Showing posts with label truffles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label truffles. Show all posts

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.


Friday, October 4, 2013

Royal Raspberry Ras el Hanout Truffles


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 to...so i decided to pour the mixture in a flat pan, cut them into squares, dip them in cocoa and call it a day.


ROYAL RASPBERRY
RAS el HANOUT
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 ?...an 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.


ROYAL RASPBERRY RAS EL HANOUT TRUFFLES

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 texture...you 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.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Truffles in an HOUR. No excuses...



truffles should be considered a luxury item...

RIGHT ?

not anymore
not in this house.
i whipped these up in about an hour.

now i'm in big trouble !
we have a permanent container of truffles in the fridge.


cute little truffle blocks...

who says truffles need to be round ?

they might look like a simple square of chocolate, but it's actually smooth creamy dark chocolate ganache flavored with a hint of cinnamon, a punch of espresso and a warm smoky kick from adobo and chipotle.

NOTE...these flavors are my signature "go-to".  everybody LOVES these.  BUT this recipe will work with many flavor combinations.  i will be experimenting more with the "truffles in an hour" so stay tuned for more flavors and shapes.


Dark Chocolate Truffles in about an HOUR...
i have done this recipe in an hour, but the first time might take an hour 20 minutes
dairy free with coconut milk, but can use heavy cream.
makes about 24 squares/rectangles

CHOCOLATE CHIPOTLE TRUFFLE SQUARES

9.7 oz Dark Chocolate, chopped very fine
Guittard 61% coverture discs work best for me)
3/4 tsp cinnamon (sprinkle over chocolate)
put this in a glass bowl and set aside.  put a kitchen towel around the bottom of the bowl to keep the chocolate nice and cozy when you are ready.

line a small square or rectangular pan, dish or  tupperware with heavy saran or aluminum foil.  i use an 8 x 5 inch plastic container.   if you lightly spray the container with oil the saran will  cling to the sides and  it makes removal much easier.

IN A SMALL SAUCE PAN...
1 cup full fat coconut milk
NOTE...it's easier to heat a full cup of milk and measure out what you need.  that's why i put 1 cup in the recipe amount.
1 to 1 1/2 Tbsp of chipotle in adobo(canned)...use 1 minced small chipotle pepper with the seeds removed before chopping and adobo sauce to make the 1 1/2 TBSP.
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste.
1/2 tsp espresso powder

slowly bring the milk mixture to a soft boil.  remove from heat and strain out 1/2 cup plus 3 Tbsp.  add this straight away into and over the 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" (see note #2 below).  just gently stir around and through until combined.  when it looks like all the chocolate lumps have melted in...now you can break out the whisk.  the whisk is OK for truffles, not straight "pourable glossy ganache" that you would use on a cake.  do this 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 25-35 minutes.

above is an example using tin foil in an 8" x  5" tupperware...i now prefer using heavy saran.  also, this looks grainy on top because i sprinkled this batch with flaked sea salt before it was almost set.

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
these are room temperature stable, but should be stored in the refrigerator.

NOTE...do not fret if there are a few teeny tiny pieces of chocolate that did not melt.  you can strain these out (more to clean up) or leave them alone.  my chef friend Lauren, who studied chocolates, says it is better to have a few tiny lumps than risk breaking the ganache.

IMPORTANT NOTE #2...sometimes when i use coconut milk  with Valrhona or Scharffenberger, my ganache "breaks"...this means it is not absolutely smooth and glossy after it is combined and will result in a grainy truffle texture...you DO NOT want this.  i can now recognise it right away.  i believe this means the two fats did not make friends in the heating/melting process.  give it a little more whisking if you notice it before pouring.   if you don't notice it until after it has set, don't worry...they will no longer be "truffles in an hour", BUT......just cut block into small squares and reheat over a double boiler until melted...then whisk until fully emulsified and pour into another prepared lined dish.


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dark Chocolate Goat Cheese Pink Peppercorn Truffles


sounds like an unlikely pair...

GOAT CHEESE and CHOCOLATE ?

beware...
this is not your typical truffle...

THAT'S WHY IT'S SO GOOD !


it totally works.
i don't know what brought this combo to mind, but here's another  example of a bright idea that came to me in the middle of the night...
i get out of bed to google the ingredients in the dark and WHAM !

there it is, plain as day...

IT'S BEEN DONE

so i figured i'd give them a try anyway, but i had to change it up.
dried apricots?...nectarine preserves?...rosemary?

how about PINK PEPPERCORNS ?
thanks to pal, Chef Lisa

perfect...quite delicious, out of the ordinary and i bet you've never had anything like it.


the chocolate hits first, then there's just a slight tang from the goat cheese.  the pink peppercorns really brighten it up with a spicy floral taste and aroma.  this might be a great addition to a first course?...who says all appetizers need to be savory?
served with after dinner cheese ?
i know you could find a great wine pairing.
oh...just eat them...

there's really no need to worry about what to do with them, 
they'll be gone before you figure it out.

NOTE...i will say again...
this truffle is NOT for "the pansy palate" Hershey's milk chocolate eaters.  these are for one who is a bit more adventurous with chocolate and also adores the sweet tang of a fresh goat cheese.


GOAT CHEESE PINK PEPPERCORN TRUFFLES

6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 oz. fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup cocoa powder
pink peppercorns, crushed... at least 1 tsp, but more will be needed for the pink skins

NOTE...about pink peppercorns...i did not get a final measurement because i kept adding a bit in.  i crushed about 1 tsp.  some of the corns were too big so i sifted them through a mesh strainer.  i added quite a it more of the pink skin than the pepper itself.  if you want more pepper flavor i suggest using a pepper mill and adding to taste...as i did.

in a double boiler, melt the chocolate until smooth, no lumps.  this can be done with careful attention in the microwave.  use short 30 second, then 20 second increments and stir in between until just melted...then stir to incorporate smaller lumps.
set the melted chocolate aside and deal with other ingredients.
in a bowl...i used my Kitchenaid, whisk together the goat cheese, sugar and vanilla until it is light and fluffy.  now whisk in the melted chocolate until it is well combined.  chill in the fridge.  original says to cover this, but you don't want to get ANY condensation on the chocolate.  chill until firm, about 1 hour or until ready to use.
when ready, put on some thin rubber gloves and start rolling.  i find it easy to spoon out a few clumps and mold it into a ball then roll it between your palms.  drop into cocoa powder and coat.

NOTE...since i used my Kitchenaid mixer for the job, my truffle mixture came out quite light.  had i gone any further i could have made a lovely frosting...not a bad idea for a lovely deep dark chocolate layered cake...?
my truffle mixture was quite stiff.  even at room temp.  so they DO HOLD UP WELL.  the texture is not as creamy as my regular truffles.  BUT...they do melt in your mouth with a very smooth texture.  a chocolatier friend of mine says it could be due to the texture of the goat cheese.
keep in mind this is unlike any other truffle,

BUT, as always...
it's a darn good ball o' chocolate !


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.




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