Sunday, November 19, 2006

Chocolate Crack

WOOOOOOOHOOOOOO! ~ excuse me, I will be right back ~


Wow. Okay, I think I am done for a moment. But THIS? A handful of THE most shockingly pure and sincere chocolate high I have ever had?
It has me all crazy with hard core chocolate goodness. And all warm with love and gratitude for dear, dear, Minnie. Who has captured my heart not just with her radiant pregnant-ness (you just feel grumpy, dear) but also her dedication to chocolate and the many forms in which it can be ingested. And her holiness-by-proxy of living in the vicinity of St. Scharffenberger's Church of Chocolate. And her fondness for nibs.
Oh, the nibs. Nibs are essentially bits of pure roasted cacao beans. I myself splurged on a box of nibs very recently, when they were placed too close to the unbleached cupcake liners at the fancy grocery store for me to refuse. Not sure what I would actually do with the nibs, I warned my family away from them and hid them on the top shelf (why do I hide things that have to do with baking? my family does not know their value or intend to create enough alchemy to find out!).
But when I read what Minnie had done with her nibs I squealed with internet glee and she sent me the recipe:

Carmelized Cocoa Nibs

1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups nibs
1/2 cup granulated cane sugar

put nibs and sugar in meduium heavy-bottomed pan use high heat and
stir vigorously with wooden spoon. as it cooks it will smoke. when
just a few specks of sugar remain unmelted remove from heat and stir
in butter.

scrape the mixture onto a baking liner or pan lined with parchment
paper. let cool and then devour as you see fit.

And today was the day.
Upon opening the lovely box, the contents revealed a bag labeled, simply: CHOCOLATE. What an understatement!

Because I am cheap, and because my best heavy-bottomed pan is small not medium, and because I was nervous that I would wreck the whole box on the first try, I only made half of this recipe (and used half the box of nibs).
When the nibs started to heat up, the first thing I noticed was the smell, the heavenly smell. It's what Peet's smells like to a coffee lover on a cold rainy day, but the chocolate lover's version.
I did stir vigorously, and did manage not to burn the precious nibs. When it came time to 'remove from heat and stir in butter', I held myself back and did what it said. Which was difficult for me, as I believe in a generous application of butter when baking, but I stuck to my 1/2 tsp (for the 1/2 recipe). Right as I spread the nibs out on my silicone baking sheet to cool, the baby woke up from his nap....otherwise I think I would have spread them out a bit thinner.

This minor problem was solved by placing the 'nib brittle' in a paper bag and gently crushing with Nana's old wooden rolling pin.
Then there was the issue of how to consume the nibs, beyond the obvious method of, well, consuming them.
I decided they would be the perfect topping for my bittersweet tofu mousse. So, if you give a mouse a cookie... I had to make some mousse.

And yes, they are a quite lovely combination.


minnie said...

oooooooooo! that looks delicious!!!

my white chocolate with nibs came out well the second time around (the chocolate finally was tempered) but i forgot to take a picture!!!!

scribbit said...

I'm watering all over the keyboard with the luciousness of that photo. I'm printing the recipe as we speak--or type or whatever.

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