Halloween Special – Dark Chocolate Rats and Eye Balls
In the dark of night, while everybody else was asleep… in the witch’s secret lab a very ghoulish ritual was taking place… A thousand human eyes were about to be thrown in a boiling cauldron, and an army of black rats was in its way to invade the streets and innocent people’s houses… HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (click for sinister laughter)
All right, all right, I’m not THAT good in horror stories, sorry.
Halloween is around the corner and, although it’s not a tradition here in Brazil, has been celebrated more and more (just because it’s too much fun). Personally, I think the horror theme is great for parties any day, so prepare your horseshoe, garlic heads, iron stakes, knock three times on wood and learn how to make the terrifying…
“Dark” chocolate rats and human eye balls
With a very firm ganache, you can make both rats and eyes. The rats were inspired by the book The Secret Life of Food, by Clare Crespo, which I love and recommend. This recipe makes 6 to 8 rats or 12 to 15 eye balls.
Ingredients for the ganache base
- 150g/5.3 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 tbsp (30ml) heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
- pinch of ground ginger (optional)
For the rats
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- silver dragèes (for the eyes)
- pink confetti sprinkles (nose)
- whole almonds (ears)
- brown paper or licorice strings (tail) *UPDATE: Our reader M. Chitwood left a great suggestion on the comments for the tails: candied orange peel, dipped in chocolate. Sounds perfect to me!
For the eye balls
- 350g/ 12.3 oz white chocolate or white candy melts
- green gum paste
- black confetti sprinkles
Make the ganache
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave oven in 30 sec. intervals. Add the cream and spices and whisk well untill smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Slice the almonds in half. Place the cocoa powder in a bowl.
Using 2 tbsp portions of ganache, roll balls, then form “drop” shapes. Roll in cocoa and repeat with all the ganache.
Press the silver dragèes for eyes, one pink confetti for nose and two almond slices for ears. Place in paper liners and put the tails, or arrange in a box for gift giving. Just don’t forget to make a few holes in the box, so the rats can breath….
Roll out a small portion of green gum paste, as thinly as possible. Cut out circles with a 1-inch cookie cutter or pastry tip.
With the chilled ganache, form two teaspoon portion balls.
Melt and temper the white chocolate, or melt the candy wafers. Dip each ball in the chocolate, place in a large sheet of parchment paper, and then place a gum paste circle in the top of each ball, before the chocolate sets. With a toothpick, drop a small amount of melted chocolate in the center of the gum paste circle and glue the black confetti. Let set and put in paper liners.
Serve in pairs (kidding)
Whatcha looking at?
* No animals or people were hurt in the making of this post