Dark chocolate coated almonds...the perfect holiday treat!
I have amazing self-control when it comes to chocolate in our house. I'm not bragging about it, I just seem to have the gene that enables you to eat a couple of pieces of chocolate and stop. I clearly took the only one as my mum and sisters can easily inhale an entire block of chocolate in about 30 seconds flat.
I do have one exception though...scorched almonds. These guys? Hide the box...I will actually sit there and mindlessly eat them until they are all gone.
The only problem I have with them is that recently I've noticed that they've CHANGED the chocolate to almond ratio. It used to be perfect. Just enough chocolate to satisfy the sweet tooth but not so much that the almond is overpowered. Well not anymore. The last scorched almonds I had - way too much chocolate! #firstworldproblems
So what do I do when I'm not happy with something I can buy? Duh...make it!
To make these chocolate coated almonds you need to first temper the chocolate. Sounds complicated but it's really not - essentially all you are doing is melting the chocolate, cooling it down and then re-melting it so that you can coat whatever you like.
The chocolate is melted over a double boiler, then placed in the sink filled with cold water until the chocolate goes hard and looks like this...
And then is re-melted, again using the double boiler. A very important point is to make sure you use a metal bowl or something that can withstand sudden changes in temperature. The bowl will be sitting over boiling water and then plunged into cold water...with a thin glass bowl this is a recipe for disaster - you could end up with shards of glass in your chocolate...nobody wants that!
What you end up with is chocolate that can sit at room temperature and not be all melty. Perfect for us Southern Hemisphere dwellers that have hot muggy Christmas weather. You can make the almonds and leave them out in a bowl on the table rather than having to store them in the fridge. Perfect for holiday company!
Once the chocolate has gone through the process simply pour it over the almonds, leave it to go hard and then using a spoon, break up the almonds, bringing the chocolate with them. I used a really small amount of chocolate to almonds. Only because it's about to be Christmas and I am about to eat twice as much and twice as badly as I normally would...and there is still that small matter of that dress that I need to fit into in almost 2 months time! But if you want more chocolate on the almonds, you could quite easily double the amount of chocolate.
If you want to go for a more traditional pretty oval shaped almond, you can shape the chocolate around the almonds using your hands - it will be slightly pliable...also messy, but it will work! Because I'm lazy I went for the ugly almond look...simply break them apart and lay them out on a tray. You can kind of see the difference below - almonds on the left, smooth (ish), almonds on the left, ugly. I love them all equally.
They are the perfect Christmas snack - in fact, dark chocolate and almonds...it's pretty much healthy! They would also be perfect packaged up in a little bag as a little homemade Christmas pressy.
The holiday season has begun!!
Chocolate Covered Almonds
- 125 grams good quality dark chocolate 250 grams if a higher chocolate-almond ratio is desired (I used Whittaker's 72% Cocoa Dark Ghana...my fav!
- ½ cup roasted almonds
- Break the chocolate into small pieces and put in a small metal bowl*. Using a double boil method (place the bowl over a pot of boiling water) melt the chocolate.
- Once melted, put the metal bowl into a sink filled with cold water. Allow to cool until the chocolate starts to harden. This will take about 5 minutes.
- Remove the bowl from the sink and place back over the pot of boiling water, stirring until the chocolate has melted again.
- Pour chocolate over the almonds and stir to coat.
- Allow to cool until the chocolate has hardened and using a spoon break up the almonds. If desired, shape the chocolate around the almonds so that they are smooth. Set on a tray lined with baking paper until completely hard.
- Store at room temperature.
- * I would recommend using a metal bowl as a glass bowl may break with the sudden change in temperature going from boiling water to cold water