A few weeks ago my friend, Turia, told me that she was having a little chocolate party at her house called ChocolateFest. It's so simple that it needed explaining. I thought it was something like a Tupperware party but, no, it was just a party celebrating the wonder that is chocolate. You bring something made from chocolate and come and enjoy what other people have brought with no guilt (Guilt? What guilt?) . She has done this for 4 years now, despite having moved with her family several times.
I have my go-to recipes, we all do, when it comes to chocolate and when it comes to desserts, but I felt the need to try something different. Brownies out of a box felt like a betrayal to what this gathering was all about. So I have been keeping my eyes open to see if any new recipes crossed my path. Luckily one did as I was flipping through an issue of People magazine. There was a recipe for chocolate fondue. It was definitely different and, best of all, quick and easy.
12 ounces of high-quality dark chocolate (60% cacao)
2/3 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp Amaretto (optional) -- I used 1 tbsp of Kahlua
Melt the chocolate over low/medium heat, stir constantly, add the cream and stir until blended and smooth. Add the vanilla and Amaretto or Kahlua (if desired.) Serve with dried fruit, bread or cookies.
And here is how it turned out: (Click on the pictures to see full-sized)
I made it right before I left so that it would be warm upon arrival to the party. It took about 15 minutes from start to finish.
When I got to Turia's I saw that everyone who came had put a lot of thought into their contributions. Oh, the chocolately goodness! There was cake and cake pops, brownies, cupcakes, candy, ganoche, hot chocolate, chocolate ice cream. Turia really went all out, making chocolate dipped apples, chocolate dipped potato chips, chili with chocolate, and chocolate noodles with mango sauce (the hit of the evening.)
After gathering around the table and each taking turns explaining what we brought, we noshed and feasted in the crackling light of the fireplace and lit candles. Every so often you would hear a "Wow" or "MMM!"
Turia, our hostess for the evening, showing some of her creations, including chocolate dipped potato chips. They were really good!