Monday, 31 December 2012

salted coconut and baileys truffles

Merry Christmas to all and may you enjoy a blessed New Year! The coming of 2013 means an end to the cool date patterns (01/01/01 etc on to the last on 20/12/2012) until the next millennium, but hopes and aspirations are high for a good year ahead. Let 2013 be wonderful!

I have had a brief suspension of the baking ban over the holidays and was quite the gleeful one in the kitchen churning out edibles before this window slammed unceremoniously shut on my plans. Fortunately I managed to squeeze in a light chestnut cream meringue pie, raisin pie, brioche and butter pudding with raspberries, lebkuchen and the chocolates at hand before this happened. Copious photos have been taken, archived and ready to be posted in the weeks to come. Other cooking opportunities came by way of Christmas dinner, which was quite the greedy affair. I am pleased to say that brussel sprouts have at last found a place at our table in the form of sprouty bubble and squeak. Recipes coming soon!

In the meantime, the New Year is rapidly approaching and I feel I ought to sit down and think through some stereotypical resolutions. Certainly a healthy lifestyle is always desirable, and for me that means regulating my sleeping hours and ending my chronic snacking habit. Adding to my money pot is also pretty high on the list. However, and most importantly, I need to spend more time reading  the bible and also certain theological books out there written by terrific Apologetics. Ignorance is certainly not bliss but embarrassment when I cannot even soundly defend my faith. For shame!!!

Anyway, enough of the babbling, more on the photo. What you see are some post-Christmas dinner truffles I made consisting of a very soft coconut and baileys ganache coated in dark chocolate couverture (arrghh no, just realized I don't have a photo showing the inside of my truffles). The black sprinkles are volcanic salt that I bought years ago from Wholefoods and have been aching to use since. In my zeal, I sprinkled a little too much salt over. Given the salt content of the ganache, a singular grain, or perhaps two, would probably have sufficed. Further grief mounted when I accidentally splashed the greatest enemy of all, water, into the chocolate while tempering it. Besides that, the temperature of the chocolate ought to have been marginally higher for true chocolatey shine.

To anybody who feels like attempting this, please note that the ganache is very soft (these truffles need to sit in the fridge!), which is what resulted in my droopy rectangular shape. Soft melty ganaches are bad for achieving a cuboid with clean defined edges.  It did not help that I had no dipping forks either. This truffle would definitely be happier as a moulded chocolate. Next time, I intend to use only coconut cream in the ganache to bring out the (barely there) coconut flavor more, and to lower the cream to chocolate ratio. Nevertheless, I still think they were pretty good indeed, regardless of my bias and penchant for salty chocolate. They are my first attempt at truffles out of Le Cordon Bleu and feel a good last post for the year 2012. There is much to improve on and I shall enter the New Year full of thoroughly motivated.

For the (soft) ganache
200g dark chocolate couverture130g double cream
170g coconut cream
3-4g salt
20ml Baileys

  • Heat the coconut and double cream together with the salt.
  • Melt the dark chocolate over a bain marie.
  • When the temperature of the creams reaches around 65C, whisk into the melted chocolate over three incorporations. The chocolate should be far from setting, so you don't have to worry too much about aerating the ganache. Whisk in a circular motion in the centre of the bowl, and as the cream is incorporated and the chocolate turns glossy, slowly extend the radius of your stirring. Only when the first addition of cream is fully whisked in to you pour in the next.
  • Pour the ganache into a rectangular container lined with clingfilm and fridgerate (freezing would probably be a better option) to set.
  • Temper some more dark chocolate couverture.
  • Using a warm knife, slice the set ganache into rectangles, wiping the knife clean after each cut.
  • Dip the ganache into the tempered chocolate (reheat chocolate as necessary as the cold ganache does make it want to set), shake off excess chocolate and leave on a tray to set.
  • Before chocolate sets, sprinkle on a grain of salt (or any other flavouring).

This blog will be moving to a new, more appropriately named, domain soon:
Updates soon to come!

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