Why It Works
- Filling and sealing the wontons in small batches ensures the wrappers remain easy to work.
- Frying the wontons in batches keeps the oil temperature relatively stable.
- Dusting the fried wontons with a spiced sugar adds complexity and compensates for the unsweetened dough.
Growing up, the only wontons I ever knew were the kind that filled my quart of wonton soup from the local Chinese takeout shop. You know what I'm talking about: thick and noodle-y, and filled with a pork meatball surprise. In those days I never imagined that the wonton wrapper (a dough of flour, egg, and water) could be delicate, let alone crafted into a dessert. But it can. These chocolate wontons are a whole new way of enjoying the beautiful, thin wonton skins which are readily available these days in the supermarket.
When fried, the dough crisps up into a crunchy but delicate shell that shatters as soon as you bite into it. For this reason, fried wontons make the perfect pouch for any sort of sweet filling you can think of, even if it's (dare I say?) not chocolate.
Keep a few things in mind when making fried wontons and it'll go off without a hitch. Assemble just a few at a time to guarantee that the dough is moist and supple. Also, don't try to fry it all in one batch—the temperature of the oil will drop and the wontons won't fry properly (it only takes about 45 seconds for them to fry anyway, so it's nice and quick). Above all, do not overfill the wrappers. It'll be tempting to make a plump little wonton filled with chocolate, but you'll seriously run the risk of chocolate seeping out into the oil and burning on the bottom of the pot (this definitely happened to me).
Wonton dough isn't sweet, so to top it off, I dust them with a mixture of confectioners' sugar and Chinese five-spice powder (a mixture of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, pepper, and fennel.) Gobble them up while still warm and the chocolate is good and gooey. Even better, add a scoop of ice cream and you'll have a delicious plated dessert full of contrasting temperatures and textures.
30 (2 1/2-inch square) wonton wrappers
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
Water for brushing wontons
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
3 quarts canola, vegetable, or peanut oil for frying
Working six at a time, lay out wonton wrappers on a work surface, with one corner pointing toward the top. (Keep unused wontons covered while working to keep them from drying out.) Place 1/2 teaspoon chopped chocolate in the center of the top half of each wonton, keeping chocolate about 1/2-inch from edge.
Lightly brush the top left and top right edges of wontons with water. Lift up bottom point and fold over chocolate to touch top point, forming a triangle. Press edges to seal well, gently pressing out air in the pocket before sealing (see notes).
Place assembled wontons on towel lined plate and cover with lightly dampened paper towel while you finish the remaining wontons. In a small bowl, stir together sugar and five-spice powder; reserve.
Fill a heavy duty pot with 2 inches oil. Heat on medium heat to 360°F (182°C). Working in 2 or 3 batches, carefully lower in wontons one at a time. Fry until golden brown, flipping and agitating with chopsticks, tongs, or a wire mesh spider as they cook, about 45 seconds (see notes). Drain on paper towel-lined plate. Adjust heat as necessary between batches to keep temperature at 360°F.
Sift sugar/spice mixture over wontons and serve, either as-is or with ice cream.
Make sure the wontons are sealed well to prevent chocolate from seeping out during frying.
I found that starting to flip the wontons immediately is easier than waiting for one side to brown, because it helps prevent the wonton from getting top heavy on one side. By doing this it will be easier to keep the wonton flipped over to the second side.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 5g||7%|
|Saturated Fat 2g||8%|
|Total Carbohydrate 6g||2%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||2%|
|Total Sugars 1g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|