Showing posts with label Moroccan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Moroccan. Show all posts

Friday, October 4, 2013

Royal Raspberry Ras el Hanout Truffles


not always the perfect sphere,
but guaranteed smooth chocolaty decadence.

take the short cut and make truffle squares...
no need to slave over a messy chocolate bowl with latex gloves and rolling into perfect little balls.
i've made so many little truffle balls in the past year or two that i've lost count.  it's the rolling, the mess and the clean up i don't look forward i decided to pour the mixture in a flat pan, cut them into squares, dip them in cocoa and call it a day.

dark chocolate truffles

say that 3x's fast ...

RAS el HANOUT...a Moroccan spice blend usually containing coriander, cumin, cardamom, fennel, cinnamon, all spice, turmeric, paprika and black pepper.  it does vary a little bit from region to region, spice vendor to vendor.
i found my Ras el Hanout at Mother's Market.  if you can not find a Ras el Hanout blend, try the spice shop called "Savory" or you can make it yourself.  this recipe from Wiki-how(link) is similar to the one i have.
ROYAL RASPBERRY ? extract i have found very useful at Surfas.  it read on the bottle "for chocolate" so i snatched it up.  it's much better than your regular store bought raspberry flavoring.

FREEZE DRIED RASPBERRIES...crushed to a powder consistency in a spice blender for the exterior.  they look like THIS found at Trader Joe's.  for these truffles i chose to dip the top only.  i found that handling them fully coated is a bit of a "red" mess for the consumer.  then i dipped the sides and bottom with good cocoa powder....who doesn't mind a little cocoa powder fairy dust?...

i make small batches.  just enough for all my pals to get 1 or two.  this small recipe is just enough for about 24 nice bite size squares.


9.7 oz good 61% dark chocolate, chopped into tiny pieces
1/2 cup plus 3 TBSP coconut milk
2 tsp ras el hanout spice blend
1/2 tsp, plus a few drops of "royal raspberry extract"
freeze dries raspberries, crushed or whizzed into a powder
 and cocoa powder for dipping
(NOTE...coconut milk for dairy free, but can use heavy cream)

prepare a small square/rectangle dish or tupperware.  use something with a flat bottom.  mine is 8 x 5 inches.  lightly spray the inside, then line it with heavy saran or just use regular tinfoil.  make sure you have over-hang for easy removal.

chop chocolate in very small pieces...set aside in glass bowl. 
heat coconut milk with ras el hanout in a small sauce pan
NOTE...i put an extra tablespoon of milk in due to the straining.
heat the milk to just a boil.  strain directly into and over chocolate.  let sit for a moment.   i wrap a kitchen towel around the bowl to keep the chocolate mixture cozy when gently stirring the ganache.  start stirring from the middle.  the ganache will start to come together.
when the ganache looks nice and glossy and there are no visible lumps you can get the hand whisk out.  lately i have found that after everything is smooth and creamy a good hand whisking is in order to fully emulsify the fats...see notes below.  when you are satisfied with the consistency, pour into prepared dish.   tap on the counter a few times to even it out.  refrigerate until completely set.  should only take about 30-40 minutes.
remove by lifting out in one piece holding the saran.  cut into squares and coat in powdered raspberries and cocoa.  if you store them in the fridge they will darken as shown, but can handle room temp for a day or so, covered.
NOTE...quite often my coconut milk ganache seems to "break"...this means it is not absolutely glossy after it is combined and will result in a grainy truffle DO NOT want this.  i can now recognise it right away.  if this happens keep whisking to emulsify until glossy.  if you don't notice it until after it has set, don't worry...just cut block into small squares and reheat over a double boiler...then whisk until fully emulsified. and pour into another prepared dish.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Moroccan Spiced Dark Chocolate Truffles with Fig Essence

i thought i had better give you something sweet.  i've been so elbow deep in pork bellies and other various savory goods lately that i've forgotten about all the wonderful delicious dark truffles i've made along the way.  these Moroccan inspired truffles were a big hit.  they came and went so fast i forgot to post about them.

we've all seen fig truffles...some touting to be "healthy fig truffles".  i've made these before, but i think there's too much chewy fig and not enough chocolate.
why skimp on the chocolate ?
chocolate IS a "superfood" !
to keep the full flavor of the chocolate, but still have the essence of the fig, i decided to just use the gooey-caramel-brown sugar-like inside with the snappy seeds...the seeds are the fun part.  i love the tiny pop-crunch in the mouth.
i liken it to the "caviar of the fruit world".

the warm Moroccan spices, snappy fig seeds and the salted pistachios all work together for one delicious dark chocolate ball of flavor.

ganache can be a little temperamental so i've put in a little note, but overall truffles are quite easy and people are always amazed and appreciative of homemade chocolates.


1 large bar (250g) Valrhona dark chocolate  61%
3/4 cup full fat coconut milk...canned (can use heavy cream for "dairy people")
1/2 tsp Moroccan spices (recipe below)
1/2 tsp cardamom
5-6 dried white figs,just the seeds and inside.
roasted AND salted  pistachios, chopped

first you might need to rehydrate your figs.  soak them in some near boiling water for about 10 minutes until they are pliable.  slice them open and scrape the insides out.
put coconut milk, Moroccan spice, cardamom and fig seeds in a small sauce pan and slowly bring to a good simmer.  stir while heating.  you might need to whisk a little to incorporate everything.   when mixture is just about at a boil (bubbling at the side) pour over chopped chocolate and let sit for 3-4 minutes.  then start to stir from the middle.  your ganache should slowly come together.  now stir to incorporate.  TASTE TEST.  do you want more spices, cardamom?.  let sit and come to room temp.  then refrigerate until set and worthy of truffle making.
NOTE...sometimes these take a little extra care.  i have had a few instances with my ganache "breaking" when using coconut milk and Valrhona chocolate.  "breaking" can mean an oily looking surface and or a grainy texture.  there are many ways to fix this and some are too involved.  i have tried them and it's messy.  here's what works for me.  if this happens i reheat the ganache over a double boiler until it is back to liquid and stirrable.  take it off the heat and whisk...not too too vigorous or you will end up with frosting, but enough to bring it together.  i liken it to RE-emulsifying the mixture.  let sit on the counter and check it in a while.  if it is still separating, give it another stir.
i am not a professional chocolatier so if i run in to a chocolate problem i refer the the vast knowledge of the internet.  a good place to start is "The Chocolate Doctor" .  this great site has answered many of my chocolate questions.


2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 chili powder
1/2 sweet paprika
1/2 ground cinnamon
1/4 ground ginger
1/8 ground clove

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