One Perfect Bite

I was watching a Top Chef episode not long ago wherein the chefs had been challenged to create “one perfect bite” for the judges.  Of course their little bites were mostly pretty complex in terms of flavors and ingredients, but I’m here to tell you that sometimes a perfect bite can be insanely simple and un-complex; this little Clementine being a case in point. 

There are few things that aren’t made better by a little chocolate, so this isn’t all that much of a stretch, but little Clementine segments really are the perfect little bite-sized vehicle for chocolate-dipping.  Adding some toasted almonds and a sprinkle of sea salt creates a lovely, complex burst of flavor that takes it right over the edge of yumminess into Greatness.  Well, that’s what I think anyway. 

So before the little clementines take their leave for another season, might I suggest taking them for a little chocolate dunk?  Here’s the recipe…

Chocolate-Dipped Clementines with Toasted Almonds and Sea Salt

Click here for a printable recipe

You can use any kind of sweet tangerine for this.  I had some “Cuties” on hand and they worked well, but any seedless mandarin would be great.  And if you don’t have any flaked sea salt, you can use kosher salt or coarse-grained sea salt.  I prefer to eat these as soon as the chocolate hardens.  If they sit out too long, the tangerine segments have a tendency to start to dry out.  They’re still good, but not quite as juicy.  The measurements here a just approximations.  You can add more nuts or chocolate to suit your own tastes.

For 2 Clementines:

1/2 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped, toasted almonds (or more, if you'd like)
flaked sea salt for sprinkling

Peel the clementines and separate the segments.

Place a piece of wax paper or parchment paper on a flat plate or baking sheet.

Place the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 20-second intervals until they're smooth and melted.  Stir in the chopped nuts.

Dip half of each clementine segment in the melted chocolate and place on the wax paper.  Sprinkle with a few flakes of sea salt.

When all of the clementines are dipped, place them in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes or until the chocolate has hardened.  It will harden at room temperature in about an hour.  These are best if eaten right away.

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