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Chocolates Archives - A Home Chocolatier
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Amaretto & Toasted Marzipan Truffles

I had been looking forward to making these truffles for a while now and was not disappointed by the result. The recipe makes 16 truffles but I would reduce the size in future and make 25 from the same mixture. The feedback I had from friends was that they were  2 or 3 bite chocolates and would be better if made slightly smaller.

Amaretto & Toasted Marzipan Truffles
Amaretto & Toasted Marzipan Truffles
If you are looking to create a special chocolate then this would be a very good choice. The recipe is by Will Torrent from his book “Chocolate at Home”. I received this book as a gift at Christmas and it has been a good source of inspiration for making exquisite chocolates.

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There are many great recipes in Will Torrent’s book and they can be made at home with confidence if care is taken in the preparation. Sometimes a book like this can feel a little intimidating but if you patiently follow the methods shown then you will have brilliant results.
Toasted Marzipan Base
Toasted Marzipan Base
On the base there is a layer of toasted marzipan/crushed amaretti, this gives the chocolate a little crunch. It has a centre of a smooth cream and milk chocolate ganache laced with Amaretto di Saronno liqueur.
The truffles are layered in a baking tray then cut into squares to be dipped into 70% dark chocolate. Just before they set a slight sprinkling of crushed Amaretti is added, which makes for a very rich almondly experience.
Amaretto & Toasted Marzipan Truffles
Amaretto & Toasted Marzipan Truffles
The different textures all complement each other well, from the crisp dark chocolate shell, through to the smooth centre then to the crunch of the base. The chocolates have a reasonable shelf life of around 10 days as they have Amaretto liqueur in them
A very rich and smooth chocolate, and it’s definitely something I will make again …..
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Easter Eggs ….. with a nostalgic look!

Easter Eggs

As I have recently got into chocolate making, I thought I should try and make some handmade chocolate Easter Eggs for my family as gifts this year.
I bought some low cost plastic moulds from Lakeland for my first try. The moulds although designed for home use, proved to produce very professional results.
For this project I decided to use dark chocolate for the shells with white chocolate swirls laid into the cases. The first step was to temper a small batch of organic white chocolate and gently swirl it into the shell cases until they set.

Easter Egg

The next step was to temper some dark chocolate and coat the shells and leave for 15 mins until they set. After this I refrigerated the shells for 15 minutes so that the shells would release easily from the cases.

Easter Eggs

I wanted to have a classic old fashioned feel to the eggs, so I decided to fill each finished egg with four white chocolate covered milk chocolate ganache truffles. Each egg would also have tissue paper padding inside harking back to yesteryear before plastic became ubiquitious.

Easter Eggs

The last step was to gently warm a small quantity of dark chocolate to 31 deg C to use to join the half egg shells together.

Easter Eggs

 

Easter Eggs

The finished result was a batch of nostalgic Easter Eggs, adding cellophane and ribbons gave them a classic look with a professional finish….. Yum!
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Rhubarb & Ginger Ganache

Rhubarb & Ginger Ganache …… now that’s a very good combination of flavours!

 

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I had been looking for ways to create a rhubarb & ginger ganache with an intense but smooth flavour. As spring is almost here in England and new season Yorkshire rhubarb available in the shops it was a good time to try to perfect a recipe.

Rhubarb

I decided that I would first make a rhubarb infused sugar syrup adding a small amount of finely chopped stem ginger to give a little gingery pep. Stem ginger is the best option as it’s already in sugar syrup and confit so will blend vey well into the finished ganache. I reserved some of the finely chopped stem ginger to stir into the ganache at the end.
I chose organic white chocolate for the ganache base so that it would be smooth and light in colour. I used dark tempered chocolate (70%) and square shaped moulds for these chocolates as this would contrast very well with the ganache. The only improvement I would make is to slightly increase the amount of rhubarb to intensify the taste more. However the rhubarb & ginger ganache I made was very smooth and with just the right amount of ginger. It’s a very seasonal chocolate and if you have some fresh young rhubarb it’s definitely worth a try.

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Rhubarb & Ginger Ganache

(makes approx 30)

Ingredients:-

1 ½ Sticks of Rhubarb (fresh new season if possible).
2 rounds of Stem Ginger (sold in jars with syrup)
75ml Double Cream (or Heavy Cream).
35g White Caster Sugar.
255g Organic White Chocolate (Green & Black)
150g 70% Dark Chocolate finely chopped (Green & Black).
60 ml (¼ Cup) Corn Syrup to stop crystallisation of the ganache.

 

Equipment:-

Square Shaped Polycarbonate Moulds (Lakeland).
Chocolate tempering thermometer (Lakeland).
Small Marble or Granite Tempering slab (Lakeland).
Chocolate Scraper.
250mm long S/Steel Palette Knife.
Piping Bag or Funnel for Filling Cases (Lakeland).
200mm dia Heat Proof Glass Bowl (Pyrex)
Mixing Bowl (metal or heat proof glass)
Small Metal Saucepan (to act as bain marie)
Non Stick Baking Parchment.

 

Method:-

1    Temper 150g of dark chocolate. This gives the finished chocolate its distinctive snap and shine.
For method please press on this link temper.

 

2    Spoon the dark chocolate into the square shaped mould until each aperture is filled. Then tap the side of the mould 2 or 3 times to release any air bubbles. Next angle the mould over the bowl of chocolate and use the scrapper to pour to the bowl and smooth off the top of the mould. Turn the mould face down on a piece of non stick baking parchment for 15 minutes. Scrape the face and sides of the mould and place into a refrigerator for a further 15 minutes. This is so the individual chocolates will release easily from the moulds. Then leave covered on the worktop awaiting the ganache filling.
3    Place 255g of the white chocolate which has been broken into small squares or finely chopped into a mixing bowl.

R&G3

4    Wash the rhubarb and cut into 30mm lengths. Add to saucepan with 175ml of water, 35g of white caster sugar, 1 ½ rounds of finely chopped stem ginger and ¼ cup (60ml) of corn syrup. Gently heat and simmer for 10 minutes ,stiring occasionaly until the rhubarb is tender. Then take off the heat and allow to stand for 30 minutes to infuse.

R&G6

5    After 30 minutes blend the rhubarb and ginger syrup (with a stick blender) until it forms a smooth coulis like mixture. It will have a wonderful pink colour.

R&G7

6    Stir in 75ml double cream (or heavy cream) and bring the pan back to the stove and reheat gently until it reaches boiling point.

Rhubarb & Ginger Ganache

7    Now pour the rhubarb and ginger cream mixture over the white chocolate pieces in the mixing bowl. Leave for a few minutes for the chocolate to begin to melt, then stir or gently whisk until it emulsifies and a silky smooth ganache forms. Cover and stand for 1 to 2 hours allowing to cool to around 27 deg C. Check from time to time as the ganache will cool down and thicken quite quickly depending on your general kitchen temperature.

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8    Spoon the ganache into a piping bag or use a chocolate filling funnel. Now pipe or funnel the ganache carefully into the moulds. Ensure the filling is at least 2 mm below the rim of each heart shaped aperture to allow for the chocolate capping.
9    Now for capping off of the chocolates. Temper some dark chocolate and then spoon gently into each heart aperture then level off mould using a palette knife. Set the mould down on a worktop and leave for 20 to 30 minutes to set.
10    Once the chocolate has set, turn over the mould and place on a piece of non stick baking parchment. Now tap the mould and release the chocolates. You should now have shiny glossy rhubarb & ginger ganache chocolates.
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Easter Egg Chocolates

Easter Egg Chocolates
I wanted to tryout a small mould (Lakeland) I was given recently to see if I could produce miniture filled Easter Egg Chocolates from them. The mould is made from silicone and is really intended for solid chocolate decorations to cakes.

Silicon Easter Egg Chocolates MouldEaster Egg Chocolates Mould

However I thought it would be fun to try and produce a small test batch of filled easter egg chocolates. I chose Milk Chocolate as we had family friends with their children coming over and it would be interesting to have them all try these. Dark Chocolate would be a little too grown up!
I had not worked with Milk Chocolate before and decided it would be a challenge due to the different tempering temperatures involved. Also the mould was quite small so it would be very tricky to produce a filled chocolate. My original idea was to make filled half shells and then join them together with melted chocolate.
In the end I decided to leave the finished chocolates as filled half easter eggs. It was agreed by all that the easter egg chocolates tasted great and were a success…. and still only a test batch!

 

Milk Chocolate Ganache

(makes approx 30 in small moulds)

Ingredients:-

100ml Double Cream (or Heavy Cream).
50g Unrefined Golden Caster Sugar.
300g Organic Milk Chocolate finely chopped (Green & Black)
60 ml (¼ Cup) Corn Syrup to stop crystallisation of the ganache.

Equipment:-

Small Easter Egg Mould (Lakeland).
Chocolate tempering thermometer (Lakeland).
Small Marble or Granite Tempering slab (Lakeland).
Chocolate Scraper.
250mm long S/Steel Palette Knife.
Piping Bag or Funnel for Filling Cases (Lakeland).
200mm dia (1 litre) Heat Proof Glass Bowl (Pyrex)
Mixing Bowl (metal or heat proof glass)
Small Metal Saucepan (to act as bain marie)
Non Stick Baking Parchment.

Method:-

1    Temper 100g of the Milk Chocolate. This gives the finished chocolate its distinctive snap and shine.
For method please press on this link temper.

 

2    Spoon the Milk Chocolate into the mould until each aperture is filled. Then tap the side of the mould 2 or 3 times to release any air bubbles. Next angle the mould over the bowl of chocolate and use the scrapper to pour to the bowl and smooth off the top of the mould. Turn the mould face down on a piece of non stick baking parchment for 15 minutes. Scrape the face and sides of the mould and place the mould on a tray and put into a refrigerator for a further 15 minutes. This is so the individual chocolates will release easily from the moulds. Then leave covered on the worktop awaiting the ganache filling.

 

3    Place 200g of the Milk Chocolate which has been broken into small squares or finely chopped into a mixing bowl.

 

4    Add 100 ml Double Cream (Heavy Cream) along with 50g of Caster and 60ml ¼ cup of Corn Syrup to the saucepan. Bring very gently to the boil stirring to incorporate.

 

6    Now pour the mixture over the Milk Chocolate pieces in the mixing bowl. Leave for a few minutes for the chocolate to begin to melt, then stir or gently whisk until a silky smooth ganache forms. Allow to cool to around 27 deg C.

 

7    Spoon the ganache into a piping bag or use a chocolate filling funnel. Now pipe or funnel the ganache carefully into the moulds. Ensure the filling is at least 2 mm below the rim of each heart shaped aperture to allow for the chocolate capping.

 

8    Leave mould with the ganache filling in a cool place for at least 2 hours (in a cool kitchen if possible, not the refrigerator!). This will allow the surface of the soft ganache to harden slightly and make capping off successful.

 

9    Now for capping off of the chocolates. Temper some milk chocolate and then spoon gently into each aperture then level off mould using a palette knife. Set the mould down on a worktop and leave for 20 to 30 minutes to set.

Easter Egg ChocolatesFinished Filled Easter Egg Chocolates

10    Once the chocolate has set, turn over the mould and place on a piece of non stick baking parchment. Now tap the mould and release the chocolates. You should now have shiny glossy chocolates.

Silicone Easter Egg Chocolates MouldEaster Egg Chocolates Mould

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Tempering Chocolate at Home (The Video)

Here is my Youtube video version of “Tempering Chocolate at Home”

Its intended to go with my recent Tempering blog and will be added to it soon.

The process of tempering chocolate can look a little daunting, however it’s very rewarding but can take a little time and patience to master. Its a really precise and basically a chemistry process. The chocolate tempering process allows for hardening crystallisation to occur. Tempering chocolate gives it its distinctive snap and shine. The Tempering blog gives full details and you may find the video useful.

 

 

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Passion Fruit Ganache

This year I wanted to make a special chocolate for Valentines Day  and a Passion Fruit Ganache seemed appropriate.

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I looked at different ways of making the Passion Fruit Ganache using passion fruit puree and white chocolate. The method I chose was to use a ready made passion fruit coulis I stumbled upon in Marks & Spencer’s grocery store as it contained around 71% mixture of fruit /fruit concentrate. The coulis had a little natural sugar but would work well with the ganache. It was also very cost effective (£2.00) to use a bought coulis rather than make the coulis from scratch. If I were to make this with ripe fruit it would be extremely expensive at £2.50 for 2 passion fruits and I would need around 12 passion fruits.

P F CoulisImage © M&S

I used dark tempered chocolate (70%) and heart shaped moulds for these chocolates. Making 21 plain cases and 9 decorated with edible metallic gold and silver powder as an experiment. I was concerned that the passion fruit taste might be overwhelmed with the white chocolate but I should not have worried as result was superb. A well tempered dark chocolate case leading into a rich passion fruit taste…. as the Italians say…. That’s Amore!

IMG_9160a

Passion Fruit Ganache (makes approx 30)

Ingredients:-

125 ml Passion Fruit Coulis (Marks & Spencer).
100ml Double Cream (or Heavy Cream).
50g White Caster Sugar.
255g Organic White Chocolate (Green & Black)
150g 70% Dark Chocolate finely chopped (Green & Black) .
60 ml (¼ Cup) Corn Syrup to stop crystallisation of the ganache.

 

Equipment:-

Heart Shaped Polycarbonate Moulds (Lakeland).
Chocolate tempering thermometer (Lakeland).
Small Marble or Granite Tempering slab (Lakeland).
Chocolate Scraper.
250mm long S/Steel Palette Knife.
Piping Bag or Funnel for Filling Cases (Lakeland).
200mm dia Heat Proof Glass Bowl (Pyrex)
Mixing Bowl (metal or heat proof glass)
Small Metal Saucepan (to act as bain marie)
Non Stick Baking Parchment.

 

Method:-

1    Temper the remaining 150g of Dark Chocolate. This gives the finished chocolate its distinctive snap and shine.
For method please press on this link temper.
2    Spoon the Dark chocolate into the heart shaped mould until each aperture is filled. Then tap the side of the mould 2 or 3 times to release any air bubbles. Next angle the mould over the bowl of chocolate and use the scrapper to pour to the bowl and smooth off the top of the mould. Turn the mould face down on a piece of non stick baking parchment for 15 minutes. Scrape the face and sides of the mould and place into a refrigerator for a further 15 minutes. This is so the individual chocolates will release easily from the moulds. Then leave covered on the worktop awaiting the ganache filling.
3    Place 255g of the White Chocolate which has been broken into small squares or finely chopped into a mixing bowl.
4    Strain the Passion Fruit Coulis into a small saucepan removing all the seeds. Stir in the white caster sugar. double cream (heavy cream) and the corn syrup. Gently heat and simmer for 2 minutes, then take off the heat and allow to stand for 30 minutes to infuse.
5    Bring the pan back to the stove and reheat gently until it reaches boiling point.
6    Now pour the Passion Fruit Coulis Cream mixture over the White Chocolate pieces in the mixing bowl. Leave for a few minutes for the chocolate to begin to melt, then stir or gently whisk until a silky smooth Passion Fruit Ganache forms. Allow to cool to around 27 deg C.
7    Spoon the Passion Fruit Ganache into a piping bag or use a chocolate filling funnel. Now pipe or funnel the ganache carefully into the moulds. Ensure the filling is at least 2 mm below the rim of each heart shaped aperture to allow for the chocolate capping.
8    Now for capping off of the chocolates. Temper some dark chocolate and then spoon gently into each heart aperture then level off mould using a palette knife. Set the mould down on a worktop and leave for 20 to 30 minutes to set.
9    Once the chocolate has set, turn over the mould and place on a piece of non stick baking parchment. Now tap the mould and release the chocolates. You should now have shiny glossy chocolates.
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Rose Truffles

Rose Truffles

I wanted to create Rose Truffles with just a hint of rose flavour.
I found a method of making a dark chocolate (70%) ganache with rose petal infused sugar syrup. The infusion tasted really great and when added to the dark chocolate (70%) it gave it a good background.
I enrobed the Rose Truffles in dark tempered chocolate (70%) dipping them and using a fork to lift them out of the bowl. I formed a forked ripple in the top and finished each with an edible dried rose petal.
There are people who may find the taste of Rose in these truffles to be to much of a background taste. I wanted the truffles to be subtle and leave a hint of rose in the mouth after you had eaten them. From the feed back I have had I think I achieved the right result.
Is there anything I would change?…. Maybe the dark chocolate could be dialled back in strength from 70% to nearer 60% as it might be slightly smoother. But overall my batch had a grown up kind of taste and worked well.

Rose Truffles (makes approx 36)

IMG_9089

Ingredients:-

1 Tablespoon of Dried Rose Petals.
125ml Water.
70g Caster Sugar.
350g 70% Dark Chocolate finely chopped.
2-3 drops of Rose Oil.
Crystallised Rose Petals (optional) to decorate tops of truffles – food safe

Equipment:-

15cm square baking tin (with loose bottom)
Chocolate tempering thermometer
Chocolate lifting forks (optional but very useful)
250mm long sharp knife to form truffle squares.
Sheet of Non Stick Baking Parchment

Method:-

1    Make Rose Infused Syrup. Place Rose Petals in a small saucepan with the Caster Sugar and 125ml of Water. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 minute then pour syrup / petals into a heat proof bowl and leave to cool. Cover and leave overnight to infuse.

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2     Line the baking tin with parchment. Place 200g of the Dark Chocolate into a mixing bowl. Strain the syrup into a small saucepan (removing all the petals) and add 2 to 3 drops of Rose Oil or 5 to 6 drops of Rose Water if Rose Oil is not readily available. Gently heat the syrup until just boiling, then pour over the Dark Chocolate. Leave for a few minutes for the chocolate to begin to melt, then stir or gently whisk until a silky smooth ganache forms. Pour the the ganache into the lined baking tin. Ensure the mixture is spread level and leave until cold. Cover and then chill the ganache in a refrigerator until firm.

IMG_9070

3     When the ganache is chilled and firm remove from the refrigerator. Carefully remove the ganache from the baking tin. Now using a sharp knife (at least 250mm long) cut into 36 truffle squares (each 25mm x 25mm). Return briefly to the refrigerator.
4    Temper the remaining 150g of Dark Chocolate. This gives the finished chocolate its distinctive snap and shine.

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Although it can look a little daunting tempering is a very rewarding process but takes time and patience to master.
NB: Before you start to temper the chocolate make sure that the kitchen is free of any moisture / steam. Check your bowl is dry before you start, if water makes contact with the hot melted chocolate it will make it seize and go very gritty. A top tip is to wipe the underside of the glass mixing bowl with a towel when removing from the saucepan (bain marie).
Place the Dark Chocolate into a heat proof glass bowl and place over a barely simmering s saucepan of water. Ensuring that the water does not touch the bottom of the glass bowl. Bring the chocolate up to 55deg C (131deg F) and then pour 2 thirds of the Chocolate onto a granite or marble tempering slab, keeping the remainder in the bowl warm off the heat. Using a chocolate scraper work the chocolate from the centre to the sides of the slab and back to the centre again at least 3 or 4 times. Check the temperature as you work the chocolate it needs to be lowered in temperature to 27deg C (80deg F). Then pour/scrape the chocolate back into the bowl (which is off the saucepan / stove) with the remaining chocolate and stir together. Check the temperature it needs to reach 30deg C to 31deg C(86deg F to 88deg F) as the optimum working temperature to dip the chocolates.
5    Carefully dip one truffle square at a time into the tempered chocolate and lift out tapping the fork on the side of the chocolate bowl to remove excess chocolate. Then gently place the Rose Truffles onto a sheet of non stick baking parchment for the chocolate to cool. Add a Crystallised Rose Petal to the top of each truffle as they are positioned on the baking paper before the chocolate has cooled. Repeat until all the truffle squares are dipped and
decorated.

Rose Truffles

The completed Rose Truffles can be kept in an air tight container (at room temperature) for at least 10 days…. though in my experience they have been eaten well before this!
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