Friday, December 17, 2010

The chocoholic post

Oh, hello! Second post of the day, who'd have thought?

Are you like me? Do you always wait until the last minute to get stuff done? I prepared those babies yesterday to give them to the teacher at Kindergarten today, only to hear that schools stayed closed today because of the snow. My neighbour was cleverer and gave the teacher her present yesterday -we had been warned of the heavy snowfall after all...

Anyway, perhaps I'll drive to her house to deliver them tomorrow but then she may think I'm stalking her... or I could just give them to other people or, or gobble them up myself -no big sacrifice.

We have here some chocolate- caramel truffles that I blogged about aeons ago. They are from my Larousse des Desserts, a Pierre Hermé work. A bit more fiddly than plain truffles but so much worth the little extra effort. The caramel hint is subtle, even the kids like them, and they are a nice balance of dark and milk chocolate as not to offend any palate. I didn't want to faff about rolling the truffles into balls so I just cut them up into squares and dusted them with pure cocoa /icing sugar for kids. That way they're more elegant too and won't put off germaphobes.

The fudge is very very easy but very very sweet. I hoped to get a swirl effect from the white chocolate but it's OK, I'll settle for the "snow-flecked" style.

Chocolate-caramel truffles adapted from Pierre Hermé

1 cup (260 g) full-fat cream
10 oz. (280 g) bitter chocolate,  finely chopped
6 oz. (170 g) good-quality milk chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup (190 g) sugar
1 1/4 oz. ( 40 g) butter
pinch of sea salt (Maldon is perfect)
dark cocoa powder

Bring the cream to a boil (I didn't but feel free).

In another saucepan, heat the sugar until it turns a dark colour. Add the butter and cream. At this point, the caramel may turn hard, be patient and keep it on the heat and mix with a wooden spoon until it melts again, mine kept having some lumps but if you like a bit of crunch in your truffles it's OK, otherwise keep heating or remove the lumps.

Add the chopped chocolate, salt and mix. Before it is completely melted, remove from the heat and keep mixing until it is.

Pour into a container and refrigerate for 4 hours or until set and cold.

Cut into chunks and roll into balls between your palms if you feel like it. Dust with cocoa and keep in the fridge until you eat them or give them away.

Chocolate fudge, adapted from various recipes online.

Melt 450g (16 oz.) chocolate (any type or a mix is fine, if you add the white chocolate bits, reserve 100g of them until the end) along with a can of sweetened condensed milk and a good pinch of salt in the microwave. Don't let the chocolate burn. Mix until everything is combined, then add the white  chocolate bits and mix but leave some tiny pieces. Pour into a lined brownie tin (20 cm or 8 inch) and leave to set in the fridge. Cut into squares.

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