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Chocolate Covered Devils on Horseback

We've been infatuated with Devils on Horseback ever since we had them at Magnolia Brewpub in San Francisco. I made them for my recipe of the month last march. Our latest idea was to marry the great dish with some chocolate. Chocolate on Horseback? Chocolate Covered Devils? Caged Devils on Horseback? Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates Covered in Chocolate with Crispy Bacon? I don't know what to call it.

It was a collaborative effort. Heather actually used a piping bag to put the goat cheese and cream cheese mixture in the dates, which resulted in a much cleaner application than my past efforts. She also had the great idea to stick some black walnuts in as well for added taste and texture. We didn't actually wrap the dates in bacon, instead crisping it up to be placed on top after the chocolate coating.

Chocolate coating... It felt a little weird mixing cheese and chocolate, but whatever, we went for it. Heather wanted to use our relatively new multipurpose thermometer to properly temper the chocolate, something neither of us really understood. I shot out to the computer to do some searching and the first thing I stumbled on involved a traditional double boiler setup. Heather scoffed at that, pointing out that she had seen plenty of people on TV properly tempering chocolate using a microwave. Back to the computer I went, this time adding 'microwave' to my search. Sure enough, there were tons of possibilities.

In the end, our chocolate was pretty shiny and had a nice snap to it so I think our method was successful. What we did was slowly microwave the chocolate. We put it in for 30 seconds, took it out and stirred, and repeated until the chocolate was quite smooth. At that point we put our thermometer in to check the temperature. The articles we read stated that dark chocolate should be brought to 115 degrees fahrenheit. This brought on the key discovery of our tempering experience. Chocolate gets smooth and melty long before it hits the required temperature. Given that it was only around 90 degrees at this point, we simply continued the 30 seconds, stir, repeat process, checking the temperature each time until it hit 115.

The next step was to stir in some completely unmelted chips we had held aside (about 30% of the total amount of chips used). We did this slowly until they melted, leaving our thermometer in and checking the temperature. The instructions we read stated that this should take the temperature back down to around 87 or 88 degrees and at this point we could coat our dates. Well we waited... and waited... and all of our unmelted chips were completely incorporated even though it was still up in the 90s. We kept stirring and kept waiting. It took forever, but eventually the thermometer read 88 and we started coating our devils and placing some bacon on top.

In the end, they were great but a bit hard to eat. They are big enough that you can't really eat them in one bite and the chewiness of the dates makes them a bit hard to bite through in a polite manner. If we do this again we'll probably cut each date in half. They would be easier to fill, have a flat side, and hopefully be edible in a single bite. Chocolate covered cheese isn't as strange as I had feared. Overall, the bite does a good job of matching the flavors of the inspiring dish.

We had a lot of fun playing with chocolate and it was very satisfying to properly temper it. We can't wait to come up with more candy ideas so we can do this all over again.

By Mike on February 3, 2013 at 5:03pm EST Topic(s): home cooking recipes candy bacon chocolate tempering dates

sarabi looks yummy!
2/3/2013 at 5:30pm EST
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