Intro: Chocolate Covered Firecrackers!
Just in time for the 4th of July, Chocolate Covered Firecrackers! Serrano Chili Peppers skinned, cut to the size of fire crackers, filled with a dark chocolate ganache, then dipped in chocolate! these beauties can be served firecracker style, or on long bamboo skewers "Bottle Rocket Style". Pop'em in your mouth as a sweet and spicy snack, or serve them on your favorite ice cream to give it a little heat. Enjoy!
Step 1: Ingredients
Cocktail Toothpicks or bamboo skewers (I dyed them red with a little food coloring)
8 ounces of dark chocolate (chips or broken up)
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 tablespoon black coffee
16 ounces milk chocolate
2 tablespoon of shortening
Step 2: Make the Ganache
Making chocolate ganache is very simple.
Place your dark chocolate in a mixing bowl and set aside.
Bring the heavy cream to a boil, stirring constantly.
As soon as the cream boils, remove from heat and pour over the chocolate pieces. Give it a few minutes to melt the chocolate, then wisk together until smooth. This is the point where you can be creative with your ganache by adding some additional flavors, a little vanilla, mint, orange, some liqueur if you'd like.... This time I am adding a little cinnamon to bring in a little south of the boarder flare, and some dark coffee to just make the flavors pop. Mix everything together until smooth, then let it cool. It will need to cool to room temperature before we can use it, so we can move to the preparing the peppers.
Step 3: Preparing the Serrano Chilies Part 1
I think that both the chilies will taste better and will hold thier chocolate coating best if we take the skin off. To do this I fire roasted the chilies. You can either do this over a gas stove (which does not photograph well at all.... you just need to believe me that I had the gas on high!) or if you have one, use a kitchen torch. The Torch is actually easier and faster. Roast the chilies until all the skin is burnt and black or brown. Then toss them into an ice bath to stop the cooking. The skins should now peel right off. Peel all the chilies.
Step 4: Preparing the Serrano Chilies Part 2
Now that all the chilies are skinned we need to get them ready to be filled with the chocolate ganache.
Cut both ends of each chili, then cut them in half. this should give you about the right size for a "firework". Getting the seeds out would seem like a chore, but if you have a straw around the house, it works perfectly! just push the straw through the chili, it will separate the seeds from the chili and remove them, since the seeds will now be in the straw. PRESTO!
Now rinse and all the chilies to make sure all the seeds are gone and them let them dry. They are ready for their filling!
Step 5: Stuffing the Chilies
I found it easiest to stuff the chilies with the ganache at room temperature. It was still liquid enough to be piped into the chilies, but not so runny that it just ran out the other side.
If you have a pastry bag with a small tip, you can use it, or, do as I did, cut a small corner of the corner of a ziplock bag, fill the bag with ganache, then squeeze it out the hole in the corner into the chilies.
Now I stick the cocktail toothpick into each chili and set in the fridge for the ganache to harden so we can dip them in chocolate.
Step 6: Cover Them in Chocolate!
Now to dip them in chocolate!
Use a double boiler if you have it, if not, see if you have two pots, one smaller then the other so that you can put a couple inches of water in the bottom of the larger pot, then sit he smaller pot inside it, so that it is sitting in the water, but not touching the bottom of the larger pot.
In the double boiler, melt the 16 ounces of milk chocolate with 2 table spoons of shortening. Stir it until it is all melted and smooth. Now, one by one, dip the chilies into the chocolate, holding on to the toothpick you placed in it earlier, cover them complete, them stick them into a piece of styrofoam so that the chocolate can cool and harden.
Step 7: ....And Serve
Your chocolate covered firecrackers are ready to serve!
Second Prize in the
Chili Pepper Challenge