Chocolate Bag Basket
These are beautiful filled with chocolate dipped strawberries.
Buy small brown paper bags and paint them with vegetable oil until the paper is translucent. Turn them upside down to drain out any excess oil. Pour tempered chocolate inside the bag and turn and tip the bag until all of the sides are covered. Turn the bag upside down to pour out excess chocolate. Remove the bag to a parchment paper covered tray and place them on the tray upside down. Put the tray into the refrigerator to chill.
When firm, CAREFULLY peel off the paper. You may have to coat the insides of the bags a second time in order to get a thick enough coating of chocolate. This is a bit tricky, so you may have to experiment for best results.
Chocolate Anise Bark
Source: Gourmet – November 2000
1 teaspoon anise seeds
1/3 cup dried tart cherries
1/3 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup salted roasted cashews, coarsely chopped
6 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate
(not unsweetened), finely chopped
Line a small baking sheet with foil and chill.
Finely grind anise in an electric coffee/spice grinder.
Stir together cherries, apricots and cashews.
Melt chocolate in a double boiler or a small metal bowl set over a small saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth.
Stir in anise and half of fruit and spoon onto center of baking sheet. Spread with a rubber spatula into a roughly 10- x 5-inch rectangle and sprinkle with remaining fruit mixture, pressing lightly to help adhere.
Chill until firm, about 30 minutes, then break into pieces.
Bark keeps, covered and chilled, 1 week.
Makes 6 pieces.