These little gems are perfect holiday treats. Unbeatable, luscious combination of dark chocolate and cherry gets crunch and texture from slivered almonds. Heavy cream ties the flavors together in a most rich and gentle way.
As a matter of fact, why restrict only to holidays? Feel free to whip up a batch of these delicacies whenever you feel like indulging yourself or your friends and family in a delicious but healthy way.
|Nutrition information||Protein||Fat||Net carbs||kcal|
|In total:||53.8 g||200.0 g||33.8 g||2150 kcal|
|Per confection if 12 confections in total:||4.5 g||16.7 g||2.8 g||179 kcal|
|Per confection if 16 confections in total:||3.4 g||12.5 g||2.1 g||134 kcal|
|Per confection if 20 confections in total:||2.7 g||10.0 g||1.7 g||108 kcal|
|Per confection if 24 confections in total:||2.2 g||8.3 g||1.4 g||90 kcal|
|Per confection if 30 confections in total:||1.8 g||6.7 g||1.1 g||72 kcal|
|Per confection if 36 confections in total:||1.5 g||5.6 g||0.9 g||60 kcal|
Tips for making the confections
These are very easy treats to make. To make things even easier, you can use dark chocolate chips, if you find ones with 85 % cocoa solids.
It’s a good idea to use two foil or paper candy cups one on the other, to make the whole thing sturdier. In case you cannot get foil or paper candy cups, you can use mini muffin cups. Just don’t fill the cups completely full, these are hefty and stuffing confections and a little goes a long way. In fat, sorry, in fact, mini muffin cups are easier to fill since they are a bit larger than tiny candy cups.
Chop the chocolate into tiny pieces, or use dark chocolate chips. Set aside.
Heat the cream until steaming hot. Don’t let boil.
Add the chopped chocolate to the hot cream.
You can gently shake the saucepan so that the chocolate pieces spread evenly and the chocolate is completely covered by the hot cream.
Close the lid and wait for 5 minutes, or until the chocolate is melted.
Mix until smooth. The mixture might look very runny at first. Just keep mixing…
…it will turn thick and smooth in no time.
Add the sweetener…
…and mix until well mixed.
Add finally the slivered almonds…
…and mix until well mixed…
Then just spoon the mixture into small candy cups or mini muffin cups and let set.
My confection experiments
Last week was the first week in the existence of this blog that I didn’t publish any recipe. My apologies. I just had an urgent duty (that crazy linguistic stuff again) and right after I had finished the task, my son became ill. Just a nasty flu, nothing serious. My son had eaten masses of snow and sand at the daycare, licked all the garbage bins and benches outside (luckily not the metallic ones… it’s freezing cold here) and drunk mugfuls of muddy water. No wonder that he caught the flu… Even I was expecting stomach flu instead. But no, his tummy is in perfect condition. Lucky me. And he.
Right after he had recovered I had to bring my husband to hospital. Fortunately nothing serious there either. So, I thought it’s better to take a deep breath and postpone the weekly recipe a bit. I had everything else ready except tempting photos from ready treats and progress photos to show you how easy it is to prepare these treats. I simply would feel awkward if I publish a casual blog post with bad photos or no photos at all. No way. Only the best for you, my dear readers 🙂
Actually, my original purpose was to publish a simple and easy chocolate ganache recipe. Then I thought it might have been a bit boring, and after I got the idea to try out different flavorings and add more sweetener to the ganache, I thought I create some holiday confections instead. I just added some slivered almonds and spooned the mixture into small candy cups. And there they were, perfect holiday treats!
The basic mixture of chocolate and cream (= ganache) needed some experimenting, though. I had to adjust the amounts that the confections were not too hard and not too soft.
I have made ganache numerous times. However, none of the ganache recipes I’ve seen use really dark chocolate. With really dark I mean at least 85 % cocoa solids.
I often use ganache for frosting cakes. I’ve made many ganache experiments and noticed that as rule of thumb, the darker the chocolate, the more cream you need for the perfect consistency. Now I wanted to use dark chocolate with 85 % cocoa solids and calculated the amount of cream according to that.
Even I like dark chocolate, I thought the combination of dark chocolate and cream is tasting just too strong and it needs at least some additional sweetness. Liquid stevia was perfect to give some sweet touch.
I tried different flavorings, too. I took small measuring cups and spooned some ganache into each cup. Then I added a couple of drops of different flavorings to each cup. I tried cherry flavor, banana flavor, peppermint flavor, coconut flavor, rum flavor and orange flavor. My absolute favorites were cherry, banana and orange flavors. I could have chosen any of those to this final recipe. However, since holidays are coming and I love the combination of dark chocolate and cherry, my choice was cherry flavor.
I wanted to add something crunchy and some more texture to my confections. Not too aggressive crunchiness, but just gentle crunch. Slivered almonds was the first option which came into my mind and I wanted to try that out. I added as much slivered almonds until the mixture looked perfect. Not too much chocolate, not too much almond. Then I just spooned the mixture into candy cups and let the confections set at room temperature for several hours after which I could finally try out how my treats tasted. They were just perfect!
Tips for variation
You can replace the cherry flavor with your favorite flavor. Like mentioned, my personal favorites were banana and orange flavors. In the end, these confections seasoned with rum flavor became my new favorites. They are perfect for the holidays, too.
For even more warm holiday flavors, add one cinnamon stick to the heavy cream before you heat it. Remove the stick just before you add the chopped chocolate to the cream. Alternatively, you can add a pinch of ground cinnamon to the mixture.
You can also add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract to the mixture together with the stevia and cherry flavor.
You can replace the slivered almonds with crushed nuts. If you are not afraid of adding more carbs as well, you can add dried berries or chopped dried fruits. All great for holiday confections.
Next week: more super easy holiday treats!