Introduction: Chocolate & Dried Fruit Dessert Pizza
I like pizza, and I like sweets. So years ago I started making dessert pizzas! No, not traditional pizzas with sweet stuff on them, but sweet stuff that is made to resemble a pizza!
It is easy to rationalize how the ingredients of this pizza are not too unhealthy. Easy, but not 100% accurate. So when you make this pizza, be sure to have a bunch of friends on hand to help you eat it.
This also makes a wonderful gift to bring with you to a party! Especially if you visit your favorite pizza delivery place and offer to pay them for a pizza delivery box or two. I've done this many times, and have never been asked to pay. The publicity of having their name seen at a party may be sufficient payment.
Step 1: Ingredients
For this pizza I used the following ingredients:
1 lb milk chocolate block
1/2 C white chocolate chips
1/2 C nonpareils
1/3 C whole cashews (roasted)
1/3 C whole almonds (roasted)
1/2 C dried kiwi strips
1/3 C chopped dried papaya
1/4 C dried pineapple chunks
1/3 C dried strawberry pieces
(1) Please use a milk chocolate block rather than chocolate chips! Chocolate chips have additional ingredients that allow them to keep their shape during baking. We want the chocolate to melt and flow easily. Please search the Internet and read some of the articles on melting chocolate and tempering chocolate. Those are beyond the scope of my instructable. The basic melting practice is to melt it slowly, whether in a microwave oven (20 seconds at a time, stir, repeat until fully melted) or in a double boiler (stirring constantly once it starts to melt until fully melted). DO NOT overheat your chocolate or it will be unuseable. And if using the double boiler method DO NOT let any steam or water get into the melting chocolate or it wil seize and you'll have to start over. Tempering is not absolutely necessary, but it will produce a nicer looking product and have the "snap" associated with biting into good quality chocolate.
(2) I was able to find dried "fruit salad" at my local grocery store. Unfortunately, they only had dried "fruit salad" where the pieces were lightly coated with sugar. Obviously, not as healthy as dried fruit without sugar.
(3) The quantities given above are what I started with. Depending on the placement of the ingredients on the pizza, you may or may not be able to cram all of the ingredients onto the pizza. Keep in mind that if it doesn't touch the milk chocolate, it will fall off!
Step 2: Equipment
The required equipment is:
12 inch pizza pan
aluminum foil covering the pan (making removal easier)
a microwave safe dish (if melting by this method)
a squeeze bottle (ketchup, mustard, etc.)
As you can see, I prefer to use the microwave method to melt my chocolate. Notice the size of the pieces the milk chocolate block has been cut into. The smaller the pieces, the faster they melt. Try to make all the pieces roughly the same size.
Step 3: Making the "crust"
Melt and temper the milk chocolate using the method you prefer. I used the microwave method. Typically you will want to cut the block of milk chocolate into much smaller pieces (almost chocolate chip size) before putting them into the container for melting.
Once melted and tempered, pour the melted milk chocolate into the foiled pizza pan. DO NOT make a crust thicker that about 3/8 of an inch, or it may be very difficult to break or cut! One pound of melted chocolate works pretty well for a 12 inch pizza.
Once poured, it may be necessary to tip and or rotate the pizza pan so that the melted milk chocolate uniformly covern the bottom of the pizza pan.
Step 4: Start by Adding the Nonpareils
Add the nonpareils to the crust of the pizza. Some people may like to randomly drop them onto the crust, others like to carefully place them on the crust, maybe even in some kind of geometric pattern. I like all my nonpareils to be white-side up!
Step 5: Add the Dried Kiwi Strips
Place (or drop) the dried kiwi strips onto the crust. Make sure most of each piece is touching the melted milk chocolate!
Step 6: Add the Dried Pineapple and Strawberries
Add these two ingredients to the pizza. You may want to plan where you are going to put the remaining items, since the pieces need to touch the melted milk chocolate (think of it as the 'glue' holding the pizza together). Leave room for the papaya and nuts!
Step 7: Add the Papaya and Nuts
Now it is time to add the dried papaya pieces and the nuts. Try to spread them out, and mix them in with everything else on the pizza. These are the last two ingredients that need to touch the melted milk chocolate so put them wherever you can!
Don't worry if you have any ingredients left over - you can always snack on them!
Step 8: Don't Forget the 'cheese'
No, it is not really chees that we are going to add! It is time to put the white chocolate chips into the squeeze bottle, and melt them. Using the microwave oven is probably the easiest way.
Once melted, moving your arm in a side-to-side motion, gently squeeze the inverted bottle so that the white chocolate, which kind of looks like melted cheese, makes a nice pattern on the top of the pizza. Stop, and rotate the pizza 90 degrees. Repeat the side-to-side motion, squeezing the melted white chocolate onto the pizza.
I don't use a lot of white chocolate, so people can see how pretty the pizza looks. If you are heavy handed with the white chocolate, nobody will see your handiwork!
Step 9: Confession!
Okay, I have a confession to make. I do not always make dessert pizzas with dried fruit. I have been known to make some pretty decadent dessert pizzas using all kinds of candy, or sometimes using only candies with chocolate in them!
Ingredients I have previously used on pizzas include: M&Ms (plain and or peanut, as well as minis), Good 'N Plenty pieces, licorice pieces, Red Hots, Peanut Butter Cups, malted milk balls, bridge mix, Necco wafers, and broken pieces of virtually any candy bar!
When you're making your pizza, the sky is the limit when it comes to ingredients! Use this instructable as I use a recipe - it is a guideline, or a starting point, rather than an absolute that must be followed explicitly! Have fun and experiment. I'd like to hear what creative twists you can put on your dessert pizzas!