Friday, October 21, 2005

The Dark Side

This month's Sugar High Friday is hosted by the very fabulous Kelli at LOVESCOOL. The secret ingredient is Dark Chocolate. When I learned dark chocolate was the thing to use this month I casually mentioned it to my husband. " This month's SHF is on Dark Chocolate... I think I am going to do something out of the cookbook you gave me awhile back....." . " Ugh. Chocolate AGAIN?" *eyes rolling* " What do you mean AGAIN? I haven't participated in a chocolate SHF, yet..." " I know, but you are always making chocolate stuff and I have to be honest with you.......I really don't care for chocolate."
crickets chirping.
more silence.
" WHAT? Did you just say YOU DON'T CARE FOR CHOCOLATE??? What the... how can someone not care for chocolate?"
" I just don't baby... I don't know why."

So.... I dropped the issue and had a fleeting thought of " Why did I marry this man??" But that thought quickly vanished when he flashed that handsome smile of his and said " But I do love all the other stuff you make...."
My challenge had been set.... I had to create something that I could trick him into eating that he would love that had dark chocolate in it....This was going to be fun. I wanted to use the Death By Chocolate cookbook he bought me a few years back when he was on a business trip. All (but one) of the recipes were too chocolate-ey and obvious. I decided on Dark Chocolate Honey Almond Crunch. The name kind of sounds hokey, but the recipe sounded delish. It called for rum and we all know how I feel about rum and cooking.....

The final product is like peanut brittle but with almonds and chocolate and I must say it is quite good.
Even my husband agrees.....and agrees and agrees and agrees.........

4 cups sliced almonds
1/4 cup honey ( I used Lyle's)
6 oz unsalted butter
8 oz dark chocolate-chopped into 1/4" pcs
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
4 oz semisweet chocolate-chopped into 1/4" pcs
1/4 cup Myer's Dark rum

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Toast 2 cups of almonds on a baking sheet in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 12 to 14 minutes. Remove the almonds from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Transfer the almonds to a large dish or other suitable container and set aside until needed.

Melt the butter in a 2 1/2-qt saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly as it melts so it does not simmer or boil. As soon as the butter is completely melted, add the sugar, water, rum, and honey. Increase the heat to medium high. Heat the mixture to a temperature of 220 degrees, stirring constantly. Add the untoasted almonds and continue to heat and stir until the mixture reaches a temperature of 225 degrees.

Evenly divide the honey-almond mixture between the 2 baking sheets. Place the baking sheets on the top and middle shelves of the preheated oven and bake until the mixture is evenly caramelized, about 24 to 26 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets from top to bottom about halfway through the baking time. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.Combine the semi-sweet and unsweetened chocolate pieces and evenly divide and sprinkle over the surface of the caramelized honey-almond mixture. Allow to stand for 5 minutes. Use a spatula to spread the chocolate throughout the mixture. Evenly divide and sprinkle the toasted almonds over the chocolate.

Place both baking sheets in the freezer for 20 minutes. Remove the Chocolate Honey Almond Crunch from the freezer and break into irregular pieces. Store in a sealed plastic container in the freezer or refrigerator.

Comments on "The Dark Side"


Anonymous Beth - The Zen Foodist said ... (October 21, 2005 9:03 PM) : 

I think I would argue with my husband if he announced that he didn't like chocolate. I understand your moment of shock!

This recipe looks yummy and perfectly fits the theme of something dark chocolate-y, but a bit out-of-the ordinary. :)


Blogger Alicat said ... (October 21, 2005 9:32 PM) : 

mmmmm....looks just as good as I imagined it would! Its best to just ignore the 'band when they say silly things like that! :)


Anonymous LisaSD said ... (October 21, 2005 10:57 PM) : 

I totally understand your reaction to your husband's admission!

I've said it before and I'll say it can't go wrong combining nuts and chocolate!


Blogger Nic said ... (October 22, 2005 6:19 AM) : 

What a great recipe! It sounds like it would be a perfect addition to holiday gift packages.


Blogger chronicler said ... (October 22, 2005 4:48 PM) : 

Mmmmmm. My husband would love this too! What a great recipe! The holidays are going to be tight this year, this will make a nice addition to the goody plate.


Blogger Chris Lautischer said ... (October 27, 2005 2:07 PM) : 

How can I honestly try and finish my day in the office after staring at all these chocolate pictures?

I think I'll go home and make...

Chocolate... Cheesecake...

-drools on himself-

I got hooked on baking when I started selling Watkins products. I love the stuff especially the vanilla. If you want to take a look, check out and use associate id# 364407 if you are interested in ordering anything.

I love the site, but do me a favor... add a disclaimer if you're going to continue using those mouth-watering pictures.
-hides himself from the next SHF post-


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (October 27, 2005 6:13 PM) : 

That looks delish!


Blogger kickpleat said ... (October 30, 2005 11:12 AM) : 

this looks so good! i guess i'm going to have to break down and buy a cooking thermometer. dang.


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