I had a pretty disastrous couple of days in the kitchen.
First, I charcoaled the left-over potato bake, then I dropped-and shattered-the just-bought, very extravagant jar of designer-worthy vanilla paste.
On the same day, as I was unstacking the dishwasher, I managed to snap the stem off two-two!- champagne flutes.
And so it was only a natural course of event that I should burn the caramel (once again!) for my chocolate-covered caramel bites!
I didn’t even cry when it happened. There were no more cook’s tears left in me…
But somehow I had to turn the week around and start fresh again.
And I had all that amazing 70% chocolate waiting to be used and, hopefully, not burnt…
A no-bake something or another was the safest way to go…
And, well, it looks like I may have just redeemed myself!
This easy-peasy chocolate slice makes the perfect Xmas edible gift, so make sure you have enough for yourself as well as your lucky recipients.
200 gr (7 oz)of 70% dark chocolate, melted with 1 tablespoon of butter (in a double boiler or in the microwave, whichever suits you)
a handful of whole roasted hazelnuts, skin removed (roast your nuts for 10 minutes in a medium oven then rub them in a kitchen towel to ease the skin off)
2 tablespoons of ground hazelnut (hazelnut meal)
a handful of dried cranberries (or sour cherries)
three table-spoons of chopped up semi-dried figs
1 scant table-spoon of cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
a pinch of nutmeg
In a large bowl, mix together the nuts with the dried fruits, the spices, the cocoa and the ground hazelnut.
Add the melted chocolate white still hot and combine well.
Pour the decadent paste into an oven dish lined with baking paper.
Flatten with the back of a spoon and allow to set in the fridge for 1 hour before cutting it into rustic chuncks.
Serve with Grappa or Rum, or simply with espresso coffee, if you want to feel very Italiano!