Dark Chocolate Dipped Apricots ~ this uber simple treat is surprisingly delicious, I call it dessert minus the guilt, which is a beautiful thing.
You know know it’s true, at the end of a really nice meal most of us aren’t craving a giant layer cake or gooey brownies, so why go to all the trouble? But I’ll tell you what, everybody goes crazy for these, and you’ll get a lot of credit for coming up with a novel dessert that people don’t have to fight with their better selves to enjoy.
The amazing thing about these little chocolate dipped apricots is that somehow they satisfy without setting off cravings for more. For me it has something to do with the dark chocolate…everyone will have their own particular set point with these, and mine is three. After three I’m completely satisfied, all is right with the world, and I’m happy to pass the bowl along.
TIP: You’ll want to buy Turkish apricots for this dessert…they’re the plump whole ‘cots, not the halves. They are not too sweet, very moist, and not at all sticky, so perfect for dipping.
To sulfur or not to sulfur ~
- If your dried apricots are bright orange, it’s due to sulfur dioxide, a natural gas used to preserve certain foods. Because it maintains color in food, it’s used in light colored dried fruits, like apricots, golden raisins, and apples, etc.
- A few people are sensitive to sulfites like sulfur dioxide, and should avoid them.
- The same compounds are in wine, at a lower level.
- You can avoid sulfites by buying organic dried apricots. But they will be tougher, and a brownish color, not great for this recipe.
- The good news is that apricots contain only trace amounts of sulfur dioxide, and it’s FDA approved.
- I recommend buying organic dried fruit when possible, but in the case of an occasional special dessert like this, go for the pretty fruit :)
Tips and Tricks for Melting Chocolate ~
Melting chocolate is easy once you get the hang of it. White chocolate is the most difficult to handle so I suggest starting with regular milk or semi sweet if you’re a chocolate melting newbie.
- Start with chocolate that has been cut into small pieces. You can use chocolate chips if you like. The smaller the pieces the quicker the chocolate will melt with less chance of scorching or seizing.
- You can melt chocolate in a double boiler or a bowl that fits snugly over a pan of simmering water on the stove. Use a small amount of water and be sure it doesn’t touch the bottom of the vessel that is holding your chocolate. Be sure no steam condenses into your chocolate, because any amount of liquid can cause the chocolate to ‘seize’ up into a solid mass.
- You can use the microwave if you are careful. I microwave a bag of chocolate chips for one minute, then stir, and then microwave for additional 15 second spurts, stirring in between.
- Whatever method you use, heat the chocolate just enough so that most of the lumps are melted, but not all. As you stir it the ambient heat of the chocolate and the bowl will finish the melting process.
- Be very careful about adding flavorings to your chocolate. Any amount of water based liquid will tend to seize the chocolate. I recommend only using oil based candy flavorings made just for this purpose. You can find them HERE, on Amazon.
- The same goes for coloring your melted chocolate (in the case of white) ~ use only coloring specifically made for candy making, it will be powdered or oil based.
- You can remelt chocolate that has started to harden, just follow the same guidelines above. You can do this multiple times.
- For the ultimate convenience, invest in an inexpensive electric melting pot ~ it makes melting chocolate a breeze, and it’s also handy for dipping.
My COPY CAT TRADER JOE’S GONE BANANAS are another similar healthy snack that allows you to indulge without all the guilt.
- 24 Turkish apricots
- 11 ounce bag of dark or semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1 tsp coconut oil (optional)
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Put the chocolate and coconut oil, if using, in a microwave safe bowl and cook on high for one minute. Let sit for another minute, and then stir. Put the chocolate back in for more 15 second bursts until the chocolate is completely melted and silky. Don't over-heat or the chocolate may 'seize' up into a solid mass. Let the heat in the bowl do the final melting, while you stir.
- Dip each apricot half-way into the chocolate and set on the parchment paper. Put the tray in the refrigerator to harden the chocolate.
- You can store the dipped apricots in the refrigerator, or at room temperature.
Make it your own ~
- You can dip other dried fruits like figs and pears. Look for soft, pliable dried fruit for the best result.
- Serve a bowl of warm melted chocolate and let everybody dip their own fruit, fondue style. Provide thin bamboo skewers for easy dipping. You can use fresh fruit for this, too, like sliced bananas, orange segments, apple and pear slices, etc.
Don’t forget to pin these Chocolate Dipped Apricots!