There's a big financial crisis pillaging through the poor, run down viking villages of Denmark. It's the revisiting ghost from 2008.
Even though we're still doing better than many of the South European countries, a lot of people are being laid off work and therefore no one's shopping. At all.
All my self-employed friends who own stores are quietly sobbing into their entire Fall/winter 2011 wardrobe which still hangs in the store windows untouched and unbought. Soon it'll all be on sale and the hoarding vultures will stand in lines like it was a bread shop in the former Sovjet anno 1983. It's just sad.
Even in my own family we have decided to keep a gift spending max of $54 on each family member this year in order not to send anyone into unwillful Christmas gift-giving ruin.
Which is why I'm also making my own confections this year. I wanted to save money and thought it'd be cheaper just to use leftovers from my glögg session this weekend.
I had some pomerans (bitter orange) and some almonds lying around, so all I needed to buy was some chocolate.
100 g blanched almonds (about 3/4 cup)
100 g good dark chocolate (about 3/4 cup)
1 Sevillia orange/pomeran
Some marzipan if you have any
If you can afford it, spend some money on really good chocolate, like this 64% Valrhona.
It's really worth it. Around $6 for 100g.
Chop it up good. Divide into two piles.
Chop the blanched almonds and the pomerans well and mix it up.
This is some kind of very rugged marzipan.
The pomerans has a soft, tangy, orangey flavour which goes super well with almonds.
Now comes the annoying part. I hate the super complicated process of melting chocolate.
Supposedly it's all about the crystals and how fast it's heated and how slowly it's cooled down.
I read online in some forums that you should divide the chocolate into two groups. Heat up one part to 41˚C/ 106˚F (use a thermometer) where it's all melted well, take it off the heat and add the other part of the chopped chocolate.
The chopped, unmelted chocolate still retains the "good kind of crystals" which then spread into the melted ones. Keep it around 31˚C/81˚F and you should be good to go.
If you have marzipan, mix it up now with the chopped almonds and pomerans. It'll make it stick together better.
I didn't have any lying around, so I had to do without. I formed a little ball on a teaspoon and dipped it into the chocolate.
It sort of falls apart of course, but that's the charm here. Place it on baking paper and drop some more chocolate on top so you end up with rugged piles of joy.
Let the chocolate cool off.
They look kinda messy but they taste so good.
The crunchiness of the almonds together with the underlying orangey flavour from the pomerans really has something special to it.
The chocolate didn't end up so well after all even though it did retain some gloss and some good bite = ok crystals but could be better. Well, I'm no pro. This piece of chocolate would be $5 a pop in stores so it is cheaper to make it yourself. And once you start eating these you just can't stop.
Next time I'll try to add a bit of marzipan to the mix making it all stick better together and I might end up with some pretty good looking chocolate balls.