Q. I’m hoping you can help me with a recipe for Valentine candy. I always send my daughter candy for Valentine’s Day. After reading your stories about peppermint bark, I wanted to make my own candy for her this year. She likes dark chocolate and dried cherries. What kind of nuts would go well with these? — Judy B.
A. Oh, this is a tough question. You might need to send samples. After discussion among SavorSA folks, we decided the best nuts with chocolate (and cherries) would be almonds, hazelnuts and pecans. But, then you have to consider those dark chocolate “turtle” candies made with English walnuts (be still my heart) and peanuts in Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups. Why not black walnuts? I don’t think I’ve tried black walnuts in chocolate, but they have quite a different flavor from English walnuts. (They are, however, very good in black walnut ice cream, if you can find it.)
Maybe it would be easier to tackle this question from another angle. What nut isn’t best with chocolate? I’d venture to say that pine nuts might be overwhelmed by the dark chocolate flavor. Roasted, salted cashews are so good eaten just as they are that I wouldn’t be interested in going the extra step to put them in candy. Macadamia nuts? I don’t care for these myself, but for some reason these seem to turn up most often with white chocolate. Again, they have a mild flavor, as do Brazil nuts.
Hope this helps, Judy. I have a feeling your daughter will love whatever you send her, though.