I love reading about the origins of food and particularly chocolate this confection dates back years before the introduction of American Raisinets in 1927 we think they first appeared in the late Middle Ages in Europe,
where they took various nuts and seeds like fennel, caraway and almonds and coated them with sugar,
These had several different names mainly called comfits from the Italian word confetti - and were sometimes thrown at weddings before paper confetti replaced them.
French confectioners used to make a joke sweet that looked similar to rabbit droppings, they called them Crotte de Lapin.
These little chocolate drops were high in cocoa butter and melt as soon as you touch them.
This caused a problem, in the early 18th Century, they were being eaten by wealthy ladies who wore expensive white gloves.
If confectioners wanted to continue to sell to these wealthy ladies they needed a solution,
so they started covering the chocolate with a hard sugar coating to seal in the chocolate and stop it melting on their gloves, this is the process we now call panning.
March 24th is National Chocolate Covered Raisins Day, in U.S.A raisinets are a cinema staple and the third-largest selling confection
I wrote a blog in more detail on how to pan using chocolate here
RECIPE: CHOCOLATE COVERED RAISIN CLUSTERS
You need only two ingredients to make chocolate-covered raisins at home: raisins, and chocolate. You can coat the raisins in dark, milk or white chocolate using melted tempered chocolate chips. But the better the chocolate quality, the better the taste.
600g dark chocolate chopped up
Line 4 large baking sheets with baking paper.
Melt 400g of chopped chocolate in the microwave in short thirty second burst until full melted don’t let it get hotter than 50C
Add in the remaining 200g of chocolate and stir until it reaches 32C
Add the raisins to the chocolate and stir well to coat evenly. Use a teaspoon to place 24 small clusters of the raisins onto 2 lined baking sheets. Set aside to cool and firm up.
Keep in airtight containers, layered up between baking paper, in a cool dark place for up to 1 month.