Even the most happily-filled bellies wouldn’t be able to resist one of these chocolate bites after a meal!
These After Dinner Fruit & Nut Chocolates are the answer to that void after the cheese board has cleared. You know, when everyone has had too much to eat, a full dessert would be overkill, but you’re still secretly hankering after something sweet.
These are easy and fun to make, require no baking, and the bonus is that you get to play with chocolate (and scrape the bowl)!
You can go for a more adult-ish garnish selection as I did here with nuts, candied ginger and dried fruits, or you can take them in a different direction, but just as delicious, with marshmallows, sprinkles or m&ms! Go to town!
These aren’t just for after dinner either - stack them in a pretty cellophane bag to make a friend’s day, or have one (or two 😉) with your mid-morning coffee. So delicious, so elegant and somewhat healthy too!
Ingredients (yields about 24)
7oz (200g) chocolate, you can use a mix of dark, milk or white chocolate
1/4 cup (or a small handful) assorted nuts such as pecans, hazelnuts, almonds
1/4 cup (or a small handful) assorted dried fruit such as cranberries and golden raisins
other toppings such as candied ginger slices and coconut flakes
First of all, get all of your toppings ready. If your kitchen is on the cool side, the chocolate could harden before you’re ready to top it - which happened to me! Halve any of the larger nuts and have the raisins and other fruits at the ready.
Line a large baking sheet or chopping board with parchment paper and set aside.
To melt the chocolate, break in into small pieces in a heatproof bowl. Microwave it at 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval. Once most of the chocolate has melted but you still see a few lumps, stop microwaving it and stir until the lumps have disappeared. You don’t want to overheat the chocolate as it will seize and you’ll have to start all over again. If you don’t have a microwave, place the heatproof bowl over a pan with an inch of simmering water. The water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. Allow the chocolate to melt and stir until smooth, remove from the heat.
Use a teaspoon to drop little blobs of chocolate onto the parchment paper. Smooth it into a larger disc using the back of the spoon. Make 6 blobs at a time and then place your toppings on them, gently pushing them into the chocolate. When you’ve finished, make another 6 discs of chocolate and repeat the process until all the chocolate has been used up.
Set the baking trays in a cool place and allow the discs to harden for 2-3 hours. Store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to a week.