Salty and Sweet: Dipped Clementines
Cooks have always known this simple rule: salt brings out the flavor in things. I’m not talking about over salted snacks that make your mouth run dry and send you searching for water like a man lost in the desert. No, I’m talking about the subtle kiss of salt in dishes, especially sweet dishes, that makes you close your eyes and pause a bit to revel in the bliss of what you’re eating.
Dipping fruit in chocolate can be frustrating. It seems like it should be a straight forward endeavor, and yet so much can go wrong. What gives us that smooth finish we all desire on chocolate dipped fruit? Shortening. I can hear you all shuddering out there. Yes, shortening.
The answer to the question of why we use shortening in melted chocolate when dipping fruit is there’s no water in shortening like there is in butter or margarine. Water ruins the melting process because: SCIENCE. Make sure all your utensils and bowls are COMPLETELY dry, and your fruit is room temperature and DRY! These simple steps will ensure that you have smooth, ripple free chocolate covering your fruit and will make everyone think you went down to the local chocolaterie for these wonderful morsels. Trust in us, precious, we know what we speak of.
Why chocolate dipped clementines? Well, we are on the front edge of their season (we get them from October through February and I plan to make the most of my time with these little orange balls of delight) and why not chocolate dipped clementines? The juicy burst of citrus paired against the bitterness of the chocolate and the kiss of salt is everything you could want in a bite size treat. Don’t want to go through all the wacky fun of dipping fruit, but need a clementine and chocolate fix? I GOT YOU! Give Clementine Mexican Brownie Bites a try!
SIDEBAR: this is your bi-annual reminder to reach out and tell those fierce people in your life who bring you joy how much they mean to you. Tribes are important. These are the folks that you lean on when you need to and hold up when they need it. You will have inside jokes. You will have sayings that make NO sense to anyone but yourselves. These folks do not have to be people you’ve known for your entire life. Sometimes people we haven’t known since the second grade know us better – understand us better – because instead of being friends because you met on the playground and liked to play tetherball you came together because of a shared interest and that’s why you clicked. The point is: tell these folks how much they mean to you. It’s important to squish the ones we love.
4 ounces 70% dark chocolate
2 tsp shortening (1/2 tsp of vegetable shortening for every ounce of chocolate)
2 clementines, peeled and sectioned
In a small sauce pot over low heat melt chocolate and shortening, stirring constantly.
Once chocolate and shortening have melted and been stirred smooth, let set for 90 seconds.
Dip one end of the clementine wedge into the chocolate, twisting as you pull up to help break the chocolate string / tuck the tail under the bottom of the wedge.
Set dipped wedges on a board to cool and kiss with a dash of salt just before the chocolate sets fully. Pop in the fridge before serving so the chocolate will set ALL the way up (the wedges will sweat after removed from the fridge as they come back up to room temperature so if you’re serving them for dessert take them straight from the fridge to the table).
What is your favorite fruit to eat when dipped in chocolate? Do you make your own or buy them pre-made?0