted pistachios, chopped
2/3 cup raw almonds, chopped
Makes about 60 1-inch cubes
In the top of a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally until smooth.
While the chocolate is melting, line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the foil with vegetable oil.
When the chocolate is melted, remove it from the heat, and stir in the fruit and nuts. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, and spread it evenly with the back of a spoon or rubber spatula. Place the pan in the refrigerator, and chill for about an hour, or until the chocolate is firm.
Use the foil overhang to lift the chilled chocolate mixture from the pan, and place it on a cutting board. Peel back the foil, and cut the chocolate into 1-inch cubes.
Note: These candies keep in the refrigerator, sealed in an airtight container with foil between the layers, for up to two weeks.