Wednesday, 12 October 2011
(image courtesy of BBC)
Have I told you how much I love Nigel Slater??? Oh, yes . . . I guess I have haven't I. I pretty much have made no secret of it. Nigel cooks like I want to eat. I suspect he eats like I want to eat too . . . he's my cheffie hero. He's pretty handsome too, in a very rugged way . . .
He has a series on the BBC on Friday Nights at the moment called "Simple Cooking." It's just a simple show, filled with unpretentious ingredients . . . delicously and simply put together in the most scrumptious way . . . the way that only Nigel can do.
Last Friday night he made these delicious looking Chocolate Snaps, and I couldn't wait to try them out for myself. The sight and sound of him tucking into them when they were done made me almost drool . . . he made them look and sound sooooo scrummy!
Today I finally had the chance to make them. I didn't have the exact ingredients he used, so I improvised and used my own toppings. (he toasted some flaked almonds and sugared them, which was as easy as spreading the flaked almonds onto a baking sheet and toasting them in a180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4 oven for about two minutes, sprinkling them with sugar and toasting them for a few more minutes until glazed. He also used crushed candied rose petals. I didn't have any of those either.)
I chose to use chopped pistachios, chopped macadamia nuts, chopped dried cranberries and chopped candied ginger . . . along with the flaked seasalt.
These moreish ingredients are sprinkled over rounds of melted dark chocolate and then chilled until crisp and snappy! Each scrumdiddlyumptious mouthful brings a mixture of tastes and textures . . .
Sweet, spicy, tangy, crunchy, nutty, salty . . . all mixed with smooth dark chocolate richness. Oh my . . . but they are some good. They snap in your mouth, which in and of itself is very rewarding on top of their deliciousness . . . and then you get to lick the melted chocolate off your fingers after, which is also very rewarding. These were in short . . . FANTABULOUS!!!
But then they would be. Nigel hasn't disappointed me yet!
*Sea Salt Chocolate Snaps*
Makes 8 to 10 snaps
Sweet, rich, salty, crunchy . . . there isn't a sense these don't tingle!
100g (3 1/2 ounces) dark chocolate (You want a good quality one
with at least 70% cocoa solids. I used Lindt)
a good handful of shelled pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
a handful of raw macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
7 or 8 cubes of candied ginger, roughly chopped
a handful of dried cranberries, roughly chopped
flakes of sea salt
Break the chocolate up and place it into a bowl. Place the bowl over simmering water, without allowing the bottom of the bowl to touch the water. Leave alone without stirring for about 8 minutes. Halfway through the melting time, push the unmelted chocolate down into the melted parts. Turn out the heat and just let sit until it is all melted.
Line a large baking sheet with some non stick baking paper. Spoon out little disc shapes of the melted chocolate onto the paper, spreading it out thinly with the bottom of the spoon. While the chocolate is still warm, scatter the chopped nuts and fruits in combination over the chocolate. (Pistachio and cranberries are nice. Macadamia and cranberries are also nice. Macadamia and ginger is lovely as well.) Sprinkle a little sea salt over each.
Place the tray in the refrigerator to chill for 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully lift from the paper and serve.
Cooking in The Cottage today, a Simple Celery Soup.