Christmas Chocolates
Russell Degnan

Perhaps the most belated of any chocolate recipe posts, but eh... This year I had help, as my old friend, A, who I recently reconnected with after eight years (old friends are the best!), came over and provided essential suport in the rolling, pitting, and enlivening of what turned out to be a three day process.

Inspired, or insane, we decided to make eight different selections. Two of the truffles are quite straight-forward:

Egg Nog Truffles

250g White chocolate
20g Glucose syrup
50g Cream
5g Butter (softened)
1 Egg Yolk
1/2 tsp Nutmeg (grated)
20ml Whiskey (pref. Cinnamon Whiskey)

1. Combine cream and glucose syrup and bring to boil, add the egg yolk and stir through to set slightly.
2. Pour over chocolate in heat proof bowl, let sit for a few minutes then stir from inside out to create ganache.
3. Split into two parts, adding dry ingredients, butter and liqueur to each and mix in without over-agitating.
4. Pour mixtures onto plastic wrap enclose and leave for several hours.
5. When cool, disgorge from wrap and agitate (briefly) until firm enough to roll.
6. Using hands, roll into small balls and leave overnight.
7. Dip in tempered white chocolate then grate some cinamon onto top.

We took some inspiration from this recipe but had a spare egg yolk which added to the creaminess, and used a standard truffle mixture which I have a better sense of. White on white can be really sweet, but this was good.

Pistachio, Cranberry and Brandy Truffles

As here, or steps 1-7 above, dipped in dark chocolate, with grated nutmeg on top.

Mixed Peel, Grand Marnier Truffles

Truffle mixture as here, or steps 1-7 above, dipped in dark chocolate.

8. A used a zester to knot some lovely orange peel onto the top.

Pistachio Cupcakes

Pistachio gianduja base

Create the pistachio gianduja as here, then pour into cupcake moulds and refridgerate.

White chocolate ganache and cherry

200g White chocolate
20g Cream

1. Melt white chocolate and add cream, being careful not to split ganache.
2. Put in a piping bag and pipe onto top of each cupcake base
3. Add half a glaced cherry to the top of each cupcake

A relatively basic recipe, albeit one that burnt out my food processor makign the paste (cheap model it is), and with multiple steps. The photos below show various parts of the process: the Mayan chocolate before adding the coconut milk; the mayan and pistachio truffles after rolling and dipping; the two jellies - cherry and lemon/ginger tea - prior to adding the white chocolate nougat. Note the real chunks of cherry through the jelly.

Lamington Chocolates

As here, but with more white chocolate in the nougat, and cherries instead of strawberries.

Chocolate Guiness Pieces

200g Dark chocolate
200ml Guiness

1. Prepare a large bowl with ice in the bottom
2. Put the guiness and chocolate into a pyrex bowl that will fit into the larger bowl.
3. Place smaller bowl over saucepan of boiling water and stir until chocolate melted and combined with guiness
4. Once combined, put into ice bowl and whisk vigorously for several minutes until a chocolate mousse forms.
5. Put into a piping bag and pipe small pieces onto a plate.
6. Place in fridge unti fully set
7. Dip each piece in tempered milk chocolate.

The mousse part of this is based on Hervé This recipe, and will work for any combination of water and a little alcohol, or beer. It probably helps to reduce the guiness slightly, to make a thicker mousse that will hold its shape, but this worked too. Piping allows some more interesting shapes. There is a knack with the wrist and the height of the nozzle that took some adjusting too, but it is a handy skill. Mousse made in this way is phenomenally good and fast. It is a much easier process than the whipping and waiting if you just want to eat mousse.

Mayan Chocolate Truffles

300g Very dark chocolate (85% or more)
zest Orange
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Chipotle chili powder
1 tsp Vanilla paste
1 pinch Sea salt
250ml Coconut milk
1 tbsp Coconut oil
- Cocoa Powder

1. Combine chocoalte, orange zest, cinnamon, chipotle chili powder, vanilla paste and salt in a bowl
2. Put coconut milk and coconut oil in a saucepan and bring to a simmer
3. Pour over chocolate in heat proof bowl, let sit for a few minutes then stir from inside out to create ganache.
4. Pour mixtures onto plastic wrap enclose and leave for several hours.
5. When cool, disgorge from wrap and agitate (briefly) until firm enough to roll.
6. Using hands, roll into small balls, toss through cocoa powder, then leave to firm.

We took this from an online recipe that looked promising. They went a little sour after a while (read: months), but were very good at first.

Those were the successful recipes. There was another, which I won't recommend, but will describe. Make 500ml of boiling water with three tea bags of lemon and ginger tea, then pour into a bowl of packet lemon jelly. This, by itself, is delicious. Really delicious. But it makes terrible chocolate. Whatever is in packet jelly doesn't affix to the chocolate, and melts easily, so it can't be dipped, only poured into chocolate moulds. Also, the jelly has a limited shelf life, so it has to be eaten within a couple of days from the fridge. It is possible to make extremely tasty lemon and ginger jelly chocolates, but not with packet jelly. Better to have the jelly by itself (it is great for a head-cold), or in a trifle.

A last note to thank A for the company, pictures, and presentation. That is all her.

Finer Things 12th March, 2015 00:14:05   [#] 

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