Showing posts with label candy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label candy. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Homemade Dark Chocolates


VALENTINES equals CHOCOLATES !

HOMEMADE CHOCOLATES equal 

I LOVE YOU !

treat your loved ones to something HOMEMADE from the heart.
chocolate CAN be a healthy indulgence.
BUT...you absolutely must
MOVE OVER TO THE DARK SIDE ! 
i am not a nutritionist, nor do i carry any reputable knowledge in the field, but I DO LOVE CHOCOLATE !  and...of course, i'm stretching it a bit to say chocolate is healthy, but it does carry a "SUPER-FOOD" status. there really are health benefits from the cacao nibs and the bitter seeds from which chocolate is made. 

DO YOU NEED A FEW REASONS TO GIFT DARK CHOCOLATE ?!
lowers blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, lowers heart risk, helps fatigue, super high in antioxidants
blah, blah and more blah...

i find it's EASIEST TO WORK WITH, and....
CHOCOLATES MAKE PEOPLE HAPPY


MAKE YOUR OWN CHOCOLATES !
buy some molds,  use some mini cupcake papers or pour it on a sheet pan and make some "bark".
NO ONE WILL TURN DOWN HOMEMADE CHOCOLATES
(Chip N' Chipotle Bar recipe found HERE)

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE...
TEMPER YOUR CHOCOLATE!
you want your chocolates to be nice and shiny?  go buy some molds like the ones shown... do you want it to hold up and not melt in hand?...be pretty for gift giving?  TEMPERING IS A MUST.  it is NOT hard to do.  i use the microwave method explained HERE.


here are a few flavors i have made...
always starting with 1 lb. GOOD "coverture"dark chocolate
UPDATE...shhhh...i did an experiment with Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet chocolate chips in a bag.  it works and the flavor is great.  some, MOST, chips won't work because they have stabilizers for baking.

DARK CHOCOLATE with South African flavors....
1 lb dark chocolate...TEMPERED
2/3 cup roasted salted peanuts
1/3 cup crystallised ginger, diced
1/4 tsp powdered ginger, 1/4 tsp cayenne
So African pepper blend from Trader Joe's
sea salt and more fresh pepper blend to finish

CUMIN CHIPOTLE COFFEE TOFFEE DARK CHOCOLATE BARS
(i used Cacao Barry Mexique 66% for this one)
1/2 cup toffee chips
1/4 cup crushed crushed coffee beans
1/8 cup cocoa nibs
1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp chipotle powder, 1/4 tsp chili powder blend, 1/2 tsp cumin...sprinkle with black salt.

TOASTED COCONUT CURRY GINGER DARK CHOCOLATE
1/2 cup unsweetened toasted coconut
1/3 cup crystallised ginger pieces
1/2 tsp Madras curry, 1/4 tsp cayenne, lime zest, dollop of vanilla bean paste.  finish with sprinkle of sea salt and a little coconut strands.

ROSEMARY BLACK PEPPER and POTATO STICKS
(i forgot to write this recipe down...my bad)
but i always use fresh rosemary that is dried in the toaster oven.  store bought just isn't as flavorful.  i also used crushed potato sticks that come in a can from Mother's Market and fresh ground pepper with sea salt finish.

when your chocolate is tempered at 90 F degrees, add your ingredients.  i like to keep my glass bowl inside another bowl with a towel inside to cradle and keep everything warm.  have a small hairdryer handy in case you need a blast of warm air to keep your chocolate at or around 90 F degrees.  pour or spoon your chocolate into molds of choice.  try to work fairly quick or you will lose you temper...in more ways than one. 
give the molds or tray a few knocks on the counter to release any bubbles and settle the chocolate.  sprinkle with salt, pepper, your extra what-evers.  set in the fridge for about 15-30 minutes and remove from fridge.  let them come to room temp before packaging for gifts.

THIS IS A MESSY JOB for 1st timers, BUT WELL WORTH THE GRATITUDE YOU WILL RECEIVE FROM YOUR INTENDED LOVED ONE.


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Whipped Ganache "Rocher-Style" Truffle Bombs


Whipped Ganache "Rocher"-Style Truffle Bombs

crunchy salted almonds, crisp snappy dark chocolate coating with smooth fluffy  whipped ganache surprise inside.


i must admit...these where an unexpected accidental delicious truffle treat.  i had a huge bowl of dark chocolate ganache frosting in the fridge and no cake...hmmmm...chocolate will not go to waste in this house.  i'll make truffles.
the interior, as you can see, is simply the whipped ganache.  the same you might use for frosting something like the unbelievable Black Magic Cake.  by the way...do check out the cake, it's a must for chocolate lovers.  with a quick dip in some tempered chocolate, a little roll in salted almonds and you're golden.  you've conquered the ultimate truffle.

if there's someone special, someone to impress or you're just in the mood for chocolate...suit up...put your creative hat on and give these a try.  put your own flavors together and see what delicious little ball of chocolate you can create.



WHIPPED GANACHE FROSTING 
or INTERIOR FOR ROCHE STYLE TRUFFLES

8 oz Guittard 70% bittersweet coverture chocolate discs
8 oz heavy cream
you could add an extract, a little cinnamon, some spice etc... if you want a different flavor other than pure chocolate.
NOTE...you can make as much as you want with a 50-50 ratio of chocolate to heavy cream.

heat heavy cream in a small sauce pan.  bring to a boil, remove from heat and pour directly into and over the chocolate.   allow to sit for 1 minute.  start to gently stir from the middle.  take your time.  you will see it magically come together with a beautiful shine.  stir until you have it all incorporated.  let sit on the counter for at least 45 minutes.  you are looking for a pudding consistency and ABOUT 70 DEGREES.  if you need to speed it up, refrigerate and stir every 10 minutes until pudding consistency.  put this in the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment.  start slowly and move the speed up to high.  you will see that it forms soft peaks after one minute.  keep a close eye so you DON'T OVER WHIP.  watch it until it gets just a bit more firm. you want frosting consistency.  do not over whip or you will end up with chocolate butter.  
NOTE...as stated...this was originally a frosting recipe that i stuck in the fridge.  i found the frosting recipe with some great visuals at Joe Pastry.com so please check out his helpful photos for the correct frosting consistency.

refrigerate until set.
these are a bit more difficult to ball up than a regular smooth ganache truffle...a little messy, but doable.  definitely worth the effort.  when ready to roll...use thin rubber gloves and a spoon or small scoop.  the ganache might seem "crumbly".  do the best you can to make a ball.  remember, the more you handle it, the more it will melt.  i like to quickly press the ball together with my finger tips.  make small balls and refrigerate while preparing chocolate for dipping.

MISE EN PLACE !!!

COVER YOUR WORK SURFACE
CHOP ROASTED SALTED ALMONDS
PREPARE COOKIE SHEETS WITH PARCHMENT
TEMPER YOUR CHOCOLATE
check link HERE for my instructions.
i use the easy microwave method similar to Alton Brown's seen HERE, but have adapted it slightly.  (Alton is thorough, but tends to complicate things sometimes.)
NOTE...i have only tempered 16 oz (1 lb.) of chocolate.  i am not a master, but any less might not come out perfect.  1 pound of chocolate will be too much for just these truffles.  SO...always have extra stuff (like nuts, cookies, chips, pretzels) or more truffles to dip and have fun with.  let no chocolate go to waste.

remove balls from fridge.  let them sit out for just a moment to take the chill off.  there is a fine line between cold and cool.  if too cold they with expand and crack after dipping and the outer layer has set.  if too warm they will loose shape.  

dip each ball in tempered chocolate.  lift out of chocolate with a fork, tap off excess and drop into bowl of chopped almonds.  carefully cover the whole thing and gently place on parchment
OR...you can place these into mini cupcake papers and sprinkle more almonds on top.

BIG NOTE...i was in a hurry so for the last few so i took a short cut.  i sprinkled a few almonds in the bottom of the mini paper cups, dropped the chocolate coated truffle in the cup and sprinkled almonds on top.  these are not shown here.  they're not quite as uniform, some almonds spill while eating, but it definitely did the trick, looked fabulous and tasted delicious.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Coconut Curry Lime Dark Chocolate Truffle Bites


STAY-CATION?
are you stuck at home this holiday?...or know someone who isn't vacationing this season?
let chocolate take you somewhere, even if it's just for that one fleeting get-away moment.

TRUFFLES...
smooth dark chocolaty ganache...
perfect for gift exchange, dinner parties, hostess gifts or a simple quiet moment alone.

FOR THESE ASIAN TROPICAL TRUFFLES...a slight hint of coconut curry with a touch of fresh lime zest...
add a few roasted, slightly salty coconut chips from Trader Joe's and you'll have some unexpected flavors all come together for a delicious warm, yet refreshing dark chocolate bite.

please visit my index or the search box in the right hand column  and type in "truffles" for more delicious chocolate get aways.



COCONUT LIME CURRY DARK CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE BITES

8 oz dark chocolate
zest from 1 1/2 limes
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp coconut milk
1/2 to 3/4 tsp coconut extract, depending on quality and taste
1/2 to 3/4 tsp Madras curry powder, depending on quality and strength
NOTE...these are dairy free, but heavy cream works great

prepare a square or rectangular vessel with saran or tinfoil.  see photo below for example.

these are room temperature stable, but should be stored in the refrigerator.
chop chocolate in small, small pieces.  no large chunks....set aside in heat resistant bowl.
heat coconut milk(cream) in a small sauce pan.  bring to an almost boil, stirring to keep even heating...bubbling around the sides is a good sign.

add milk(cream) mixture to chocolate. 
very gently use a fork or skewer to disperse the hot milk into the chocolate.  do not stir at this point.  just gently prod around to remove any pockets of chocolate that might be stuck together or the bottom of the bowl.  let sit for a minute.  now begin to stir from the middle.  the ganache should start to come together from the middle.  start to incorporate the whole thing.   do not stir vigorously "YET".  just gently stir around and through until combined.  when it looks like all the chocolate lumps have melted in...add in the coconut extract, lime zest and curry powder, stir well...do a TASTE TEST...do you need more coconut, more curry, more zest?
now you can break out the whisk.  important...just whisk to incorporate and emulsify.   the whisk is OK for truffles, but DO NOT WHIP or you will end up with a frosting consistency.  you want it still pourable.  do this gently by hand, not a stand mixer.  whisk until fully emulsified.  the ganache will thicken ever so slightly.    pour into prepared dish/tupperware.  tap the container on the counter a few times to even it all out.  put this in the fridge and it should be ready in about 35-40 minutes.
 UNCOVERED until it is fully set.

above is an example using tin foil in an 8" x  5" tupperware (with a flat bottom)...i now prefer using heavy saran.  NOTE that this looks grainy on top because i sprinkled this batch with flaked sea salt before it was almost set.  this recipe does not need the salt due to the slightly salty coconut chips.

the whole block should lift out of the container.  remove the saran or aluminum and cut into squares or desired shape.  you might want to clean the knife between slices.  have a small bowl of cocoa powder and coat all sides.....DONE
except the top...leave clean for coconut chips to adhere.


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Chocolate Covered Chicharrones


chocolate covered bacon?...no

old news...

CHOCOLATE COVERED CHICHARONES !

dare i say...BETTER THAN BACON ?!


this is another one of those...

"it cant be true"
"no you didn't !"
"i don't think so..."

GIVE ME ANOTHER !...GIVE ME MORE !


these are a must for your Cinqo de Mayo festivities.


SPICY CHOCOLATE COVERED CHICHARONES
with roasted salted almonds

what you'll need...
chichaorones...the real ones are best.  i didn't weigh mine, but buy extra because you'll be surprised how far the dipping chocolate will go.  you'll find them at a Mexican market like NORTHGATE in Santa Ana, El Matate in Costa Mesa and sometimes at your local convenience store.  they are a little more hard and dense than the ones you see at the supermarkets.  i haven't tried the puffy store brand like Mission Pork Rinds because i don't think they would hold up as well.  they seem to de-crisp with any little moisture.
1 lb. "coverture" dark chocolate.
i find Guittard Chocolate Wafers to work best for a clean dip.
roasted salted almonds, chopped
red pepper flakes

get everything out that you might need.  like tray for drying/setting lined with parchment.   chop the almonds and put some pepper flakes in a little bowl.
TEMPER YOUR CHOCOLATE... i wont go into the EASY MICROWAVE METHOD because you can find it HERE in my post about Chocolate Cover Bacon and HERE from Alton Brown.   tempering is a must for a good clean crispy snappy finish.

dip only a few at a time and sprinkle with almonds and pepper flakes before the chocolate sets.
work in a cool room or at night.  if chocolate isn't setting quickly, put the tray in the fridge for just a few minutes to set, then remove from fridge.
these stayed crunchy and fresh for a few days in an airtight container in a cool room.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Mexican Mole Truffles



authentic Mole usually has a zillion ingredients.
with all it's many layers of complex flavors, it seems to be one of the "mother sauces" of Mexican food
AND everybody's Mother has their own interpretation of this classic "mother sauce".

being that mole is well known for it's chocolate enhancement...
i thought why not make a MOLE TRUFFLE ?

to keep with the mole tradition of a zillion ingredients, i tried to add in as many of the classic ingredients as possible.  i know it sounds involved, but the flavors hit you in layers and you can almost taste each one as the chocolate melts and lingers on the palate.

OR in a nut shell...

it's a darn GOOD CHOCOLATE  BALL



MEXICAN MOLE TRUFFLES

1 Valrhona 61% dark chocolate bar...8.5 oz....chopped small
3/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp whipping cream
1/2 - 3/4 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp dark brown sugar
1/2 - 3/4 tsp ground cumin, rounded
1/4 tsp chipotle powder
1/2 rounded tsp Mexican oregano
1/2 rounded tsp espresso powder
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ancho chili powder
1-2 tsp molasses
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
15 raisins, chopped...more (softened) if adding into truffle.
roasted salted almonds and cocoa powder for rolling

put chopped chocolate in a glass bowl and set aside.
in a small sauce pan add the cream, brown sugar, cinnamon, cumin, chipotle, oregano, espresso powder, cloves, ancho chili powder and raisins.  bring to an "almost boil"...turn off heat and let sit for 15 minutes, stirring every now and then to prevent a skin on top.
bring temperature back to almost boil...just bubbling around the sides.
pour cream mixture over chocolate THROUGH A STRAINER.  lightly press what you can through the strainer.
begin stirring from the middle.  as the mixture comes together, stir all around to incorporate.  add vanilla bean paste, almond extract, and molasses.  stir to incorporate.  TASTE TEST.  you might  need a little more...something...you be the judge.
let it sit for a bit.  when it's getting close to room temp give it another stir and stick it in the fridge...UNCOVERED.  in an hour or so come back to it,  COVER IT and leave it for a few hours or over night is better.  it should be completely set.
when ready to roll, bring it out of the fridge for a while until it is a bit more pliable or easy to scoop.   roll into 3/4 inch balls using thin rubber gloves.  gloves make this process much easier and less messy, trust me...go get some.  at this point you can roll them in cocoa powder, chopped roasted salted almonds or dip in tempered dark chocolate.  please DO take the time to temper your chocolate if dipping.  check here for some tips and tricks i've learned so far and check here for some good tempering info.
keep truffles in the fridge and re-roll in cocoa powder if necessary just before serving for a fresh look.  truffles are best texture at room temp.


NOTE...for the first batch i strained the raisins out...but for the second batch i added in some soft raisins, chopped small.
ALSO...i have found that brands of good chocolate behave differently.  Valrhona seems to be a harder set than Guittard Coverture and Scharffenberger.  not to worry they all set and are delicious...but i DO recommend using Guittard "coverture"dark chocolate for dipping.



Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Shichimi Togarashi Truffles with Toasted Sesame Seeds and Soy Sauce


the dark chocolate sushi experience...

WHAT?...

NO, there is not fish involved.
i haven't gone totally off the deep end.


BUT... you won't believe these truffles...

spicy, sesame, soy with dark citrus chocolate?!

ABSOLUTELY, UNBELIEVABLY DELICIOUS!


i think i might have come up with something quite interesting this time.  it's like a patron participation interactive truffle experience.

the soy and toasted sesame hit the palate first, then the smooth dark chocolate takes over , but wait...then a slightly citrus warm spice hits you and you find yourself going in for the "double soy dip"...and a little crystallized ginger nibble to polish it off.

IT'S AN EXPERIENCE NOT TO BE MISSED.

what can i say...i get these hair brained ideas and hope that no one else has done something like it.  i always say...there are no "new ideas",  but...at least, if i google the concoction it doesn't show up plastered all over the front page.

a word about SHICHIMI TOGARASHI...also know as "Japanese 7 Spice".  ingredients consist of sesame seeds, orange peel, poppy seeds, paprika, Chinese chiles, Szechwan pepper, ginger and nori.  it's is a delicious spicy blend that goes with just about anything....i found mine at Savory Spice Shop, a fabulous place here in Newport.  i make such an odd variety of things it's nice to know this shop will have it fresh and they sell an ounce, a bag, a jar...whatever you need.



SHICHIMI TOGARASHI TRUFFLES with SESAME SEEDS and SOY SAUCE

250g (1 large bar) Valrhona 61% dark chocolate
3/4 cup full fat canned coconut milk. (heavy cream works as well)
1/2 inch ginger cut into 4 slices
zest from 1/2 large orange
1 to 1 1/2 tsp Shichimi Togarashi spice
toasted sesame seeds for rolling
soy sauce for dipping
crystallized ginger for decor

chop the chocolate into small bits...no large chunks.  set aside in medium glass bowl.  in a small sauce pan add the coconut milk (or heavy cream) and sliced fresh ginger.  bring to an almost boil...just bubbling around the sides.  let simmer for a few moments to infuse the ginger flavor.  pour coconut milk through strainer over chocolate and let sit for a few minutes to begin the melting.  begin stirring from the middle and you will see the ganache start to come together.  add orange zest and shichimi togarashi spices and stir to incorporate.  TASTE TEST...can you taste your spice?...zest?  you don't want any flavor to over power the next.  it should be subtle...don't over do it.  let come to room temp and refrigerate until set.

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 stirable.  take it off the heat and hand 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.  refrigerate until set.

remove from fridge.  let it sit if necessary until you can get a spoonful out.  it's best to work with it chilled.  using thin rubber gloves form balls.  roll in sesame seeds after each ball is formed.  press seeds into bare spots.  mine are approx. 16-18 grams each.  this creates a "two-bite-truffle"...which works well for the double soy dipping.
enjoy the full experience with soy sauce and crystallized ginger.

for a variety i used toasted white sesame seeds, plain and some rolled in shichimi togarasi and black toasted sesame seeds.  keep a watchful eye when toasting seeds.

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.


MOROCCAN SPICED DARK CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES WITH  FIG SEEDS (dairy free)

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.


MOROCCAN SPICE MIX

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

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Coconut Key Lime Dark Chocolate Truffles


CHOCOLATE

the perfect gift for any occasion.

really...ANY occasion.

i just so happen to have "those occasions" every day.



these little gems turned out unexpectedly delicious.
i questioned myself for a week, just wondering if lime would pair well with the deep dark chocolate.   a key lime pie would be delicious with a chocolate crust so why not a Key Lime truffle with a hint of coconut to seal the deal.

Roasted Coconut Chips...
with Pierre, our house-broken TRUFFLE PIG

for the rolling i used these fabulous new Roasted Coconut Chips i found at Trader Joe's.  they are like potato chips, but made with coconut shavings.  they're slightly salted crisp large coconut shavings.  i just love how the cocoa powdered rolled balls resemble a chocolate Mosaic...like little chocolate tiles placed one by one.


DARK CHOCOLATE COCONUT KEY LIME TRUFFLES
makes about 23-25

250g dark chocolate...Valrhona 61%
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp coconut milk...full fat
1 1/2 - 2 Tbsp...Key lime zest
3/4 tsp coconut extract
2 tsp granulated sugar

chop the chocolate into small, even as possible, bits and set aside in a heat resistant bowl.
heat the coconut milk to almost boiling with 1/2 of the lime zest.  stir so it heats evenly and doesn't burn on the bottom.  it should be slightly bubbling around the sides.
pour hot coconut milk over chocolate and let sit for a minute or so.  begin stirring from the middle outward.  you will see the ganache come together.  when it is all incorporated add the coconut extract and the rest of the lime zest.  you should have a nice smooth glossy bowl of ganache.  do a taste test...more zest?...a touch more extract?   now,  let this sit to room temperature.  then put in the fridge...UNCOVERED.  you don't want condensation.  when it is fully set you can roll into balls.  use thin rubber gloves.  i have found this makes it A LOT easier.
roll in coconut shreds, chopped shavings, plain cocoa powder or dip in tempered chocolate if you want to go that extra mile.  i find that for some truffles the extra coating of chocolate takes away from the delicate ganache flavorings.  the slightly salted coconut chips were a definite bonus for texture, appearance and most of all flavor.



Monday, February 11, 2013

Coco Mocha Truffles...Dairy Free


the chocolate lover's truffle...
one of my most favorite
plain and simple, yet decadent and complex.

these are dairy free, yet know one will know.  the creamy coconut milk does not effect the simple, straight up dark chocolate flavor profile.
the espresso accentuates the deep fruity flavors of the chocolate while the ancho chili leaves you with just a slight warm kick on the back end...not too much, but not too little.  for this one i used Valrhona 61%.  although i haven't been able to fully explore the chocolate world yet, i intend to do A LOT of research.

i guess chocolate is my new obsession
hmmmm...not such a bad thing...

FYI...if you live in So. California and haven't been to  SURFAS Culinary District, i suggest you high-tail it over there.  i found myself mesmerized in the chocolate section for over an hour...stuck between the massive amount of Valrhona and Callebaut chocolates of all shapes, %'s and sizes.


COCO MOCHA DAIRY FREE TRUFFLES
makes about 21-24 truffles

8.9 oz good DARK chocolate...i used a Valrhona bar 8.82 oz or 250g
3/4 cup coconut milk...full fat from the can.
3/4 tsp espresso powder
1/2 Tsp vanilla bean paste
1/4 tsp ancho ground chili powder, more or less, but optional
good cocoa powder for rolling
or tempered chocolate for dipping

chop chocolate in small, small pieces.  no large chunks...add vanilla to chopped chocolates...set aside in heat resistant bowl.
heat coconut milk in a small sauce pan.  add espresso powder and chili powder, if using.  bring to an almost boil, stirring to keep even heating...bubbling around the sides is a good sign.
add milk mixture to chocolate and let sit for a minute or two.  begin stirring from the middle and you will see it come together.  when mixture is fully incorporated, let it come to room temperature.  put it in the fridge, UNCOVERED until it is fully set.
when ready to roll...put on some thin rubber gloves.  trust me, the gloves are a must.  this can get messy and you don't want the chocolates in your hot little hands for long.  roll a few, then roll in cocoa powder.  you can re-roll for a good round ball after the powder is on...then powder again for that matte powder finish.




Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Red Curry White Chocolate Peanut Butter Thai Truffles


imagine this...

like nothing you'd ever expect in a typical peanut butter chocolate candy morsel.
upon first bite, instantly you are transported to another country...

but where am I ?...

what are those flavors ?...
yes, i see peanuts and chocolate, but...

lemongrass, coconut, red curry, ginger...
oooh AND there's a spicy kick at the end ?!

it's like some little Thai mother infiltrated the Reese's factory and slipped in a few of her own ingredients...

"REESE'S" GOES TO THAILAND


these are a huge hit among my foodie friends.  some were a bit sceptical...possibly from my description alone.  i didn't know how to explain the flavors.
the best i can do is liken it to that delicious spicy Thai peanut dipping sauce you get with a good plate of Satay...or the sauce you get with spicy peanut noodles and end up licking the bowl...
i know...it all sounds so weird,
BUT i promise you...
this is an unforgettable outrageous truffle. 


RED CURRY WHITE CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER THAI TRUFFLES
makes about 38-40 truffles

14 oz. white chocolate
3/4 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup creamy "brand" peanut butter
1 Tsp Thai Red Curry Paste
1/2 tsp coconut extract
1/8 tsp cayenne powder
zest 1/2-3/4 lime
6 oz roasted salted peanuts, small chop.
crystallised ginger for garnish

put white chocolate, peanut butter, red curry paste, lime zest, cayenne in a medium glass bowl.  set aside.
in a small sauce pan add cream and bring to "almost boil".  stir while heating so as not to scald on the bottom.
pour hot cream over white chocolate mixture and let sit for just a moment.  stir with a whisk (just stir...not vigorously).  as it comes together add in the coconut extract.  when it is all combined, give it a little whisking to make sure it is all emulsified and is not separating.  TASTE TEST.  add a little more something if you see fit.  i usually do a little tweaking at this time.  let come to room temp.  put mixture in the fridge, uncovered.  you don't want condensation from a cover in your chocolate mixture.  in about an hour, come back to it and give it a stir...if it isn't set yet...taste test one more time.  this is the last time you can add anything.  then cover and put back in the fridge for at least a few hours or over night is better.
when absolutely set, make 3/4 inch balls.  USE THIN RUBBER GLOVES...rubber gloves make everything so much easier.  when ball is formed roll in bowl of chopped roasted salted peanuts.  you need to press the peanuts in a little bit to cover the ball.  when these are all done...set aside if dipping in chocolate.  i think they should be close to room temperature when dipping so you won't have any cracks or seepage.
work in a cold room if possible.
temper your dark chocolate.  dip balls half way and set on prepared parchment cookie sheets.   if room is too warm, refrigerate balls for about 15 minutes to set.
drizzle chocolate over full sheet of balls...it's easier than one at a time.

you will probably have left-over tempered chocolate so have other goodies on hand to dip or throw into a quick "bark".



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