Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Po10tialmag.com: Chocolate. Its whats for dinner.

True, this title may be a slight exaggeration, but sometimes its nice to unwind a bit. So tonight, after Nate has gone to bed, when Ben is getting home from work, I am going to make dinner out of both of our favorite things: chocolate, liquor & fruit. Not necessarily in that order.

I was planning on doing a lot of work, so I decided to spike a pre-made strawberry daiquiri from the freezer with a bottle of Grey Goose. I also had some raspberries, blueberries, strawberries & heavy cream; it was like celebrating the Forth of July with the colors! As the chocolate melted, I got some martini glasses from the cupboard. Chocolate and berry drinks inspired by the lazy days of summer. I even found some white chocolate to melt!

As I considered the many ways these ingredients could come together and create blissful beverages, I began to dip the rims of the glasses into the melted chocolate. Chocolate can be a fickle item, so be careful to use dry glasses & put your chocolate into a double boiler using a bowl with a very wide rim.

Inspiration hit again in the way of swirled chocolates: white & milk chocolate swirled candies were grated into a bowl and the martini glass rims were dipped into the curls to create the ultra-decadent rims pictured.

The first drink, which perhaps could be considered an appetizer, was simply chilled berries macerated in vodka. Let a cup of mixed berries sit in the freezer until well chilled, about 1 hour, though they don't have to be completely frozen solid. As ice crystals form inside the berry, the shards tear up the cell walls. Fill a chocolate rimmed glass with the berries, and pour vodka over to almost cover. As the berries melt they will release their juices and soak up some of the liquor. Pop the berries into your mouth, licking the rim and sipping the infused vodka, or use a cocktail fork to top berries with chocolate.

This next drink starts with the rim being double dipped in dark chocolate, then into the grated candy, and finally drizzled on the inside & rim with the melted dark. Armed with the pre-mixed beverages available at the supermarket, its easy to create a unique yet fancy martini like this. Keep your daiquiri in the freezer until you've finished your rim, then mash to create a smooth consistency. Now fill the glass with the pre-made drink. Float a bit of vodka around the edges and add a few raspberries for garnish. A Royal Raspberry treat.

This last drink is like dessert (as if the others are an appetizer & entree!) and features blueberries and cream, making it a great addition to a Forth of July celebration. First decorate your glass: dip in chocolate, then into the grated candy. Fill a shaker with ice, 2 oz vodka, 2 oz sprite, 1 oz cranberry juice & a splash of grenadine. Mix well & pour into the glass. Garnish with a big dollop of whipped cream & 8-10 blueberries. As the cream melts the concoction becomes reminiscent of a classic float, and the smoothness goes great with the chocolate rim.

All of these drinks are fun to make, and I especially enjoyed the last one. Pick your preferred level of difficulty, and get that chocolate melting! Be sure to check out some of the other recipes for more ideas about how to use your sinful stash in fun new ways.

Always enjoy chocolate responsibly. Share with a friend whenever possible. As we complete our waltz through a chocoholics wonderland, I want to end by letting him know I love him. Happy Anniversary, Ben! And I think he liked the appetizer best.

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