Balance. Ying and yang. Point-Counterpoint. This is a theme that you will find quite often in my baking. I tend to incorporate ingredients and flavors that balance the sweetness of my desserts. Savory with sweet. Sugar and spice. These culinary accents highlight the sweet notes rather than over power them.
This is the reason for incorporating citrus zest into a white chocolate candy, which is actually not chocolate as it does not contain cocoa. The absence of the cocoa in the white chocolate means that the balance of the bitter cocoa with the sweetness of the sugar is missing as well. Therefore, in this dessert, this intensely sweet component is served well by the slightly bitter and acidic citrus notes of the clementine zest, the tartness of the cranberry and the saltiness of the roasted pistachios.
This recipe may be simple in its execution, however its flavors are quite exquisite.
12 ounces (34o grams) quality white chocolate
Zest of 2 clementine, preferably organic
½ cup (66) grams dried cranberries
¼ cup (30 grams) chopped salted pistachios
How to use them:
Lay a large piece of parchment paper on your work surface. and prepare the ingredients.Melt the chocolate by placing it in a heat safe bowl over a bain-marie, a pot of shallow, gently simmering water. Do not allow any of the simmering water to touch the bottom of the bowl. You may also melt the chocolate in the microwave on 50% power, stirring every 15 seconds until it is almost completely melted. After you remove it from the microwave, continue to stir to allow the residual heat to melt the chocolate completely. Be careful if using the microwave to melt the chocolate as it scorches easily.Using a small offset spatula spread the white chocolate on the parchment paper to a 1/8 inch thickness. Working quickly, evenly sprinkle the clementine zest, cranberries and pistachios over the melted white chocolate and press down ever so slightly to set the ingredients into the chocolate. Allow the chocolate to harden, anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour depending on the temperature in your home. If the temperature is warm, slide the parchment paper on the back of a cookie sheet and refrigerate for 15 minutes or until set.Once the chocolate candy is set, break into pieces and enjoy!