Lifestyle

The Art of Chocolate

By: Mary Gajda

Meet Artisanne Chocolatier

Take work from Monet and O’Keefe and add a touch of Van Gogh … now translate that art into chocolate. It’s almost so pretty you don’t want to eat it – but you’ll eventually give in. Artisanne Chocolatier, also known as Anne Boulley, is a true artist in her field; and she shares her extraordinary talent by offering classes and workshops both locally and on a national level. You can see more of her work at artisannechocolatier.com. In the meantime, enjoy her recipe for French mendiants below.

French Mendiants

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces dark chocolate
  • Add to your liking:
  • Freeze-dried fruit (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Matcha powder
  • Pearl sugar

Melt chocolate very carefully so it doesn’t burn. If you use a microwave, heat in short bursts and stir until it is about 80 percent melted. Continue to stir without heating anymore until the final bits melt. If using a double boiler, heat gently and wipe bowl to keep water droplets from getting in your workspace. Chocolate and water don’t work well together.

The key to making these look elegant is to keep the portions small. I like to use a piping bag with a small hole; you can also use a teaspoon. Pipe straight down and lift when the chocolate blob is about the size of quarter. Pipe out all the chocolate into circles. Now add a nut, a piece of fruit (freeze-dried fruit works nicely here) and maybe a sprinkle of flaky sea salt or Matcha powder – the color is so beautiful. Just don’t go crazy with it, as less is more with these. Place in refrigerator for about 15 minutes, then place in a cool, dry place until ready to serve.

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