Adventures in Eating: Chocolate Covered Raisin Clusters
Rosemarie | November 1984
This is way off the topic of today’s column, but I could not resist sharing some good news. Two cakes from Rosemarie’s Kitchen were submitted for judging in the LA County Fair. Both won ribbons! It did my ego worlds of good. I’m still in the mail order cake business and have 2 cakes available: Honey Bear (chocolate chip and date chocolate cake) $19.95 ppd & luscious California Carrot Cake $15.95 ppd. Both cakes are made from scratch and iced. I bake and ship all year long. Thank you.
Aside from prunes, no fruit is as wrinkled as a raisin, but that does not detract from its being a nutritional California snack. I had an aunt who had a small Thompson seedless vineyard in Visalia. As a child, I remember running up and down the aisles of vines, picking any amount of those juicy morsels, fresh from the vine, my stomach could hold. How sweet it was.
Sometimes I was fortunate to be there when the bunches of grapes were carefully laid out on heavy paper, and spread on the ground between the rows of vines for a royal sun-tanning. Auntie was making raisins, some of which our lucky family would receive.
It was some sort of a miracle to me that the succulent green gems, were reduced to very sweet black gems. Golden raisins we were told were bleached. I did not realize what that meant. Actually, they are not bleached at all, but are processed indoors under special conditions to retain their light color. They are a bit more tangy, and I find I like them in my carrot cake.
The Zante Currant raisins, tiny and tart, come from Black Corinth grapes. These are especially good LI baked goods. This is not to be confused with the currant berry in the U.S.
Raisins will keep in your freezer indefinitely. They can be plumped in hot water in just 5 to 10 minutes.
Because of this year’s bumper crop of wonderful edibles, my thoughts strayed to Christmas goodies.
Here is my favorite recipe for a delicious candy that is quick and easy to make for the holidays.
CHOCOLATE COVERED RAISIN CLUSTERS
1 6oz pkg (1 cup) semi-sweet or milk chocolate pieces.
3 T light corn syrup
1 T water
1 1/2 cups raisins.
Combine first three ingredients and place over hot (not boiling) water until chocolate melts, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in raisins, coating well. Drop in small clusters onto waxed paper from teaspoon. Chill until firm. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen clusters.