Sunday, April 24, 2011

Salt-and-Pepper Chocolate Easter Rabbits

So it's finally here: Happy Easter, everyone!

I kept scoping out chocolate rabbits during the past few weeks; I suppose I was trying to find the most perfect one. During the old days in Jackson, Mississippi and Germantown, Tennessee, I always dreamt of a chocolate rabbit so big it would loom over my childhood self; I wanted it to sport a sugar eye the size of a fist. A hollow milk chocolate rabbit was the centerpiece of every basket I ever received; however, TCV and his brothers always vied for a solid chocolate rabbit -- just because it meant more chocolate. Smart.

I couldn't stop thinking about the ideal one, so I decided to make my own this year. I plunged myself into the mysterious, craft-y world of molded chocolate, a world I never knew existed. In town, I could find molding trays for pirates, flowers, decorative swirls, lollipops, even crosses, but there were no rabbits available with the old-fashioned lines and details I pictured. I had to find them here. I had to procure some blocks of Callebaut chocolate -- no disks of pastel-colored chocolate allowed. And I had to learn quickly. These bunnies, unlike the ones I ate as I child, are rather small and are not hollow, but the flavors are, well, bigger than the plain milk chocolate kind I remember.

White Chocolate Rabbits + Sea Salt, Pink Peppercorns, Cracked Tellicherry Pepper, and Toasted Almonds


70% Dark Chocolate Rabbits + Smoked Salt, Cracked Tellicherry Pepper, Brown Sugar, and Pecans

1 cup Callebaut 70% bitter dark chocolate
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon hickory-smoked salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
scant pinch of Maldon sea salt

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Fold in the remaining ingredients. Spoon mixture into bunny mold and use a chopstick to push the chocolate into all of the corners. Shake and tamp the mold to dislodge any air bubbles. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Carefully dislodge onto a plate and store in the fridge.