Now what to serve? I would suggest you serve your chocolate in "courses" starting with the lightest and working your way up. Accordingly, Phase I would be Milk Chocolate.
Did you know that milk chocolate is about 40% cocoa? It only takes 10% to legally let it be called milk chocolate, but we all know what the "low end" of milk chocolate tastes like and 10% is just not enough for most of us.
How about something really simple like Milk Chocolate Popcorn? Adding the taste of salt to the sweet milk chocolate is always a good match. Here is the simple recipe to make the popcorn.
Milk Chocolate Popcorn and Peanuts
- 10 cups popped popcorn
- 1 can salted peanuts (without skins)
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1 stick margarine
- 2 cups milk chocolate chips
Salty and sweet is a classic. Plus the popcorn is not too sweet to keep the tasters from moving to Phase II: Semi-sweet Chocolate. Increasing the cocoa by at least 20% gives the chocolate a little more substance and a slightly more bitter taste.
- Grease (or spray) a large roasting pan
- Combine popcorn and nuts and put into prepared roaster
- Mix chocolate chips, corn syrup and butter in a saucepan.
- Bring chocolate mixture to a soft boil - stirring constantly
- Pour chocolate mixture over the popcorn and peanuts.
- Toss until entire mixture is well coated.
- Cool completely before serving.
The most famous recipe of all using Semi-sweet chocolate has to be the Nestle Toll House Cookie recipe found on every bag of Semi-sweet chocolate bits. This would be a nice touch here because, again, it's a favorite and easy to eat at a tasting party.
Your guests can pick up a cookie and eat it while they mingle with the other guests. If you want to try something new, how about this Semi-sweet Chocolate Fudge?
Semi-sweet Chocolate Fudge
- 2 cups miniature white marshmallows
- 3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 (14 ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk (not evaporated milk)
- 2 tsps. Vanilla
- Combine marshmallows, chocolate and milk in a saucepan.
- Cook until melted and smooth - stir constantly
- Remove from heat and add vanilla
- Prepare an 8 inch square pan by spreading butter over all surfaces
- Pour mixture into prepared pan and refrigerate until firm.
- Cut into bite size squares.
Coming Next - Phase III of your Chocolate Tasting Party
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