My valentine’s day wasn’t so nice this year, but I managed to save what was left of the day by some baking therapy: I made small, heart-shaped chocolate cakes using this recipe (I reduced the cooking time to 20 minutes, and replaced the frosting with some simple chocolate covering) to relax and calm down. Baking makes me feel like home, no matter where I am. It’s relaxing to stand in the kitchen, to concentrate only on preparing the ingredients, mixing them into a batter and to forget about anything else for a moment.
I also made my boyfriend’s favourite chocolates and allowed myself to focus completely on it for the first time ever since I started going to university. During the last few months, cooking and baking was always something I had to fit in between classes and other appointments. But on valentine’s day, I just took the time for making chocolates and didn’t think about exams and stuff like that for a few hours.
These chocolates are pretty simple to make, no fancy techniques or ingredients, and as long as you use good quality chocolate, they should taste pretty good. Personally, I prefer Callebaut chocolate (but I think any other good quality will be fine, as well) and I like to blanch the almonds and then skin them myself instead of buying blanched ones.
They taste a little bit like “nama chocolate”, a japanese version of small chocolate cubes, consisting of chocolate ganache dusted with cocoa. The only difference between those and my boyfriend’s favourites is the single almond I like to place on top of each chocolate. Their hearty crunch and nutty flavour complements the creamy, rich texture of the chocolate and thereby completes the simple concept of this confectionery.
|Nama Chocolates with Almonds
makes 15-20 chocolates
60g bittersweet chocolate chips (at least 50% cocoa solids)
40g + 20g milk chocolate chips
about 20 almonds
cocoa powder, for dustingYou’ll also need:
about 20 candy cups (I prefer heart-shaped ones)
a decorating bag + star-shaped tip