Chocolate Buttons (Makes 20 white and 20 dark chocolate buttons)
The most challenging part of this – and trust me it’s not hard – is melting the chocolate. Chocolate doesn’t like water and it doesn’t like extreme heat, so don’t melt it at too high a temperature or for too long. And if you’re using the stove top bain marie method, ensure that no water gets into the chocolate.
1 x 100g bar of white chocolate
1 x 100g bar of dark (70%) chocolate
Red chilli pepper flakes
Nuts (chopped pecans, pistachios, almonds or pine nuts)
Dried fruit, like cranberries or cherries
There are two easy ways to melt chocolate. If you have a microwave, place the white chocolate in a heat proof jug and the dark chocolate in a second jug. Microwave one of the jugs for a minute. Stir and heat again at about at 15 second intervals. Stop microwaving when most of the chocolate is melted but there are still lumps. Remove from the microwave and stir until the chocolate is smooth.
Pour a small amount of the chocolate on to a silicone baking sheet placed in a sheet pan. I aim for around the size of a fifty pence coin. Repeat until you use up all the chocolate. If the chocolate starts to harden, you can microwave it again for 10 seconds. While the chocolate is still soft, garnish with whatever toppings you’re using plus crush a tiny bit of sea salt on to each one.
Repeat with the second chocolate. You can melt the chocolate on the stove too, using a bain marie or water bath. Bring a small amount of water to boil in a saucepan. Place a heat-proof bowl on top so it covers the opening of the pan completely but the bottom of the bowl doesn’t come into contact with the water. Stir until the chocolate is almost melted then remove the bowl from the pan and continue stirring until it’s completely melted and smooth. Pick up from the instructions in the second paragraph.
Once you’ve decorated the buttons, place the sheet pan somewhere cool (but not the refrigerator) to allow them to harden. When they’re hard, remove them from the silicone sheet and serve. Keep any leftovers in a sealed container in a cool, dry place.