|Dark chocolate Ritter Sport|
One of my favorite things about drinks is the garnish. When I first started exploring cocktails I was skipping them, normally it’s a lot of work for just two people. Eventually I gave in and did the work, the drinks completely changed. It’s funny how much a strip of orange peel, or a twist of lemon can change a drink.
My latest adventure involved creating chocolate sticks to serve in a Forbidden Cocktail – it was tons of fun, both figuring out how to make them, and stirring my drink with them.
I started with Ritter Sport squares. I had to ask my wife what kind of chocolate to use since she was the experienced one. I came home with a few different varieties, but settled on the dark chocolate.
I set up a home-made double boiler on the stove – which just involves a small pot full of water, and a metal mixing bowl sitting on top of it. I broke up the squares and tossed them in to the bowl and waited for it to heat up.
The chocolate melts fairly quickly, I didn’t have to wait long for it to melt and start giving off a pleasant chocolaty aroma.
|Homemade chocolate double boiler|
My wife (the former bartender) told me that they used to just drizzle chocolate on a cookie sheet in a wavy line. That would make a flimsy but serviceable chocolate stick, but I wanted something more substantial.
Once it was dripping off the spoon I prepared my chosen mold. I’d searched through my available options and when I found the Sigg Bottle icecube tray, (Mine aren’t exactly like those, but basically the same) it was too perfect. Normally this holds ice for our water bottles, but it was the exact shape I had envisioned. They are rounded at the bottom and will make a slightly curved finished product.
|Chocolate with mold prepared|
I started by spraying the tray with PAM cooking spray, and let it sit till it had mostly dried. I’m sure you can use any other kind of anti-stick spray (or it may not even be necessary) but I didn’t want to take any chances.
I used the spoon to ladle the chocolate in to the slots until the very bottoms were covered. The single square of chocolate was enough for the whole tray of ice cubes. I’d actually opened a second chunk of chocolate in preparation of there not being enough, but I didn’t end up using it.
I left the chocolate to cure in the mold outside of the freezer. I was worried chilling it too quickly would cause problems – my wife mentioned something about it cracking or making white streaks or something, so I left it out on the counter. It took ages to finally set, in fact the next day some of the chocolate was still soft. I think leaving it out, or leaving it too close to the stove, or maybe greasing the tray might have made the chocolate not want to harden. Eventually I peeled them all out of the tray (some were harder then others) and put them out on a plate with the “wet” sides exposed.
Eventually they all hardened, and they turned out awesome. It’s hard to see from the above picture, but they are flat on the top and rounded on the bottom. The tops aren’t perfectly smooth because the chocolate didn’t end up settling, but stayed how I’d swirled it (I’ll know for next time). I used two for our drinks, and put the rest in the freezer for next time.