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February 10, 2012

Grazing: Will You Be My Clementine (Dipped in Dark Chocolate)?

ClementinesOranges and chocolates are like yin and yang. Clementines chased with mocha, one of the best late-afternoon snacks ever. Clementines dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt? Oh...

This simple confection has made the rounds on food blogs for weeks, first appearing (I believe) on the Food Network's site at the start of the California Cutie harvest around the holidays. Lucky for us, cheerful replacements arrive from north Africa and the Middle East throughout the winter. Marrying them to the tide of chocolate that comes with every Valentine's Day is a no-brainer.

They're as simple as they sound: Dip clementine segments in melted dark chocolate, sprinkle with sea salt, chill slightly and serve.

So, if you're planning to bake your beloved a Valhrona chocolate cake topped with orange-vanilla buttercream and candied orange peel, but lack the ambition — not to mention the time — these could serve as an impressive stand-in. And since they're eaten with your fingers, they're much more sensual.

Clementines dipped in dark chocolate, for two

3 clementines
3 oz. bar of dark chocolate, broken into chunks (I used Nutty Steph's Toffee Coffee)
coarse sea salt (optional) 

Unpeel clementines and pull out any dangling threads. Melt chocolate in a double-boiler, or glass container in the microwave (if in the microwave, watch closely lest it begins to burn). Dip ends of clementines in chocolate and arrange on plate. Sprinkle with sea salt, if desired, then place in refrigerator for 15 minutes to set. 

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