When I made dessert tempura for the first time, I finally understood the magic of deep-fried foods. Up until then, fried chicken, fried pickles, and funnel cakes seemed to require a level of innate skill or knowledge that I did not posses. Well, once I successfully made a batch of shrimp and vegetable tempura, I was pretty excited about the possibilities.
I started thinking about all the weird foods Americans love to deep fry, like the fried Oreos at the local bar and the fried Mars Bars I’m always hearing about. When I told Jeremy I wanted to try doing a dessert tempura, he started thinking about frying up strawberries, apricots, and bananas. Then I knew we were onto something.
It doesn't take more than a minute to whip up a batch of this fudgey chocolate fondue, either, and before I knew it, we had a beautiful, exciting dessert course. However, I don't necessarily recommend eating all this food after a big teppanyaki dinner the way we did: it makes for a massive meal. That kind of dinner party should be left to the professionals. Or not!
I would totally make this for a girls' night in, a slumber party (with people old enough to be trusted around hot oil), Mothers' Day, Valentine's Day, a birthday party, whatever you like!
Make sure each guest has access to the fondue pot with hot oil in which to cook all the dippers. Each guests should also have access to a portion of the batter as well as some of the chocolate fondue or chocolate sauce. Additionally, each guest should have access to either a rack which will be used to let the oil drain off the dippers while they cool, or should be provided with some paper towels on a plate to absorb the excess oil.
For example, we made dessert tempura at a table of four. We had one fondue pot with hot oil, two bowls of tempura batter (one for each couple), two small ceramic fondue pots with the chocolate fondue (one for each couple), four saucers covered with paper towels (one for each diner), and multiple plates for each kind of dipper. In this way, everyone could comfortably reach everything they needed to make their own little chocolate-covered tempura treats.
(This tempura batter recipe can be used for any kind of tempura.)
Mix ingredients together in a bowl using a pair of chopsticks. Do not mix until smooth; a few lumps will allow the batter to be airy and light, and it will stick to the food better.
Do you have any other suggestions for dessert tempura dippers? Let me know about it in the comments!
Some of my favorite online stores might have just what you need for your next tabletop meal!
Asian Food Grocer has a great selection of essential ingredients and many hard-to-find items.
Cilantro Cook Shop has a great selection of quality raclette and fondue sets.
For The Gourmet has an amazing selection of cheeses and chocolates.
Sephra specializes in chocolate, caramel and fruit fondues... and fountains.