I have lost my mind with this one. Goat cheese and dark chocolate are lovers, I’m just finding out. The distinct and slightly sweet flavor of goat cheese marries perfectly with evil dark chocolate. And if you want to try something REALLY deliciously crazy, put them together wrapped around this tiny, perky morsel that is a Peruvian pepper. I am serious! Peruvian peppers come in a small variety that has the perfect amount of juicy sweetness that works well in the middle of this strange bite of heaven.Peruvian Peppers can be found at your local Whole Foods Market in the olive bar and also at most local grocers that carry a gourmet bar with olives and other condiments. Some jarred varieties may be found in the regular condiment aisle as well. If you can’t find the peppers or if this combination is just too Out There for you, try adding pistachios, pecan halves or even fresh raspberries instead.
Trust me, if your sweetie loves goat cheese and dark chocolate, make these and they will think you’re a genius who created the concoction for them alone. And the entire process couldn’t be easier. Let me show you.
Start with natural goat cheese, either plain or honey flavored. Roll the peppers in the softened cheese and chill. Then melt the dark chocolate and get started with this beautifully rich
Roll the cheese balls in the well-melted chocolate. Shake off the excess and transfer to parchment paper to harden
If you want to get fancy, drizzle more chocolate over the top for a pretty look. Just use a plastic bag filled with a bit of the melted chocolate and snip off a corner and squeeze.
Leave these babies in the refrigerator for at least three hours to allow everything to meld together. They harden within an hour, but trust me, they need at least three hours to get it right. Overnight is even better.
This combination might seem strange at best, and I have to be honest that as beautiful as these look and decadent as they taste, the combination of Peruvian peppers with the goat cheese and dark chocolate isn’t for everyone . But if you can find the peppers, give them a try, even if you make some chocolates with peppers and some with nuts. I’m going to try these with pistachios soon, for sure.
The whole process takes a bit of time, and there’s something pretty sexy about playing in the softened goat cheese. So make it a romantic event with that special someone.
Chocolate Covered Goat Cheese keeps very well for several weeks in the freezer (yep, you can freeze goat cheese). Just store in an air-tight container and they’re ready to pop in your mouth for a healthy indulgence any time. One piece is so rich and satisfying, but you’ll have a hard time eating just one.
Now, go crazy and put Peruvian peppers in the center. Or if you just can’t go there or can’t find them, darn it – be sure to try goat cheese and dark chocolate together. With peppers. Or pistachios. Or raspberries… Or just naked. You’ll be hooked… and I won’t be crazy, I’ll be right. 😉
- 1 11-oz. package goat cheese, unflavored or honey
- 1 Tablespoon honey, optional or to taste
- ½ cup Peruvian peppers, found in the gourmet olive bar
- 1 12-oz. package dark chocolate baking chunks or chocolate chips, 67% cacao
- Optional substitution for Peruvian peppers: Pecan halves, pistachios, raspberries
- Bring goat cheese to room temperature or at least soften slightly.
- If using honey, mix well with the goat cheese until smooth.
- Place peppers on paper towels and lightly blot to dry.
- Using your fingers, wrap a small amount of the goat cheese around individual peppers (or nuts or raspberries). Then roll in your hands to create smooth balls.
- After all the goat cheese has been used up, place the balls in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow the cheese to set up again.
- At the end of cooling time for the cheese balls, place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high in 40 second increments, stirring intermittently until fully melted. (Alternately, melt the chocolate in a double-boiler over boiling water.)
- Dip each ball in the chocolate and using a fork, roll until covered. Remove the chocolate covered goat cheese and shake off excess chocolate.
- Place chocolate ball on parchment paper.
- Continue until all balls are covered. If desired, place the remaining chocolate back in the microwave to "thin" the chocolate and then place a couple tablespoons into a plastic bag. Seal the end of the bag, clip a tiny hole in the corner of the bag and drizzle over the top of the chocolates for a finished look.
- Place chocolates, still on parchment paper, back in the refrigerator for at least an hour, but if you can, three hours is a good amount of time to allow the flavors to incorporate.
- Store any leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or freeze for up to two weeks.