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Chocolate Tasting Party
for Valentine's Day (or any day!)
Part 2

"Forget love -- I'd rather fall in chocolate!" -- author unknown

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

Ingredients:
  • 10 cups popped popcorn
  • 1 can salted peanuts (without skins)
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 stick margarine
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips

Instructions:

  • 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.

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.

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

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups miniature white marshmallows
  • 3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 (14 ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk (not evaporated milk)
  • 2 tsps. Vanilla

Instructions:

  • 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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