I was so excited to receive a copy of Fran Costigan’s Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts from Running Press. This book is gorgeous: it’s hardcover, packed with more than 120 mind-blowing chocolate-based vegan dessert recipes and adorned with beautiful photos shot by Kate Lewis. As soon as I cracked it open, I made a mad dash to Whole Foods to pick up some chocolate so I could begin replicating some of Fran’s recipes, which are all well-crafted with easy and approachable instructions.
I started with the easiest recipe of all: Fran’s Chocolate Olive Oil Glaze for Chocolate-Dipped Anything. Dark chocolate and a touch of olive oil and salt are slowly melted over a double boiler to create the most luscious, silky and perfectly balanced chocolate glaze for, well … anything. I dragged blueberries (and maybe my fingers) through this chocolate sauce once it cooled slightly and loved its soft and melt-in-your-mouth quality.
Vegan Chocolate offers a nice balance of easy/beginner to more advanced but doable recipes like Créme Fraîche Truffles, Bittersweet Ganache-Glazed Chocolate Torte to Live For, White and Dark Chocolate Cheesecake, Intensely Chocolate Trifle, Chocolate Panna Cotta, Mocha Créme Brûlée, Chocolate Horchata and Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache Glaze.
While I am planning on making some of these, I’m excited to share the recipe for the Chocolate Olive Oil Glaze for Chocolate-Dipped Anything that Running Press has kindly agreed to be posted here. And, if that’s not enough, they are also offering a giveaway of Fran’s book to one lucky reader through this post!
To enter, simply leave a comment below that includes your favorite chocolate-based dessert. Please leave your email or some way to contact you in case your comment is drawn as the winner. Shipping is restricted to the US only.
On August 12, I’ll randomly pick a winner … good luck!
The winner of this giveaway is Ali, congrats! Thanks to everyone who entered.
Chocolate Olive Oil Glaze for Chocolate-Dipped Anything
Reprinted with permission by Running Press © 2013 by Fran Costigan
Shiny chocolate-dipped fruit, cookies, confections, and snacks like pretzels and potato chips look gorgeous, but most of the time, when dipped in melted chocolate alone, the final result is dull or speckled with white spots. Tempered chocolate, however, yields a glossy, speckle-free appearance. Directions for seed-tempering chocolate are found in my book Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts, but this recipe offers an alternative method: adding some mild tasting extra-virgin olive oil to melted chocolate. The result is not a true tempered chocolate, but this works very well as a chocolate dip and even a lusciously smooth cake glaze. If you don’t want to wait for the chocolate glaze to set, just dip and eat!
Fruit must be thoroughly dry and cold before dipping (chocolate sets fastest on cold fruit). Rinse the fruit gently (do not wash berries more than 30 minutes before using), gently pat dry with paper towels and refrigerate until cold.
6 ounces / 170 grams dark chocolate (70 to 72%), finely chopped
2 tablespoons / 30 ml mild tasting extra-virgin oil or neutral vegetable oil
2 pinches flaked sea salt (optional)
Recommended Items For Dipping
Long-stem or standard strawberries
Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries
Cherries on the stem
Citrus segments (mandarin oranges or grapefruit, cleaned of all pith and “string”)
Line a sheet pan with a piece of plastic wrap, acetate, or parchment or a Silpat baking mat.
Melt half of the chocolate with the olive oil in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl), stirring a few times until the chocolate is just melted. Add the rest of the chocolate and stir until melted.
Remove the bowl from the saucepan. Wipe the water from the bottom of the bowl. Crush the salt (if using) between your fingers and add it to the chocolate, stirring until the chocolate is completely melted and the glaze is smooth.
To dip larger items: hold by the end or stem. Dip each piece two-thirds of the way into the chocolate. Lift up and allow the excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl. Set each piece on the lined sheet pan and push forward just slightly, so the chocolate doesn’t puddle too much. (Don’t worry if it does.) Allow the chocolate to set at room temperature for about 15 minutes, then refrigerate on the tray until set.
To dip smaller pieces, such as nuts or seeds, plunk a bunch at a time into a shallower bowl of chocolate and push them around with a fork until coated. Remove with a large fork or slotted spoon and allow the excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl. Place on the lined baking sheet to harden and then refrigerate.
Refrigerate until serving. The chocolate-dipped “anythings” will peel off the acetate, parchment, or Silpat when the chocolate has hardened.
Fran Costigan is an internationally recognized culinary instructor, recipe developer, and innovative vegan pastry chef, and the author of three cookbooks. A graduate of the New York Restaurant School and the Natural Gourmet Institute, Fran was a pastry chef in both traditional and vegan kitchens. Today Fran teaches her distinctive courses (including her Vegan Baking Boot Camp Intensive ®) in her hometown of New York City at the Institute of Culinary Education and at the Natural Gourmet Institute and at major events throughout North America and Europe. Please visit her at francostigan.com.