I inspire myself. Hehehe. I just love saying that.
But really, I do. At least I did yesterday. My post, in which I shared Gradissima’s Vegan Kahlua Chocolate Chip Cookies, inspired me to take my plot for cute, simple chocolate-covered marzipan balls to the next level.
To the Frangelico level.
First, though, I’d like to address the marzipan issue. I know that a lot of folks see chocolate-covered marzipan as an easy way out for making sweet goodness. I’m a fan of easy, but I’ve always thought of them as elegant. Simple. Precisely what is desired in one delicate mouthful of almondy-sugary-chocolatey goodness. At least to me, they are nothing of a cheap, easy way out of anything.
As I’m getting reacquainted with culinary adventures as of late (at the same time getting fully acquainted with my new/old kitchen), I bought marzipan (ready made lovin’) to try my hand at first. Modeling little shapes and working with the almond dough while trying not to ruin good dark chocolate as I melt it in a bowl over a pot of boiling-simmering water and then trying to dip/drizzle/coat the marzipan with hot chocolate on whatever I improvise as a rack will be enough of a challenge, at the start.
However, if all goes well today (day one of chocolate & marzipan adventures), I’ll take the ballsy lead of Smitten Kitchen and make some damned marzipan myself.
And this, friends, will be the jumping off point of the Frangelico Manifesto. That is to say, I intend to spike almondy-sugary-chocolatey goodness with sugary booze. What’s not to love?
That was rhetorical.
Being able to experiment like this- caution to the wind, and all that- in a country with some very expensive nuts (hehehehe) is entirely thanks to my Mama and Papa and our good family friend, CostCo. I’ve got a 3lb bag of whole, grade A almonds. Kirkland brand. Around $13 US. Snap, b!tches. Snap.
Apparently, to make marzipan, the first thing you need is blanched almonds. Luckily, I’m not the only dumb@ss in the world who didn’t know what that meant (and since I’m not the only one, I’m not a dumb@ss, because the other folks weren’t dumb, so neither am I!). Luckily, also, someone posted some Real Simple Step-By-Step Instructions on How to Blanch Almonds.
I’m getting ahead of myself.
First, I must deal with the marzipan at hand.
What I have:
- Little marzipan balls (a squidge less than an inch in diameter, I think. No promises) in pale green, pale red, and white.
- Little marzipan blobs—that is to say, I’ve rolled out some red and green marzipan into thin dough and used a cute Ikea cookie cutter (the one that looks like a small daisy/blob hybrid) to cut out red and green icing-looking tops to go over the marzipan balls once coated in dark chocolate—though I recognize that this may be too much.
- Some little green marzipan Christmas trees. Really, I guess they are little fir trees. If I were more manic (read as :If I’d had 2 more cups of coffee) I would have more seriously considered making teeny red ornaments to put on these weensy trees. Alas, I was not and did not. The trees are freehand, pinched rows of skinny rolls of green. Or something. Anyway, it isn’t hard to figure out 😛
And now, I’ve got a pot of water boiling. I have a large-enough porcelain bowl that has warmed gradually on top of the pot (shattered porcelain would really just piss me off at this point, so I’m trying to be cautious). The bowl sets on top of the pot and curves into it just a little. And I have a big bar of dark chocolate. Double-boilers are for wimps. And for people who actually own them.
And now, some time has passed, and my balls are covered in chocolate and b-jazzled (can’t help myself…and yes, I’m punning off of a real thing.).
Here’s what they look like. (don’t worry—I’m really talking about the marzipan. No need to cover your eyes.)
They are cute enough to work, and I think they at least illustrate that some thought and love went into the process. The trees even have teeny little chocolate tree-trunks. If I got these as a gift, I’d be fairly tickled 🙂 And now I can move onto the next feat: making marzipan.
To Be Continued…