Monday, April 16, 2012

Crunchy Frog

Crunchy Raw Unboned Real Dead Frog (to avoid prosecution)

The Crunchy Frog is a standard reference for all Monty Python afficionados.  The original 1969 sketch featuring Inspector Parrot and the Whizzo Quality Assortment is classic.  Tragically, there's a whole generation who aren't familiar with Monty Python and have never heard of a Crunchy Frog.  At my recent visit to PAX, only a very, very few recipients understood the reference.  It was a sad day in my geeky little world.

But fear not, good readers!   The crunchy frog is alive and well in a new modern interpretive crossover meme: the Harry Potter Chocolate Frog.  I couldn't decide whether to be pleased or saddened when Tycho, upon recieving one of these chocolates (that were actually labled 'Crunchy Frog'), commented on Harry Potter.  For the briefest of moments, I considered a wand and a well placed Crucio!  But at the end of the day, the fact that these candies can be equally enjoyed by both Potter and Python fans is actually kinda cool.

The main distinction between Crunchy Frog and the Chocolate Frog is this: The Crunchy Frog is a Real Dead Frog covered in Chocolate, while the Chocolate Frog is a Magic Live Frog made from Chocolate.  See the difference?
Insp. Praline: Am I right in thinking there's a real frog in here?
Mr. Milton: Yes. A little one.
Insp. Praline: What sort of frog?
Mr. Milton: A dead frog.

Since we originally went for Monty Python in this recipe, the idea was to create the experience of biting into a dead frog.  Real frogs are both a) hard to come by and b) disgusting, so instead I came up with the idea of filling a chocolate frog mold with red jelly and something crunchy.

Insp. Praline: Well don't you even take the bones out?
Mr. Milton: If we took the bones out it wouldn't be crunchy would it?

Honestly, the hardest part was finding chocolate frog molds that weren't cartoonish.  I ended up finding a pretty good mold here.  We decided to fill them with raspberry jelly and pretzel sticks, for that 'real dead frog' experience.  To make the Harry Potter variation, just leave out the fillings, and make a solid chocolate frog in the mold.

The addition of the candy eyes was an afterthought, but it really make them look great.  Also, making your own raspberry jelly is pretty time consuming.  After giving it much thought, I made the executive decision to use premade jelly sticks.

16 oz Dark or Bittersweet Chocolate - Either chips, or chopped up block chocolate.
8 oz Melting Chocolate, Almond Bark, or Candy Melt
2 Tbsp Chocolate Thinner (available at specialty baking shops)
24 Raspberry Jelly Sticks or small jelly candies
Small Pretzel Sticks
Small candy eyes (optional)

1. Melt the chocolate with the melting chocolate.  Directions abound.
2. If the chocolate is not runny like syrup, add the chocolate thinner.
3. Using a pastry brush, brush the molds with melted chocolate. This ensures that chocolate gets into all the little details in the mold.
4. Let the molds cool and set for a few minutes.
5. Add a broken raspberry stick and as many pretzels as you can fit into each frog mold.

6. Fill the molds with chocolate.
7. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes to set, then pop out of the molds and place in the fridge to finish hardening.
8. After hardening, Dab the candy eyes with a little melted chocolate and glue to the finished frogs.

The Solid Chocolate Harry Potter Version

UPDATE May 29, 2013: Just found a professional chocolatier that makes Crunchy Frogs!  It's not the same recipe, but we'd like to give them a shoutout just for doing it!  Carter's Chocolates in Port Orchard, WA

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