Friday, August 5, 2011

Gluten- and Dairy-Free Dark Chocolate Bonbons

I think this is what got me through the first half of my week. Yup, so simple, SO good. Oh, and did I mention they're gluten-free (wheat and corn-free), and dairy-free?

When I was a child, my mom would seldom let desserts enter the house. Sure, pints of vanilla and coffee heath bar would appear around the holidays, birthdays, and over vacations. But she’d rather have us snack on fresh fruit, baked apples, or make chocolate chip cookies from scratch. The one exception? Little chocolate-dipped bonbons that never seemed to last more than a day or two.

So what to do now that I’m dairy-free? Substitute in creamy banana chunks for the ice cream!  Who doesn’t love the combination of bananas and chocolate? These little one-bite desserts are easy to make, take only an hour or so to set, and even better to eat. Keep them stored in the freezer so the chocolate doesn’t melt (and to ensure they last more than a day or two). And if you want, try rolling them after they’re dipped in coconut or ground almonds or something a bit jazzier.

Chocolate-Covered Banana Bonbons

8 bananas, sliced into 3/4-1-inch pieces
Angel flake coconut, for rolling (optional)
Ground toasted almonds, for rolling (optional)
1 pound dark chocolate, melted in a double boiler

Arrange bananas, cut side up, on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until solid. Arrange coconut and almonds in small bowls for rolling.

Once the bananas are solid, dip each one into the melted chocolate (keep it over barely simmering water so the frozen bananas don’t cause the chocolate to seize) and then roll into the toppings, if desired, or simply place back on the parchment sheet. Repeat until all slices are covered or you run out of chocolate.

Freeze the bonbons until hardened. Bonbons can be kept in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks in the freezer.

Makes 56 bonbons, perfect for a party of 8
Total time (including freezing): 2 1/2 hours

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