February 15, 2014

How To Use Up All of That Old Holiday Chocolate (Valentine's Day Edition)

So you may or may not have had some companionship on "Over Commercialized, Keep the Wavering Holiday Romance Going Strong Day". None of that matters now though. No, what matters is that you have a stack of various heart and/or cupid shaped chocolates (gifts from friends, family, or coworkers) laying around, or your inner-shopaholic (and possibly, inner chocoholic) is screaming because all chocolate has now been marked down to the low low price of "almost free because we have to clear this sappy shizz off the shelf pronto". But nevermind that either. Just clear your mind, and drop that chunk of chocolate. Now. You really don't have to shove all of that chocolate down the hole. As sad as you are, you'll get sick of it soon enough, and then it's back to the Ben & Jerry's for you. And we don't want that, because it's pricey, and frankly, less satisfying.

Here's my list to make the most of your typical post-holiday chocolate binge buy:

Chocolate Fon-Do!

Separate your bars by type (dark, milk, white) and as long as nuts and candy aren't involved, melt them down by continuously stirring them in a double boiler (or use your fondue pot, if you've got one laying around), buy some berries (and I recommend using "fondue forks", or at the very least, some long wooden skewers), and have a little fondue-dipping fun! You could even mix around the chocolates, making a marble swirl of sweetness. Doesn't that just make your mouth water? 

*Understandble Drooling*

Chocolate Covered (Insert Whatever You Can Possibly Think of Here)

Going off of the fondue idea, you could make your own chocolate-dipped just-about-anything! 

Here are a few great, well-reviewed recipe ideas:

Coocoo for Cocoa-Kernels

Give your popcorn the gourmet treatment by melting down that leftover chocolate and drizzling it on top of some freshly popped kernels! Popcorn is one of the easiest, most satisfying snacks you could make, and you don't even need a popcorn maker! You literally just add some unseasoned, unpopped kernels (which you can buy at any grocery store, or Bulk Barn) to a pot with a little bit of butter or oil (I personally prefer Organic Coconut Oil), cover it all with a lid, and cook it over the heat on your stove, lightly shaking/jostling the pot when the kernels start popping. Once the popping slows down, pull it off the heat and you've got yourself some steaming-hot fresh popcorn! Let it cool a touch, then use a fork to drizzle on your melted chocolate, and whatever else you really feel like adding. Chill until the chocolate's hardened, and enjoy!

The Shapeshifter

Ok, so maybe you're not a fan of the chocolate dogs and cherubs you received, that's okay! Head on over to Dollarama/Walmart and buy a cute mini-silicone/plastic baking/chocolate mould in whatever shape or form that your heart desires. Melt down your chocolate (I recommend doing it in a measuring cup, in the microwave (p.s. be careful, it'll be hot once you take it out)) then pour it into your chosen mould. Tap or lightly bang the sides of the mould on your counter to eliminate any air bubbles, and chill covered in the fridge until they've set. Now you've got your own special chocolates, in portions/shapes you personally prefer! Huzzah!

Chocolate Snow Flakes

Ok so they don't actually resemble snowflakes, like, at all, but I'm running out of puns. 

You can repurpose your chocolate as a dessert/drink topping! Just use a regular old hand grater. Whether you use a coarse or fine one should depend on what you'll use the shavings for. Use a coarse grind to make delicious chocolate toppings for your favourite hot drinks, making them Starbucks worthy! Use a finer grating for decorating all sorts of baked treats!

It's Getting Hot in Here

You know, you don't have to just EAT the chocolate. You can drink it too! I've always wanted to try Mexican Hot Chocolate, but I just never had the patience (or the extensive supply of chocolate) to just go ahead and do it. Maybe I will now though, cayenne pepper and chocolate just sound like a match made in some purely gluttonous paradise.

A Pizza My Heart

Ok, so the above wasn't really tickling your fancy. You really have so many different types of chocolate, but not much of each, and you don't really want to mix them up per se.

Two more words: You're welcome.

Re-Gift the Godiva

So the chocolate is lovely and all, but it seems that your clearly unobservant colleague didn't remember that you are caffeine intolerant to the nth degree/don't like the ones with the cream filling. Do the "unthinkable": Regift it. As long as it's still Valentine's Day (possibly the day after, if you didn't get a chance to see the said recipient on the "big day"), it is perfectly acceptable to give someone your unwanted heart chocolates (as long as they don't know who, or where, they came from). Use it to get on your boss' good side, to bribe someone to be your date, or to treat a friend who might not have gotten any (Shoutout to the Gretchens). Surprise your significant other (he won't care where it came from), or save it for your mother (just add it to the roses you were meaning to send). Bonus points if the person actually loves that specific chocolate.

And if you got a pile of Hershey Kisses, have I hit the motherlode for you...

Try one of these 101 Kisses-Specific Recipes:

And if you got Ferrero Rochers, DO NOT do any of the above. I'll be over soon to... "dispose" of them, personally.


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