Dark Chocolate Fruit Candies

Dark Chocolate Fruit Candies with Pomegranates, Figs and Dates - Sweet Natural Treats

I got naughty in my kitchen late last night. I indulged in an ooey gooey chocolate obsession. It was difficult to resist the call of a foil-wrapped gourmet 72% dark chocolate bar. I played with what I had on hand – pomegranate seeds, figs, dates. I got messy. I embraced imperfection. It was marvelous.

Chocolate feeds something primal inside of us. Perhaps it’s because our history with chocolate stretches all the way back to Pre-Columbian times, when the Maya and Olmec discovered a way to extract chocolate’s rich and complex flavor through fermentation and roasting. Kings and nobles would indulge in rich and spicy drinks made from cacao, cornmeal and chilies. Chocolate was only enjoyed as a beverage until the late 18th century, when chemists began attempting to convert it into a solid bar. The first versions were brittle and dry, nothing like the creamy bars we treat ourselves to today. It was the Dutch chemist Coenraad Van Houten and his method for Dutch process cocoa powder that eventually helped turn chocolate into a more desirable solid form. By the 19th century, American cookbooks were filled with recipes that called for chocolate as a flavoring in everything from frosting to jellies and soufflés. When Europe introduced chocolate candy-making methods, manufacturing quickly spread worldwide. By the late 1800s the chocolate candy industry was booming in the United States. Late last night it was booming in my kitchen.

Dark Chocolate Fruit Candies with Pomegranates, Figs and Dates - Sweet Natural Treats

I made simple and natural dark chocolate candies using three ancient fruits, all part of the Seven Species of Israel – pomegranates, figs and dates. The process was fun, easy, and creative. The result satisfied my deep-down yearning for chocolate. All in all, it was a night well spent.

I feel better indulging on these homemade Dark Chocolate Fruit Candies than I do a store-bought candy bar. Each piece of candy has two ingredients and I know exactly how it was made. The dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants. The fruits have their own unique health benefits, so I don’t need to feel guilty about treating myself. Two small pieces leave me completely happy, my sweet tooth fully satisfied.

I use fruit here, but you could just as easily use your favorite nuts (if you’re not worried about nut allergies). Dark chocolate is generally dairy-free, which is helpful for those avoiding milk products. For those who aren’t, I think milk chocolate would work just as well. Over time the chocolate may “bloom” (develop a light brown film) due to temperature fluctuations. This is simply separation of the cocoa butter and it does not affect the flavor of the candy. I’ve linked to David Lebovitz’s blog below for a chocolate tempering tutorial, it will help you avoid blooming if you want them to look absolutely perfect.

Keep the pomegranate dark chocolates in the fridge for up to a week. The others can stay at room temperature in a cool, dry place for 2-3 weeks, if they last that long. I’m guessing they won’t.

Dark Chocolate Fruit Candies with Pomegranates, Figs and Dates - Sweet Natural Treats

Dark Chocolate Fruit Candies with Pomegranates, Figs and Dates

Ingredients

  • 4 bars dark chocolate, or 3 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2/3 cup dates, chopped into small pieces
  • 2/3 cup dried figs, chopped into small pieces

You will also need

  • Double boiler, 2 mini muffin tins, 36 mini muffin cups
Total Time: 4 - 5 Hours
Servings: 36 candies (12 of each fruit)
Kosher Key: Pareve for dairy-free dark chocolate (or dairy if using milk chocolate)
  • Line a mini muffin pan with paper muffin cups. Break the dark chocolate bars into smaller pieces and slowly melt over a double boiler. If you don't have a double boiler, you can melt the chocolate in a glass, Pyrex or metal bowl set securely atop a pan of simmering water. Note: to avoid blooming (the filmy layer that sometimes rises to the surface of chocolate after it sets-- it doesn't affect flavor but it's not very pretty), you can temper the chocolate. You'll need a thermometer. David Lebovitz has terrific detailed instructions here.
  • Dark Chocolate Fruit Candies with Pomegranates, Figs and Dates - Sweet Natural TreatsOnce the chocolate is melted, spoon a little into each cup so that the bottom is completely covered.
  • Dark Chocolate Fruit Candies with Pomegranates, Figs and Dates - Sweet Natural TreatsSpoon about 2 teaspoons of the pomegranate seeds into 12 of the chocolate cups, dividing the fruit evenly between the cups.
  • Dark Chocolate Fruit Candies with Pomegranates, Figs and Dates - Sweet Natural TreatsRepeat with the chopped dates and figs (12 of each) until all of the cups have been filled.
  • Dark Chocolate Fruit Candies with Pomegranates, Figs and Dates - Sweet Natural TreatsCover the fruit candies with the remaining melted chocolate. Don't be afraid to get a little messy here. Embrace the imperfection. They don't need to look neat and tidy.
  • Dark Chocolate Fruit Candies with Pomegranates, Figs and Dates - Sweet Natural TreatsLeave the chocolates in a cool, dry place for about 4 hours until set. You can speed up the process by placing them in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Over time the chocolate may "bloom" - a process in which the sugar or fat rises to surface of the chocolate and creates a cloudy or spotty appearance. They'll still taste great, they just won't be as pretty. As I mentioned above, you can temper the chocolate to avoid blooming.
  • Dark Chocolate Fruit Candies with Pomegranates, Figs and Dates - Sweet Natural TreatsKeep the pomegranate dark chocolates in the fridge for up to a week. The others can stay at room temperature in a cool, dry place for 2-3 weeks.
  • Dark Chocolate Fruit Candies with Pomegranates, Figs and Dates - Sweet Natural Treats

Comments (85)Post a Comment

  1. A traditional Sephardi T”U B’Shevat dish is PREHITO (SEPHARDIC BULGAR PUDDING)

    1 cup medium bulgur
    3 cups water
    pinch of salt
    1/2 cup sugar or honey
    1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or almonds
    1/2 cup dried currants or raisins
    1/4 cup chopped dates (optional)
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    1. Combine the bulgur, water, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is absorbed and the bulgur is tender, about 30 minutes. If necessary, continue cooking uncovered until the liquid is absorbed.

    2. Remove from the heat and fluff with a fork. Stir in the remaining ingredients.

    3. Spoon into a 9-inch-square baking dish and refrigerate until chilled.

    Variation:
    Baked Prehito: Before transferring to the baking dish, add 1 lightly beaten egg, and bake in a 350-degree oven for 40 minutes.

  2. Shades of Jacques Pépin, He did this years ago, probably prior to your birth…what goes round comes round..and it’s so good for you and quenches that little taste for chocolate.

  3. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    Decadent Tori! Ever make sugar Plums? Raisen, figs chopped fine, apricot chopped fine, the ad honey to mix in place in fridge for two hrs till chilled. Then roll into balls smaller than a golf ball, you can roll them in cocoa powder w cinnamon mixed in, or ( the best roll them in shredded coconut, you can change to chopped dates if their soft. This recipe is from Britain, even though holidays over these are great as a snack with raw veggies like celery carrot crudities! Ir with nuts. Some roll them in ground almonds with cinnamon. I made these and 3 trays were gone for the appetizers! They are really great to nibble on!

  4. Tori, thanks for sharing. It is so simple that I will make some for the Chinese New Year !! I will melt the chocolate in a metal measuring jug on top of some boiling water ( the Chinese has a stand for let the bowl to sit in the boiling water ) so that it will not be messy to pour the watery chocolate runs all over when we pour into the paper cups. I wonder why have to pour in the chocolate then add in the filling then again pour in more chocolate ? Can I put the filling into the paper cups, then fill it up with the chocolate then let them to set ? I’m lazy and love short cut ~~

  5. These chocolates are lovely Tori! I do so enjoy adding fresh fruits to my chocolates as well! Enjoy the praise! Take Care, Susan!

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