The Pass. The Judgement day of plates.

The Pass. The Judgement day of plates.
Bring the finished plates up to the pass for inspection.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Dark Chocolate Rhum Truffle. Part 1.

Perhaps one of the most misunderstood chocolate bonbon is the "Truffle". Yes, the truffle is a mushroom that will cost you fortune, and NO, the chocolate 'truffle' is NOT made out of the truffle mushroom. The only reason why we call this chocolate bonbon, "Truffle", is because of it's round, rugged shaped that can almost resemble the black truffle mushroom. And you know the French, they always like to name their food creations with some fancy name, when all a chocolate truffle really is, just a mixture of cream and chocolate emulsified together.

Anyways, to make this EASY luxury chocolate treat, all you need are some simple ingredients that you can find at pretty much any grocery store.
1. Heavy Whipping Cream

2. Good Couverture Chocolate

3. Excellent Quality Coco Powder

4. Rum or any other flavorings.
You don't really want to skimp out on buying quality chocolate when you're making truffles. Since a truffle is pretty much combination of chocolate and cream, it's important that you buy a great quality chocolate that is consider couvertures chocolates. And again, don't be intimidated by the word 'couverture', it simply just means that the chocolate contains 31% or higher of cocao butter. Cocao butter is what makes the chocolate rich, smooth and melts heavenly in your mouth. Most cheap chocolates that you buy are not couverture, they don't contain cocao butter, or they contain very little amount. Other types of fats and oils are used in replacement of the cocao butter, and sadly, they don't provide the same result. If you really want to a clear defined understanding of the differences here, just compare shortening and butter. Which one melts easier in your mouth. Try it! =D

Melt your chocolate in the microwave in intervals of 15-20 seconds on med-high power, and stir well everytime until it's 80% melted. Do not try and mircowave your chocolate for 40 seconds at once, thinking 20 seconds strength + 20 seconds strength = 40 seconds strength. It's NOT! You will end up burning your chocolate. Chocolate does not have a very high melting point, they melt in your mouth and that's not very hot at all compared to 40 seconds in the mircowave. Chocolate can only withstand a temperature of about 45C before all it's characteristics and flavors starts to be compromised.

When the chocolates are melted, you can heat up your cream to a light simmer, roughly about 68-70C, and pour the warm cream into the melted chocolate. Let that sit for about 15-20 seconds to allow the warm cream to melt the rest of the 20% of chocolate before stirring it. I prefer to use a whisk in begining to create a swirl of the two mixtures, and that will eventually emulsify together, becoming a "Ganache".

Start your swirl of emulsion either towards the side of the bowl or dead center, and slowly work in small circles bring everything together before moving out into larger circles. If you start whisking in large circles before you start an emulsion, you risk breaking the ganache, and you will end up with a layer of coco butter floating to the top. Then it's pretty much a down hill battle from there on, unless you know how to fix a broken ganache.

Continue Part 2.

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