If you didn’t read part one of this intrepid journey into the duality of Valentine’s Day (read: we’re exploring the sweet and salty sides of Valentine’s Day, depending on your realtionship status), go enlighten yourself now! Or, if you’re only here because you want SALTY, CHEESY, CHOCOLATEY goodness, in your mouth NOW, keep reading.
Last week Hestia gave us the traditional Valentine’s chocolates, but this week Ais is here to bless us with chocolate covered potato snacks! I’ll just sidenote, here: almost all food is better when delivered by very attractive people, making the below Valentine extra cute. But, actually though, I kind of love the Valentine art, and specifically the focus on the food. The macarons (the blue cookies) and the chocolates looks really good, but the fact that she’s straight up eating a croquette dipped in chocolate is—dare I say it— revolutionary.
The minute I saw this picture, I knew I had to try making this. After all, the last time I made the Memoria Freese (Available on the App Store and the Google Play store now!) potato snacks, I was floored by how yummy they were dipped in the red bean and matcha cream. So, chocolate seemed like the next logical progression in bizarre flavor combinations. But I didn’t want to dip a traditional Japanese croquette—one with meat—in chocolate. I could lie and say that I thought of using cheese because it’s melty and gooey, just like all our hearts on Valentine’s day (*gags*), but actually I just thought about how fun it would be to watch strings of cheese mingle with spiced chocolate and decided to make it so.
And thus, this recipe was born! The croquettes are seasoned with a little garlic powder to add some subtle flavor beyond salt and pepper, and are studded with cubes of fontina, which is the perfect cheese for melting. The chocolate is spiced with togarashi (a Japanese chili seasoning), cinnamon, and salt, in a Japanese inspired Mexican chocolate fusion. The flavors work together surprisingly well; the smokey spice of the chocolate bounce off the mellow savoriness of the potato croquette, and the texture contrast of the crunchy exterior, gooey interior, and silky ganache is heavenly. The only thing that would make it better would be to have Ais deliver it to us personally!
Whatever your Valentine’s Day plans, whether you’re feeling salty or sweet, I hope you make one of the two recipes and enjoy. Share with a friend, a lover, or an enemy… you know, if you really want to shake things up for the holiday.
Watch the video below to see the full process, and download the game here to start playing!
Ingredients for Ais’ Chocolate-Chili Cheesy Croquettes
To Make Ais’ Croquettes
1. Prepare the ganache first. Heat the cream up in the microwave until hot. Pour into the 4 oz of dark chocolate chips. Let chips and cream sit, about 10 minutes. Then, stir the cream into the chocolate chips. It will seem like it’s not coming together at first—be patient! Reheat gently in microwave if you wait too long to stir together. Then, stir through togarashi, cinnamon, and salt. Once ganache is ready, set aside about 1 hour to firm up slightly. If it sets too much, microwave on 5 second bursts, stirring after each microwave, to loosen ganache up.
2. Mash potatoes. Add in cream, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Taste and adjust salt as necessary. Stir together, then add cubed fontina. Stir through, then separate mixture out into croquettes (I got about 12 croquettes, but they were fairly big.). Set aside and freeze for 30-60 minutes.
3. While waiting, set out flour, egg, and panko. Scramble the eggs with some salt and pepper. When croquettes are ready, coat each croquette with flour (tap off excess), then coat in egg, then coat in panko. Repeat the egg and panko coatings, and then set aside for frying. When all croquettes are coated, prepare oil.
4. Heat oil up to 350 F. Fry croquettes two at a time, so as not to lower the temperature of the oil too much. Fry about 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown. The bubbles around the croquettes will reduce significantly at about the same time they’re ready to come out. Drain on a rack, and sprinkle with salt.
5. And it’s done! Enjoy with the chili ganache, and enjoy warm.
I hope you enjoyed this post! Check in next week for another recipe, and to check out more anime food recipes, visit my blog. If you have any questions or comments, leave them below! I recently got a Twitter, so you can follow me at @yumpenguinsnack if you would like, and DEFINITELY feel free to send me food requests! My Tumblr is yumpenguinsnacks.tumblr.com. Find me on Youtube for more video tutorials! Enjoy the food, and if you decide to recreate this dish, show me pics! 😀