‘Tis the time of year for chocolate hearts and boxed truffles, and before you know it, there will be more chocolate bunnies and eggs galore. Even for the most adamant of chocoholics, it’s almost an insurmountable task to eat all of that chocolate as-is. Luckily, you don’t have to. Here are some ideas to help you chip away at that chocolate stash, lest you resort to eating all-chocolate meals for the foreseeable future.
Chili or other braises and stews
Not everyone has a sweet tooth, so this one is ideal for those who prefer the savoury qualities of dark chocolate over the sweet ones. You may have heard of adding cocoa powder to your chili, but you can also stir in a square or two of high-quality dark chocolate at the end for added richness and texture. Don’t stop at chili, the same goes for other dark, beefy dishes like Guinness stew or beef bourguignon.
There’s something oh so comforting about a warm mug of hot chocolate in the dead of winter. Why opt for crappy powdered mixes when you have a plethora of un-eaten chocolate lying around? There are a few ways you can proceed. If you’re a hot chocolate drinking fiend, it’s probably best to make a batch of ganache to have on hand. That way you can melt it into warm milk or nut milk whenever you’re craving chocolat chaud (not to mention that ganache can also be transformed into truffles). Otherwise, you can just drop a few squares into the heated milk and call it a day. Remember the more chocolate you add, the thicker and more syrupy your hot chocolate will be.
Were you the recipient of unpalatably-dark chocolate this Valentine’s? Let molé come to your rescue. This classic Mexican sauce is a bold mix of chillis, spices, nuts, and of course, chocolate. It’s great on shredded chicken tacos and enchiladas. Plus, it’s a great way to add loads of flavour to various vegetarian and vegan dishes given that it doesn’t contain any eggs, dairy, or other animal products.
Pancakes, waffles, stuffed French toast, or bread pudding
Mornings are best with pancakes, especially when said pancakes contain a boatload of chocolate chips. Guess what’s better than chocolate chips? Chocolate chunks, of course! Pancakes aren’t your only brunch option for using up leftover chocolate either. You can make stuffed French toast, filled with cream cheese, berries, and chocolate. Or, do a take on cinnamon buns or babka filled with loads of chocolate. Bread pudding studded with chopped chocolate could also pass as breakfast; if not, it’s most definitely a suitable dessert!
Homemade Nutella or other nut spreads
Leftover chocolate is gosh darn good excuse to try your hand at making homemade Nutella. You want to go with a fairly good quality chocolate here, given that nuts and chocolate are the two main ingredients. The best part of making Nutella from scratch is that you don’t have to use hazelnuts if you don’t want to (they’re a pain in the butt to skin). Rather, you can make a variety of chocolate-flavoured nut butters, using everything from walnuts and pecans, to almonds and peanuts. White chocolate cashew butter would be phenomenal, just saying.
Blondies and cookies
This one is especially helpful when you have extra truffles or chocolate caramels kicking around. Chopped up into bits, they’re a welcome addition to your favourite blondie or cookie dough. Kids and adults alike will go crazy for these sugar-laden sweets. Every time you hit a nugget of chocolate, it’s like winning the lottery, except the payout isn’t taxed. Think I’m being dramatic? Just wait until you come home to a batch of them after a long day and you’ll get exactly where I’m coming from. Sometimes, life just necessitates decadence.
It might not sound like the most creative option of the bunch, but that depends entirely on what fruits you choose to dip in what types of chocolate. Chocolate-covered strawberries may be the archetype, but there are so many other pairings worth trying. Dark-chocolate-covered grapes? Sure. Chocolate-covered kiwi slices? Surprisingly delicious. White chocolate pineapple? That’s almost like a pina colada! Whether you go with fresh or dried fruit, or mix in some nuts to create chocolatey clusters, you’ve already got yourself something more exciting than eating chocolate au naturel.