Wednesday, 18 December 2013

.Chocolate Slabs.

Christmas time always means a bit of naughty cooking. It's the time of the year when you can cook up all sorts of yummies without feeling too guilty! 
We have a family tradition, probably one of our favourites, to cook yummy treats, package them up then drive around doing a "knock and run" on the doorsteps of friends and family. Jaron and I love it even more now that the older kids are big enough to get themselves in and out of the car and are getting super speedy and stealthy in their tactics! They are getting caught less often and get such a thrill trying to stay out of view.
Usually we cook up a few batches of things like rocky road, coconut ice, chocolate truffles and shortbread for knock and run. There is always plenty left over, I make sure that it is all packaged up in the fridge so that I'm not tempted to eat it all and it always comes in handy for times when you need a quick gift for someone or friends drop in and you want to share a treat with them.
This year I decided to do something a little different and made up a ridiculous amount of what we call "Chocolate Slabs." I guess the are similar to recipes you see around for chocolate bark but I made mine in rectangle slabs kind of like a little block of handmade chocolate.
A recipe isn't really necessary for these, if you can manage to melt chocolate then you are set! 
I had three rectangle Tupperware containers (these ones to be exact) that I used as a mould for my slabs. Make sure you line the base with baking paper, I didn't bother lining two of the sides and because the sides of the containers are a little flexible the chocolate slabs came out without any troubles. So, after melting the chocolate I covered the base of the conatainers with a thin layer (about 5mm) of chocolate then topped the melted chocolate with what ever concoction of toppings I could come up with. I put mine in the freezer to set then took them out when they were hard and re-used the containers and baking paper over and over again.
These ones were made using milk chocolate then topping with smarties, chopped clinkers and raspberry lollies that I had chopped in half. I think some lolly bananas would have been yummy in these ones too.
I also used this silicone muffin tray to make smaller, bite-sized chocolate slabs. They are really cute and looked great packaged up with the other flavours. I'm sure you could use any silicone muffin liners or ice trays though.
These ones are white chocolate with toasted coconut flakes, dried cranberries and pistachios.
I took inspiration from fruit and nut chocolate with these ones and topped milk chocolate with dried apricots, sultanas, cashews, pistachios and almonds. It is delicious and would be yummy using dark chocolate too.
To make the almonds extra yummy, I spread them on a baking tray and drizzled them with rice malt syrup and sprinkled some salt over. Then baked them in a moderate oven for 10-15 minutes stirring 3 or 4 times. I call them "sweet and salty nuts" and they are so tasty. You could also use honey or maple syrup for these.
I love rocky road and didn't want to miss out on some this Christmas so made a rocky road chocolate slab too. Milk chocolate is topped with mini marshmallows, raspberry lollies and sweet and salty almonds. Finished off with a drizzle of melted chocolate.
And finally another white chocolate slab topped with dried apricots, toasted coconut flakes and pistachios. I didn't think I would like the white chocolate versions as much as I do, they are so yum!
So, if you have still got to do a bit of Christmas cooking or are looking for something tasty and unique to give away for gifts, get cooking some chocolate slabs. They are super easy, stress-free and taste amazing!
Make sure you package them up nicely for presents, we popped ours in some flat cellophane bags, sealed with a bit of washi tape and the kids made some cardboard toppers to put on the top of them. If you haven't tried knock-and-run with your family before, go out one night after dinner and choose some friends or neighbours to do it to. It really is so much fun and your kids will love it!
I had a few more ideas for chocolate slab toppings that I haven't tried out yet...
 - chopped up peppermint crisp bars
 - red & green m&ms
 - crushed candy canes
 - chopped oreos, tim tams or mint slice biscuits
 - lolly bag (lots and lots of different mixed lollies)
 - coconut and glace cherries

If you have any other good topping ideas, I'd love to hear them. Feel free to leave them in the comments for future reference!


Anonymous said...

Oh Toni,
That was a really funny night.
Here I am laying on my bed using my IPad, and I see you all pull up, and then drive off really fast, I thought "that's weird!!!
Then I see your car coming back.
Weirder again!!!
So I go to the window, and see Oscar running up the footpath, and you parked down the road, then I got the AHAH moment.
I thought I would run to the front door and scare Oscar, then thought better of it,didn't want to upset him.
Thanks so much for my chocolate.
After seeing what you made, the one you gave me would have been the one I would have picked out as my favourite.
Funny, as I was laying there I was thinking to myself I could really do with something really yummy.
Thank you to you ad your lovely family for bringing some Christmas spirit into our little home.
Love you.
Auntie Lorraine.

thingsforboys said...

Yum! I saw Jamie Oliver do this on a Christmas Special one year...such a yummy idea! I can't think of any other flavour nailed them all. Actually, maybe coffee beans and walnuts!

~ Kim ~ said...

They look delicious! I'm trying to think of a combo but can't. Maltesers and snakes?

Little Gumnut said...

so very pretty!!!

Marnie said...

I think you should know toni…..I am holding you personally responsible the amount of clinkers I have consumed today. I bought a whole heap of goodies, including clinkers, thinking I'd make some slabs, but couldn't find my chocolate when I got home. turns out the boys stole it to make smores on their camping trip (deluded, it is a total fire ban). So anyway, I have opened the clinkers, just or quality control purposes of course and now I can't stop eating them. It is also possible the m & m's got opened too. All your fault….absolutely nothing to do with myself control

Traceyg said...

What a lovely idea…….now on the list for next year!

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