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Monday, August 29, 2011

Canning More Chocolate - Orange and Figs both fantastic toppings!

Tonight was an experiment in chocolate again. Not just any canning experiment but one that will be the subject of one of my holiday classes coming up in November. What sounds better in a gift basket than the thought of a sweet chocolate fruit ice cream topping made fresh, from the kitchen of someone you love? My work tonight was to develop two more flavor combination that would work with this basic recipe. My two flavors: Orange and Fig!

The first variation of the original Chocolate Raspberry Topping happened this afternoon while daydreaming at work. I was thinking about canning and what combinations I had tasted with chocolate that I liked. I had that "Ah Ha" moment when I remembered the dried orange slices dipped into chocolate that you get at See's Candy or any good chocolate shop. I had some really good juicing oranges at home and got to work.

The basic recipe calls for 4 1/2 cups of crush raspberries but I wanted to substitute for oranges, both the pulp and zest. I found that the juice and pulp of 4 cups of oranges rather than 4 1/2 cups was plenty of liquid. With the acid from the oranges I omitted the lemon juice just for this recipe. Because the oranges were so bright the chocolate looks almost like milk chocolate rather than the color you get when you use black cherries or raspberries.  Here is the recipe, the picture of the jar, and on vanilla ice cream.

Chocolate Orange Topping
(Adapted from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving)


Makes about 5 (8 oz) half pints – also fantastic to put into 4 oz jars for gifts!

1/2 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 T. Ball Flex batch pectin (low sugar/no sugar)
4 cups crushed navel or seedless oranges (5 medium oranges)
Zest from one orange
2 cups granulated sugar

Directions:
Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.

Combine Cocoa powder and pectin in a medium glass bowl, stirring until evenly blended. Set aside.
Combine crushed oranges and zest into a large stainless steel saucepan. Whisk in pectin mixture until dissolved. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Add sugar all at once (taste if you are using the low sugar method but do not boil till you have correct sugar ratio) and return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.
Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off foam.

Ladle hot sundae topper into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight. Process jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

The next version was done with my figs. This idea came from one of my facebook readers, Jennifer, who had something that came in a jar called Ficoco as a kid. For this version I made a half batch so that if it didn't work I wouldn't have wasted all of my precious figs. This made 3 half pints, but it turned out to be a really amazing flavor.

Chocolate Fig Topping
(Adapted from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving)


Makes about 3 (8 oz) half pints – also fantastic to put into 4 oz jars for gifts!

1/4 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 T. Ball Flex batch pectin (no sugar/low sugar)
2 1/4 cups diced and crushed fresh figs
2 T. bottled lemon juice
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

Directions:
Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.

Combine Cocoa powder and pectin in a medium glass bowl, stirring until evenly blended. Set aside.
Combine crushed figs and lemon juice into a large stainless steel saucepan. Whisk in pectin mixture until dissolved. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Add sugar all at once (taste if you are using the low sugar method but do not boil till you have correct sugar ratio) and return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.
Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off foam.

Ladle hot sundae topper into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight. Process jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.