Sunday, February 10, 2019

Easy Valentine's Day Treat: Chocolate-Cherry Clusters

Here's an easy treat to make for your loved ones this Valentine's Day – or whenever you're in the mood for chocolate!

The recipe, from an old issue of Everyday Food, uses cornflakes, but as I read the ingredients label on a box of Kellogg's Corn Flakes, I saw "malt flavor" listed, which is not gluten free (nor was the box labeled "gluten free"). So, I had to find another cereal option. After some internal debate, I chose the grocery store brand of crispy rice cereal, which is labeled gluten free (ingredients listed: rice, sugar, corn syrup, salt). If you don't follow a gluten-free diet, you can use cornflakes or crispy rice cereal. Corn or Rice Chex might work also, but the squares would have to be broken up. The nice thing about the crispy rice cereal is the size – no extra labor required to make the pieces smaller. 

Whatever your plans this Valentine's Day, I hope you spend it with those you love. And indulge in a little chocolate!

Chocolate-Cherry Clusters

  • 3 cups crispy rice cereal  
    if using cornflakes, use the same amount, but break the flakes into small pieces using your fingers.
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries  
    I used a combination of dried tart Montmorency cherries, which are a little sour, and dried Bing cherries, which are sweeter – both from Trader Joe's.
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped  
    I used two 4-ounce Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate baking bars for a total of 8 ounces, but the original recipe calls for 10 ounces of bittersweet chocolate. In my opinion, 8 ounces is sufficient.
1) In a large bowl, combine cereal and cherries; toss to combine.

2) In a medium saucepan, bring a small amount of water to a simmer. Place a medium, heatproof glass bowl over the pot, making sure the bowl does not touch the water. Put the chopped chocolate in the bowl; stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat. Carefully remove the bowl, using a dish towel to remove the condensation from the bottom of the bowl.

3) Pour the melted chocolate over the cereal mixture. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir until the cereal and cherries are completely coated with chocolate.

4) Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto two parchment-lined baking sheets. Leave sheets in a cool, dry place for an hour or until clusters are set. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Note: If you need to stack the chocolates in your storage container, try using pieces of parchment paper between the layers to prevent sticking. For efficiency, I reused the same parchment that lined the baking sheets.


1 comment:

  1. The cornflake version (without the cherries) is an English classic - we called them Crispy Crackalots!


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