Showing posts with label peanut. Show all posts
Showing posts with label peanut. 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, 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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