I never travel more than five minutes from my house without packing some kind of snack. Just in case. I go through heavy rotations of granola bars, trail mix and, most recently, these dark chocolate bites. They’re the perfect little nosh to help me power through a train delay or restaurant wait list without turning into a hungry zombie.
I use a silicon ice cube tray instead of a standard plastic tray because it makes it a little easier to get the chocolates out of the molds in one piece without breaking them.
Treat yourself to good chocolate for this one. Not only will your bites taste better, but good-quality chocolate melts and resets much better than chocolate chips or lower-quality chocolate. This said, bites made with chocolate chips are better than no chocolate at all, so use what you have.
Topping the bites is where you can really go wild. Use chopped nuts, dried fruit, candied ginger, coconut flakes or anything else that sounds appealing. Avoid fresh ingredients or ingredients that have a lot of moisture (like fresh berries or pomegranate seeds). These will decrease the shelf life of your chocolates and give the chocolate a grainy texture.
Dark Chocolate Snack Bites
Nonstick baking spray
10 to 12 ounces good-quality dark chocolate
A few of any of these:
A few types of nuts, like almonds, peanuts, pistachios or cashews
A few types of dried fruit, like cranberries, goji berries, cherries, blueberries or apricots
Small seeds, like sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or millet
Candied ginger, orange peel or lemon peel
Make sure your ice cube tray is clean and completely dry. If you just washed it, let it air-dry for a few hours. Coat each of the wells lightly with nonstick baking spray.
Toast the nuts/seeds on a baking sheet for 5 to 10 minutes at 350 degrees, until slightly darkened and fragrant. Cool completely. Roughly chop larger ingredients like nuts, large dried fruits and long strips of candied ginger until they’re pea-sized or smaller.
Place the topping ingredients in separate bowls to make them easier to sprinkle evenly.
Using a serrated knife, chop the chocolate into small pieces no bigger than a chocolate chip. If you’re using chocolate chips or discs, you don’t need to chop them.
Transfer the chocolate to a microwave-safe measuring cup. Microwave at 50% power for 1 minute, then stir. Microwave 20 seconds at 50% power and stir. Continue microwaving and stirring every 20 seconds until a few small lumps remain. Stir until the remaining lumps have melted.
Fill the wells with just 1/4- to 1/2-inch of chocolate, about a tablespoon or two. Sprinkle a little of each topping over the chocolate. Use your fingers or the back of a spoon to very gently press the toppings into the chocolate to make sure they stick. If you have leftover melted chocolate, drizzle it over the top.
Let set in a few hours at room temperature, or place the trays in the refrigerator. Carefully pop the bites out of the ice cube tray. Transfer to an air-tight container. Store at room temperature for several weeks.
Yield: 30 pieces.