Thursday, January 01, 2009

A Rockin’ Chocolate New Year’s Eve

We spent New Year’s Eve with our friends down the street, bringing along some friends from Sweden. Not wanting to overload our hosts, we offered to bring some of the food and the dessert. I baked some yummy cupcakes and chopped about 5 pounds of fruit to dip in the chocolate fountain John gave me for xmas. But first Hannah and I hit the marked-down xmas candy.

Here you see the half-price chocolate Santas marching to their doom.

Santas marching to certain death

Here Hannah prepares the sacrifices.

crushing chocolate Santas

And here are the happy celebrants.

chocolate fountain!

Finally, here are some tips on using the chocolate fountain, if you are ever so decadent as to purchase one, like us:
1. Make sure your chocolate is broken into very small pieces. Letting the children smash the chocolate Santas does not lead to very small pieces. Large pieces take forever to melt directly in the fountain, and you will end up getting a heat-gun out of your tool shed to speed the process up. As our friend said, it is part of the modern woman’s kitchen.
2. Even faster is melting the chocolate in the microwave first. Then you don’t have kids popping in every 30 seconds to pester you about the state of the fountain.
3. Cover everything in a 5-foot radius of the fountain in plastic. There will be drips, drops, and splats. The fountain really should come packaged with stain remover.
4. Fondue forks work pretty well for dipping fruit into hot (well, warm), melted chocolate without suffering burns, but some fruit is a bit too soft to dip well without breakage/smushing, like kiwi. Cupcake bites are right out.
5. Hot water does wonders in cleaning solidified milk chocolate off stainless steel if you don’t have a 9-year-old with a turbo-metabolism and a sweet tooth at hand.

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