Monday, January 31, 2011

Chocolate!!! and some recipes......

It's hard to believe but I'm in my very last class at Le Cordon Bleu. I've certainly packed in a lot of learning over the past year and am pretty ready to be done with school.
Anywho, we are making a lot of chocolate treats in our Chocolate & Confections class (duh, I guess). Pictured above are my dark chocolate truffles topped with a little candied ginger.

Here is a pic of something we made that is called Knackerli. It's a strange name for a simple treat - tempered chocolate topped with a dried cherry, apricot, and a pistachio.

Directly above are the other truffles I made - raspberry dark chocolate, rolled in raspberry powder (freeze-dried raspberries that have been crushed into a powder). Aren't they pretty?
And last, but not least, these cute little dollops are chocolate-dipped Carioca. Carioca is a delicious, buttery chocolate ganache.
Below is a basic recipe for the truffles. People always say this, but it is definitely true - the quality of the chocolate you use for truffles is going to determine the deliciousness of your final result. Personally, I like the Pound Plus bars from Trader Joes; use whatever you like.
You don't necessarily have to know how to temper chocolate to make these, if you are planning to roll them in cocoa powder or nuts. If you want to dip them (as mine are) then you do need to learn how to temper chocolate AND you'll need a pretty accurate thermometer. Also, if you don't have a scale, take note of the ratios of chocolate to cream to butter and should still be able to make these just fine.
Chocolate Truffles
  • 7 oz heavy cream
  • 16 oz Dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 oz Unsalted butter
  • Extract (vanilla or whatever you'd like!), To Taste
  • Salt, To Taste
  • Cocoa Powder, for coating (optional)


1. Heat cream to a simmer over low heat.

2. Pour cream over chocolate and stir until chocolate is completely melted.

3. Stir in butter until melted.

4. Stir in extract and salt.

5. Let mixture stand in bowl until it starts to thicken a little.

6. At that point, you can transfer to a piping bag or keep it in the bowl while working with it. You shouldn't need to chill in the fridge unless your kitchen is pretty warm.

7. If you decide to pipe out your ganache, pipe small (2 tsp-ish) mounds onto a sheet of parchment or onto a sheet pan. If you want to scoop from the bowl, use a small spoon and do the same.

8. Once ganache sets pretty firm (doesn't stick to your hands and you can pick it up off your sheet tray, basically), roll each one into a smooth ball between your palms. Wearing plastic gloves is expecially helpful if you have warm hands like I do!

9. Once they are rounded to your satisfaction, coat with cocoa powder by dropping into a bowl of cocoa powder and shaking off excess. Or you can roll them in chopped nuts or whatever you'd like. They keep fine at room temperature, but you can refrigerate them, as well.

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