After a lengthy conversation about making truffles with Portland-based chocolatier David Briggs of Xocolatl de Davíd, he mentioned roasting white chocolate until it turned a luscious caramel color and using it as the center for truffles. I was intrigued; more precisely, I became obsessed. I’m not sure I have ever tested and re-tested a technique and recipe as much as this one, but the results are spectacular. Once I mastered the roasting technique, I played in the kitchen thinking up all sorts of ways to use the chocolate—and dipping apples came to mind. Step aside, caramel-coated apples—there is a new decadent treat in town. Use high quality white chocolate; in my experience, this recipe works best with Valrhona Blanc 35%. As the chocolate roasts, it will look grainy and even clump, but with frequent stirring it smoothes out until it is silky and creamy—the texture is simply incomparable. Once the apples are coated and placed in the refrigerator to allow the chocolate to set, the coating will turn whitish and then after about twenty-four hours it turns back to the original rich caramel color.
Makes 6 large or 8 medium-size chocolate-covered apples
1 (8.82 ounce) bar Valrhona white chocolate (Blanc 35%)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
6 large or 8 medium-sized firm, very crisp apples such as Braeburn, Gala, or Golden Delicious, at room temperature
Shallow 2-Quart Baking Dish, Kitchen Timer, Silicone Spatula, Measuring Spoons, Sturdy Rimmed Baking Sheet, 6 to 8 (4 1/2-inch-by-3/8-inch) Wooden Popsicle Sticks, Parchment Paper
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 250°F. (Use an oven thermometer, if necessary, to make sure your oven is calibrated accurately.) Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in an even layer in a glass or ceramic baking dish.
2. Bake the chocolate for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours, stirring thoroughly every 10 minutes, until the chocolate is the color of peanut butter and has a nutty flavor. (Be sure to set a timer; it is critical to stir the chocolate every 10 minutes as the bottom is what begins to brown first. I like to set a second timer for 90 minutes to help me keep track of the overall baking time.)
3. Set the baking pan on a hot pad or cotton towel. Add the salt to the chocolate and continue to stir until it loosens up and becomes a silky consistency, about 5 minutes.
4. Twist to remove the stems from the apples and insert a popsicle stick into the top of the apple. Have ready a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
5. Working with one apple at a time, set the apple in the baking dish and, with the aid of a soup spoon, pour the melted chocolate over the apple, coating it completely. Lift the apple up and let the excess chocolate drip back into the pan. Transfer the coated apple to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat to coat all the apples.
6. Refrigerate the apples until the chocolate is set and completely hardened, 24 hours.
Refrigerate up to 10 days.
Cut clear cellophane wrap into 13-inch squares. Set the apple in the center of the cellophane square, gather up the sides and secure at the top with raffia or ribbon. Attach a gift card.
This handcrafted Roasted White Chocolate Dipped Apple was made on (give date) and can be enjoyed for up to 1 week.