This year’s bumper crop from our garden’s persimmon tree inspired this simple, delicious dessert made with dried persimmons and blond chocolate. The presentation alone makes these little delicacies perfect for dinner parties this holiday season (or even an unexpected surprise in your cookie exchange).
What’s a blond chocolate, you might ask? French chocolatier Valrhona released its Dulcey New Blond Chocolate just before the holidays last year and dubbed it the “world’s first blond chocolate.” What matters to me is that it’s smooth and creamy with a hint of caramel–and Valrhona was created back in the 1920s by a pastry chef for pastry chefs. These fine chocolates are also made in the town of Tain L’Hermitage, home to some of our favorite Rhone Valley wines.
Drying the fruit is actually quite easy. All you need is one of my favorite kitchen gadgets: an Excalibur dehydrator (about $200 on Amazon). I recently wrote a story for our annual magazine called, “The Modernist Kitchen,” which covers how easy–and flavorful it is to preserve fruits, herbs, vegetables and spices through all seasons by dehydrating them. (An Excalibur makes for a great gift for home cooks too.)
Recipe: Dried Fuyu Persimmons with Dulcey Blond Chocolate and Sea Salt
- 12 Fuyu persimmons
- 4 oz. Valrhona Dulcey New Blond Chocolate discs or “feves” (about 4 discs per persimmon)
- Sel gris for garnish (or any artisan sea salt may be substituted)
- Wash and peel fresh persimmons.
- Place persimmons, including stem, inside Excalibur dehydrator. Dry at 135 degrees for 48 hours.
- When persimmons have dried, melt new blond chocolate in a double boiler on stove over low heat.
- Hold persimmons by the stem and dip in hot chocolate, covering two-thirds of the base. Place on tray lined with parchment paper or silpat and sprinkle persimmons with sea salt.
- Once chocolate has dried, move persimmons to serving tray.
Number of servings (yield): 12 pieces