Impromptu White Chocolate Pralines aka Leftover Choc Experiment

One of the unexpected finds when clearing out my kitchen cupboards was a pack of white couverture.  I kept thinking back to some shop bought sweets consisting of freeze-dried raspberries covered in white chocolate.  But after finding out that freeze-dried raspberries came at 7.50 Euros per 100 g, I had to rethink and decided to try frozen ones.  As with many things I’ve tried so far, I could visualise what it would look like and how it would taste – which often leads to high expectations on my part and swearing if my vision and the end result don’t match.  Making these white chocs I had an aaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh! moment along the way, but in the end everything turned out alright.

Impromptu White Chocolate Pralines

350 g white couverture
frozen raspberries
chopped pistachios
dash of cream (optional)
raspberry brandy (optional)
ice cube tray

You’ll notice there are no measurements except for the chocolate.  This is because it depends on your ice cube tray how much of everything you’ll need.  My tray had 15 small but deep sections, so I used 15 raspberries and about half a handful of chopped pistachios.

Melt the chocolate over a bain-marie.

While the chocolate’s melting, chop ½ – 1 handful of pistachios, and distribute them among the sections in your ice cube tray, just a sprinkle for each section.  Next add 1 frozen raspberry to each section.

This next bit is optional:  I added a tiny dash of cream to the molten couverture but it turned the chocolate into a firm mass instead of making it softer.  (This happened because I added it cold from the fridge instead of heating it to lukewarm – I obviously didn’t think ahead enough here).  To get it more liquid again, I added about 1 – 2 cl raspberry brandy.  This made the mixture smoother again, but also seemed to create an oily film, it looked like the fat had separated from the mass.  I stirred it to make it as homogenous as possible, then filled it into the ice cube tray.  Due to the consistency it couldn’t be poured but needed to be spooned in.

Refrigerate until chocolate has become firm.  Tip:  do not take out of ice cube tray if you don’t intend to consume right away, as the raspberries will very likely leak some liquid.  Or you can take them out of the ice cube tray and store them in the fridge individually, that’ll keep the raspberries cool enough.

I will definitely make this again, as it’s very quick and makes a nice gift, too.  Here’s what I’d do differently, though:
– Either heat the cream before adding it, or leaving it out altogether.
– You can’t really taste the raspberry brandy, so I might leave that out as well.
– These chocs are very rich, so next time I’d use my smaller square ice cube tray.
– I’d probably mix some spices into the chocolate, maybe ground pink pepper.

Due to the consistency of these chocs, they had to be cut out of the ice cube tray, but I’m hoping that next time – having learned from my mistakes – the consistency will be such that they will plop out of the tray like ice cubes.