Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Chocolate Covered Lychees

Today marks the first day of February, which means Valentine’s Day is on many of our minds. However, since I am a singleton, I don’t really have anything to celebrate except for another year feeling like Bridget Jones before her happy ending with Mark Darcy. Now, I usually celebrate this festive holiday by making dinner and watching a sappy romantic comedy with my fellow singleton girlfriends. On this day, I usually gather with my fellow singleton girlfriends and we celebrate by making dinner and watching a sappy romantic comedy. This year, is no different. And since I love to bake desserts, I volunteered to handle that part of the menu. I originally wanted to do something fun, like bake cookies in the shape of lumps of coal; however, that idea was quickly vetoed. I guess it’s not romantic enough. Whatever. Soooo, I was thinking of making the ever so popular chocolate covered strawberries since it’s romantical and all that jazz. But, strawberries aren’t on sale right now and I’m cheap. As I was scouring the weekly supermarket ads, I noticed that canned lychees were on sale at my local Chinese supermarket. And so I thought, “OHHH!!! Chocolate covered lychees!!” Now, if you have never heard of lychees before, it’s a popular Asian fruit that is the shape of a small plum. It is protected by a shell that you peel upon eating and the fruit itself is a translucent white color with a seed in the middle. It’s very sweet and delicious. However, lychees aren’t in season yet so canned lychees will do.

And so, I woke up this morning at 5:00 to try out this recipe I concocted. Since the seeds are removed in canned lychees, I decided to put maraschino cherries and mini chocolate chip meringues inside to help retain its shape. Now, the first time I made the chocolate ganache turned out to be a bit of a disaster. I used too much heavy cream, and as a result my ganache was a bit too runny. That was a bit upsetting considering I didn’t have enough time to wait for it to thicken, which meant I had to make ganache #2. While that cooled, I drained the lychees and dried them as much as possible. I then stuffed half of them with cherries and the other half with meringues. When I was finally done with that, I dipped each one in the chocolate ganache, covered them with sprinkles, placed them on wax paper, and let them harden in the fridge. And then….I had to clean up the huge mess I made. Let’s just say, the kitchen counter was coated with melted chocolate and sprinkles. Ugh… It was totally worth the mess though because these chocolate covered lychees were delish. Too bad this was only a test batch, which means I'll have to make it again. =(

Once the kitchen was back to its pristine condition, I was finally able to eat breakfast – Chocolate Blueberry Overnight Oats. Yummy!!

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