dark chocolate bon-bons with rosemary ganache filling

rosemary bon-bons

Hey there! Just wanted to wish everyone a very sweet and happy Valentine’s Day with this chocolate treat. I hope you enjoy these dark chocolate bon-bons with rosemary ganache filling.

May you find yourself surrounded with lots of sweet and kind love–not just today, but every day.

Notes:

1. This recipe requires a technique called tempering. To make things short, the temperature of the chocolate increases and then decreases so that the end result is a glossy, shiny, and streak-less chocolate that possesses a nice snap. I don’t explain the methods ( which are seeding, cool water, and tabling) in this recipe, but there is a lot of information out there of how to do so. I can also provide explanations if anyone would like me to.

2. This recipe requires a bon-bon plaque. The best quality plaques are made from heavy polycarbonate plastic and they will give chocolate its best shine and are nearly indestructible. However, I’ll tell let you in in a little secret and say that I bought mine in Sur La Table for $ 2.95. They are plastic and not quite as durable, but they did the trick just fine.

ingredients:

about 10 oz 70% dark couveture chocolate (this chocolate is used for tempering, so be sure that it’s couverture)

3 sprigs of fresh rosemary (about 2 grams each)

4 oz heavy cream

2 oz white chocolate, finely chopped

1/4 vanilla pod (or 1 gram)

recipe:

1. Place one sprig of rosemary on a sheet tray and bake at 450 F for about 10-15 minutes, until fresh rosemary becomes dry and crunchy.

2. Remove rosemary leaves from stem. Grind leaves in a mortar and pestle until leaves resemble powder. Set aside for later use.

3. Temper chocolate using whichever tempering technique you prefer and fill bon-bon plaques with tempered chocolate. Fill cavities with tempered chocolate. Grab plaque from two corners and vibrate it to release air bubbles from the chocolate. Be sure to hold end of tray and tap multiple times. Hold opposite end of tray and tap multiple times. Knock out chocolate into bowl, tapping and scrapping with bench scraper or spatula so that chocolate comes out. Place plaque upside down over parchment and drain for less than 60 seconds. Pick up plaque and give it a last scrape. Put plaque in the fridge so that chocolate sets completely.

4. Bring heavy cream to a simmer in a small pot and place two rosemary sprigs and vanilla pod in heavy cream. Cover pot and allow heavy cream to infuse with the rosemary and vanilla for about 30 minutes. Remove rosemary and vanilla pod from heavy cream and scrape vanilla seeds into cream. Uncover pot and bring cream to a simmer again.

5. Place white chocolate into a bowl and pour simmered heavy cream over white chocolate. Allow cream and chocolate to rest for about a minute so that chocolate softens and melts. Stir mixture gently from the center until everything is well combined. Add 1/2 tsp rosemary powder to ganache and stir. Allow ganache to cool completely at room temperature.

6. Place rosemary ganache into a paper cone or a piping bag with a small piping tip. Fill each cavity with rosemary ganache just below surface.

7. Re-temper chocolate and pour it on top of plaque to fill all cavities.

8. Smooth with scraper or spackle knife, removing excess chocolate. Allow chocolate to set completely.

9. Turn plaque over and bang firmly to release chocolate bon-bons.

10. Place a small pinch of rosemary powder over the upper right corner of each bon-bon for décor.

Enjoyyyyyyy!

chocolate orange mini pastries

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I have a deep appreciation for the fusion of chocolate and orange. Yes, I have written recipes that showcase these two ingredients before…and I know that I will probably do so again…and again and again, since there are always new ways of exploring flavor combinations that I love.

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But I already told you…I am kind of in love. Or no, wait. I told you that I am obsessed.

Well, I am probably both: in love and obsessed with the kind, yet powerful union of chocolate and orange. Those two ingredients in unison can compose a symphony of flavors in my palate. The bitterness of the chocolate along with the tartness and sweetness of the orange. Yes, I know I am repeating myself so I will stop right there.

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I think the idea for this recipe began with a simple yet delicious dessert I made for my family while visiting Spain.

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I could describe the recipe for you, but if you take a look at the photocollage below, you may understand the procedure fairly quickly. First, simply dip orange segments in melted tempered chocolate and finish each segment with premade candied citrus peel and chocolate sprinkles. Suuuuuper easy. Suuuuuuuuper attractive, pleasing, seductive, and delicious.

I never posted the recipe for the chocolate-covered orange segments for solely one reason. Would you care to know why? Well, if you notice in the picture, the chocolate that covers the orange segments is not tempered (Aaaaahh!!!) and untempered chocolate is a big no no, at least to me and many other pastry cooks, chefs, or…pastry nerds..Tempered chocolate has a beautiful shine, a smooth finish, and a satisfying snap. I’m completely addicted to it.

While being in my hometown in Spain, I unfortunately couldn’t find couveture chocolate that is used for tempering. So I simply melted regular bittersweet chocolate and dipped the orange segments in the chocolate, knowing that I would have to remake the recipe once more with the real thing…tempered chocolate. Tempering chocolate can be an intimidating process, but I promise to offer the best and most thorough explanation I am able to provide when I post the recipe for chocolate-covered orange segments…as soon as I get my hands on some couveture chocolate.

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Anyways…where was I? Oh yes, of course. Those chocolate-covered oranges inspired me to try other ways of uniting chocolate and orange. Thus, these chocolate and orange mini pastries were born. Layers of lightly flavored orange cake and orange Italian meringue buttercream are layered and glazed with ganache. Then they are finished with candied orange peel and chocolate sprinkles…Enjoy!

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**Yields approximately 15 mini pastries. Freeze 4-6 weeks without ganache. Keep at room temperature for 3-4 days.**

Note: The Italian buttercream along with the cake and candied citrus peel can be done days in advanced. The cake and the Italian buttercream can be frozen until you’re ready to assemble the mini pastries. I deeply discourage you from doing all four recipes on the same day. That might just drive you insane. 

Ingredients for Orange Italian Meringue Buttercream: (I like to have leftover buttercream every time I make it and freeze it for later use. If that’s not the case for you, you can cut the recipe in half).

12 oz sugar

3 oz water

2T honey

4.5 oz strained egg whites

15 oz butter, cubed

4 tsp orange juice (I didn’t get my hands on orange liqueur such as Grand Marnier, but I believe that replacing orange juice for Grand Marnier would make a great contribution. I suggest adding it a little bit at a time and tasting the flavor until you reach the desired orange flavor).

2 T orange zest

Procedure/Recipe for Italian Meringue Buttercream: (Please read all steps first before proceeding in order for the technique to be completely clear from start to finish).

1. Combine water and sugar in a pot. Mix water and sugar with fingers to make sugar is lump-free.

2. Heat water and sugar to 238 F (soft ball stage) and add corn syrup to water/sugar mixture as soon it looses yellow color and it becomes clear. Be sure to watch it closely and attentively.

3. Test the temperature of the sugar by numbing finger in ice-cold water, quickly dipping finger in hot water/sugar mixture, and re-dipping finger right back into cold water. Form the cooled sugar into a ball with your hands. Drop ball onto a flat surface. Sugar is ready when it makes a sound when it reaches the surface and when it doesn’t sink in while resting.If you would rather avoid using this procedure, you can also use a candied thermometer and test the sugar until it reaches 238 F.


4. Begin to whisk egg whites at high speed when sugar has reached or is close to reaching 238 F. Decrease speed to medium after about five seconds, just after egg whites have been broken up.

5. Begin to slowly add the hot sugar to egg whites while egg whites continue to whip, meringue is soft, and yellow color is gone. Be sure to pour sugar from the side of the mixing bowl so that it doesn’t go flying everywhere. Whip meringue/238 F sugar until the bottom of the mixing bowl has cooled off and feels lukewarm to the touch.

6. Add pieces of butter continuously to mixture when egg whites are fluffy and stiff peaks are close to being formed. Stop whipping when buttercream looks fluffy and stiff peaks form.

Store in freezer for 6-8 months. Recondition buttercream before use by warming it up over a double boiler and whipping it until fluffy.

Ingredients for Orange Cake:

3 oz cake flour

5 oz AP flour

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

6 oz sugar

4.5 milk

3.5 orange juice

4 oz egg

4 oz vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla

3 1/2 tsp orange zest

Recipe/Procedure for Orange Cake:

1. Sift cake flour, AP flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder into a large bowl.

2. Add sugar to dry ingredients and mix well to combine.

3. In a different bowl, whisk milk, orange juice, eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla together.

4. Combine the wet and dry mixtures together, just enough so that all ingredients are incorporated into the batter. Do not over mix.

5. Add orange zest to batter. Allow batter to rest 20-40 minutes in fridge.

6. Spray a rectangular 13″ x 9″ x 2″ cake pan with vegetable oil and place a piece of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan. Pour cake batter into pan. Bake at 350 F for about 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick that is inserted in the center tests clean. Allow to cool in cake pan.

7. Place a large cutting board over cake pan. Flip cake over onto cutting board and remove parchment paper. Flip cake over once more onto another cutting board so that the top of the cake is on the top. Set aside for later use.

**Keep well wrapped at room temperature for 3-4 days. Freeze for 6-8 weeks**

Ingredients for Candied Citrus Peel:

1 orange

2 oz sugar

2 oz water

Recipe/Procedure for Candied Citrus Peel:

1. Scrub oranges in hot water and pat them dry.

2. Cut off pieces of orange peel and cut orange peel into thin strips. Be sure to exclude as much of the white part as possible to decrease extra bitterness.

3. Throw orange peel strips into a pot of boiling water and cook for about 30 seconds. Strain citrus peel.

4. Fill same pot with new water and bring it to a boil. Throw citrus peel into pot and cook for about 30 seconds and strain. Repeat blanching process once more.

5. Meanwhile, combine sugar and water into a pot and cook over medium heat until all the sugar has completely dissolved to create a simple syrup.

6. Bring simple syrup to a boil and cook blanched orange peel in a gentle simmer in the simple syrup until peel is translucent and tender. You must taste the peel to know if it’s fully cooked. Strain citrus peel.

7. Roll citrus peel in granulated sugar.

Ingredients for Ganache:

12 oz heavy cream

12 oz semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

Recipe/Procedure for Ganache: (this recipe should be done right when the rest of the cake has been assembled to prevent ganache from thickening so much it will can not be used to glaze mini pastries). 

1. Heat heavy cream and bring to a simmer.

2. Put chopped chocolate in a large bowl and pour simmered heavy cream over chocolate. Allow cream and chocolate to rest for about a minute so that chocolate softens and melts.

3. Stir/whisk mixture gently from the center and whisking outwards until everything is well emulsified.

**Store at room temperature for 2-4 days**

Thank Goodness! The time has come to put it all together…

Ingredients:

orange cake

orange Italian meringue buttercream

ganache

candied citrus peel

chocolate sprinkles

Procedure:

1. Build and assemble your cake:

a) Place the cake on a stable surface to work on comfortably. A large cutting board works well for this type of assembly.

b) Trim off all four edges of cake and then cut cake in half with a serrated knife to end up with two thin layers of cake.

c) Cut cake in half down the center vertically to end up with four thin layers of cake.

d) Recondition buttercream to begin cake assembling.

e) Place a layer of cake layer on a cutting board. Spread orange buttercream filling on the surface of the cake layer so that it reaches every corner.

f) Place second cake layer over orange buttercream.

g) Spread orange buttercream filling on the surface of the second cake layer so that it reaches every corner and smoothen it out evenly. Repeat the spreading of buttercream and the layering of cake layers until all the 4th cake layer is on top and cake is about 1.5″ tall.

h) Make sure layers look flat and straight. If they don’t look flat, gently push down on the cake.

j) Put a big dollop of orange buttercream in center of cake and work icing with spatula in order to cover entire surface of cake until it reaches the edges. Cover edges of cake as well.

k) Smoothen top of cake by starting at the edge and coming straight across with spatula at a flat angle until surface is as smooth as possible.  Place cake in fridge and chill for about 10-15 minutes before

l) Hot knife the cake: Bring water to a boil and pour it into a tall cup/beaker. Dip spatula into hot water. Dry spatula and pass it over sides of cake and then over top as well to create smoother and cleaner surface all around. Be sure to dip spatula into hot water after every pass to remove excess icing. Dry spatula and continue passing it gently over the surface of cake to smoothen it even more.

2. Cut cake.

a) Take flat cutting board w/ parchment paper and put even pressure and press down so that surface of cake is completely flat. Leave board over it and refrigerate.

b) Make 1.5” marks on top/bottom and sides of cake layers. Cut strips horizontally and vertically to end up with 1.5” squares.

3. Glaze cake.

(Use room temperature ganache that is at liquid state. Hot ganache will melt buttercream on cake. Ganache that drips onto plastic wrap after glazing cakes can be collected and used again for reglazing or for other purposes. If used for glazing, be sure to act quickly before it cools and the consistency becomes too thick).

a) Place iced cakes over a rectangular cooling rack that is covered completely with plastic  wrap.

b) Pour ganache at one edge of cake and move bowl of ganache to opposite end in order to cover entire cake. Repeat same procedure with all cakes.

c) Allow chocolate to set at room temperature for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle chocolate sprinkles over the surface of cakes and finish by placing a strip of candied citrus peel in the center.

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chocolate & peanut butter sandwich • a true fairy tale story

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Once upon a time, in a very far away land (AKA D.C.) a young girl (okay, not that young) went to the village market in search of goodies to bake a sweet feast.

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The young girl always felt a strong compulsion to eat sweet things–pastries, ice cream, chocolate, and all kinds of desserts–to prevent her from growing sad.

“What shall I ever bake on this splendid and sunny morning to keep me smiling through this day?” she pondered, as there was a deep lack of inspiration on this particular day. After thinking and rethinking she exclaimed, “A chocolate & pine nut tart!” What exactly drove her to that conclusion is still a bit unclear, but her mind and heart were set on that delicious tart.

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And so she packed her bags and strolled past the swaying trees, the grumpy villagers, and the singing birds to get to the village market to buy her ingredients: pine nuts, cream, eggs, butter, etc.

But to the girl’s surprise, there wasn’t much of a market left. “Where is all the butter? And the eggs? What has happened to our village market?!” she cried.

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It seemed as if a storm had made everything vanish and disappear, but the truth is that it wasn’t a storm nor a cyclone the ones responsible for the decline and fall of the village market. It was the grumpy giant from the west. According to village rumors, the wretched giant had run out of his yearly supply of gummy bears and had come to the village market to take everything in a demented revenge.

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So without any ingredients in her bag, the young and saddened girl hurried back home in a melancholic mood, as she would not be able to have her dessert that day. As she searched and rummaged through her kitchen, she only found some chocolate, peanut butter, and bread. No eggs, no butter, no flour, no nothing!

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“Alright, let’s work with what we’ve got,” stated the hopeless girl. She knew that nothing could stop her from getting her dose of sweetness.

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And so the girl tried her best to dry her tears and make a sweet and delicious dessert with the only three ingredients that she had at hand: bread, chocolate, and peanut butter.

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And she comforted herself by knowing that sweeter and better days were soon to come. As for today, this simple and basic, yet fulfilling chocolate/peanut butter sandwich would have to suffice.

True story.

The end.

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Ingredients:

2 slices of bread

about 2 oz of milk chocolate (I used a combination of dark and milk. Totally up to you).

peanut butter

1 tsp 10x sugar

1/2 tsp cocoa powder

Procedure/Recipe:

1. Toast slices of bread until bread gets crispy and a bit brown.

2. Spread peanut butter on one of the sides of each slice of bread and set them so that the peanut butter sides are facing upward.

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3. Place chunks of milk chocolate over one of the slices of bread and put the other slice of bread over the chocolate, peanut butter side facing downward, to create a sandwich.

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4. Place sandwich on a sheet tray and bake at 300 F for about 5 minutes, until the chocolate fully melts. Cut sandwich diagonally in half. You can also trim the crust if you’re not a fan of it.

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5. Mix cocoa powder and 10x sugar in a small bowl and sift mixture over sandwich.

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chocolate & peanut butter sandwich • a true fairy tale story

sweet-lab.com

Once upon a time, in a very far away land (AKA D.C.) a young girl (okay, not that young) went to the village market in search of goodies to bake a sweet feast.

sweet-lab.com

The young girl always felt a strong compulsion to eat sweet things–pastries, ice cream, chocolate, and all kinds of desserts–to prevent her from growing sad.

“What shall I ever bake on this splendid and sunny morning to keep me smiling through this day?” she pondered, as there was a deep lack of inspiration on this particular day. After thinking and rethinking she exclaimed, “A chocolate & pine nut tart!” What exactly drove her to that conclusion is still a bit unclear, but her mind and heart were set on that delicious tart.

sweet-lab.com

And so she packed her bags and strolled past the swaying trees, the grumpy villagers, and the singing birds to get to the village market to buy her ingredients: pine nuts, cream, eggs, butter, etc.

But to the girl’s surprise, there wasn’t much of a market left. “Where is all the butter? And the eggs? What has happened to our village market?!” she cried.

sweet-lab.com

It seemed as if a storm had made everything vanish and disappear, but the truth is that it wasn’t a storm nor a cyclone the ones responsible for the decline and fall of the village market. It was the grumpy giant from the west. According to village rumors, the wretched giant had run out of his yearly supply of gummy bears and had come to the village market to take everything in a demented revenge.

sweet-lab.com

So without any ingredients in her bag, the young and saddened girl hurried back home in a melancholic mood, as she would not be able to have her dessert that day. As she searched and rummaged through her kitchen, she only found some chocolate, peanut butter, and bread. No eggs, no butter, no flour, no nothing!

sweet-lab.com

“Alright, let’s work with what we’ve got,” stated the hopeless girl. She knew that nothing could stop her from getting her dose of sweetness.

sweet-lab.com

And so the girl tried her best to dry her tears and make a sweet and delicious dessert with the only three ingredients that she had at hand: bread, chocolate, and peanut butter.

sweet-lab.com

sweet-lab.com

And she comforted herself by knowing that sweeter and better days were soon to come. As for today, this simple and basic, yet fulfilling chocolate/peanut butter sandwich would have to suffice.

True story.

The end.

sweet-lab.com

Ingredients:

2 slices of bread

about 2 oz of milk chocolate (I used a combination of dark and milk. Totally up to you).

peanut butter

1 tsp 10x sugar

1/2 tsp cocoa powder

Procedure/Recipe:

1. Toast slices of bread until bread gets crispy and a bit brown.

2. Spread peanut butter on one of the sides of each slice of bread and set them so that the peanut butter sides are facing upward.

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sweet-lab.com

3. Place chunks of milk chocolate over one of the slices of bread and put the other slice of bread over the chocolate, peanut butter side facing downward, to create a sandwich.

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4. Place sandwich on a sheet tray and bake at 300 F for about 5 minutes, until the chocolate fully melts. Cut sandwich diagonally in half. You can also trim the crust if you’re not a fan of it.

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5. Mix cocoa powder and 10x sugar in a small bowl and sift mixture over sandwich.

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chocolate gerbet macaroons with raspberry ganache filling • tribute to “mixy”

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I’ve named it “Mixy”. I haven’t decided if it’s a boy or a girl. For the time being, being an “it” will suffice.

Who or what is “Mixy”?, you may be asking. Allow me introduce the two of you, but just so you know…even though Mixy is multi-talented and can do many functions, shaking hands is not one of them so please don’t hold it against him. Oh, I guess it’s a boy after all.

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So this is Mixy….Will you allow me to brag just a little bit while I make the formal introduction? Pleeeeease? Thank you very much. Mixy is a KitchenAid Mixer and not just any mixer, but the one and only KitchenAid Pro 600 in a beautiful nickel pearl color. Mixy is the new member of the family and I need to find a cozy and comfortable space for him. He’s just so beautiful and slick. Oooo, aaaaaa.

I’m in love.

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So for this entry I will not reinvent the wheel but rather choose a recipe I already know I love doing using the KitchenAid mixer. By the way, my favorite recipes to make on this robot-space-like machine are italian meringue buttercream, sponge cake and roulade, brioche, and all types of meringue. They’re not necessarily my favorite things to eat, but I do enjoy making those recipes using this device because they put the mixer to work and make good use of it.

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I decided to make these enticing chocolate gerbet macaroons which require a stiff French meringue and then fill them with a raspberry ganache. A variation of this recipe was given to me by L’Academie de Cuisine. I simply changed the idea and flavor of the filling and of the actual cookie to make them chocolate flavored.

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The point of this, you see, is to stare in wonder at this beautiful, shiny, and slick machine as it helps me create such a sweet delight. Simple as that!

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Materials/Ingredients:

scale

4 oz almond flour

4 oz 10 x sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

3 oz granulated sugar

3.5 oz egg whites

2 oz semi sweet chocolate, finely chopped

2 oz heavy cream

3-4 T raspberry jam

**Yield: About 2 dozen gerbet macaroons**

Procedure/Recipe:

  1. Put almond flour, 10X sugar, and cocoa powder in food processor and pulse until almond flour is fine and everything is well combined.
  2. Sift almond/10x/cocoa powder mixture and set aside.
  3. Make a French meringue using the granulated sugar and the egg whites…with the help of Mixy if possible. You can still make a French meringue by hand or using a handheld mixer. That’s how I’ve been making French meringues up until Mixy came into the picture.
    1. Whip egg whites at high speed for approximately 30 seconds. Bring down speed to medium after 30 seconds. At this point, meringue should begin to look thicker and the yellow color of the egg whites should disappear.
    2. Begin adding 1 tablespoon of sugar to the egg whites while they continue to whip. Start to add sugar more continuously and in larger quantities when meringue gets shinier and it becomes stiffer.
    3. Turn mixer off and test stableness of meringue by whipping it by hand. Meringue should stand on a straight peak when it’s ready.
  4. Add vanilla and stir to combine.
  5. Fold dry mixture into meringue by pouring a little bit at a time into the meringue while folding with a spatula. Allow for the meringue mixture to gently deflate and sink into itself.
  6. Place meringue into piping bag and use a #3 plain tip. Pipe circles that are 1” in diameter onto a sheet tray by squeezing, stopping, and twisting off at the end.
  7. Allow gerbet macaroons to rest at room temperature for 1 hour before baking, until they develop a thin skin on the surface.
  8. Bake at 285 F for about 20 minutes and rotate after about 15 minutes or so.
  9. Meanwhile make raspberry ganache:
    1. Heat heavy cream and bring to a simmer.
    2. Put chopped chocolate in a large bowl and pour simmered heavy cream over chocolate. Allow cream and chocolate to rest for about a minute so that chocolate softens and melts.
    3. Stir mixture gently from the center until everything is well combined.
    4. Set chocolate-heavy cream mixture aside and allow it to cool completely at room temperature.
    5. Add raspberry jam and stir until it’s well combined.
  10. Pipe about a teaspoon of ganache on the bottom of a macaroon. Sandwich ganache in between two cookies by sticking the bottom of another macaroon to the ganache that has been piped. This will create a gerbet macaroon. Repeat procedure until all gerbet macaroons are filled. Et Voilá!

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peppermint truffles • holiday truffle shuffle

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My suitcase is packed and I’m on my way..well almost. DC->JFK->Madrid->XRY. XRY stands for Jerez de la Frontera, the land of sherry wine, horses, and flamenco. Home, how I’ve missed you. I always do. Just to ensure you (although I’m nearly certain that you already know), you are always on my mind. Even when I’m preoccupied with many things during the day, the goal of moving back to you is always present. Someday, I hope.

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But as of now I have one day left in DC before I embark on my yearly journey back home and Mark is with me! The question is: How do we spend our last day together before we both head home for the holidays? The answer is simple and obvious: making peppermint chocolate holiday truffles. How else would we spend the day?

* For these truffles I modified the common ratio for ganache (1 heavy cream : 1 chocolate) and doubled the proportion of chocolate with the idea that the ganache will be thicker and thus be capable of being shaped into truffles. Therefore I used 2 chocolate : 1 heavy cream for the truffles.

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sweet-lab.com

Materials/Ingredients:

scale

4 oz good semi sweet chocolate, chopped

2 oz heavy cream and 1 oz of heavy cream, separated

7 oz good white chocolate, chopped

1 T honey, separated in 1 1/2 tsp + 1 1/2 tsp

2/3 C candy canes, grounded

(Other toppings of your choice)

Procedure/Recipe:

1. Heat 2 oz heavy cream and 1 1/2 tsp of honey and bring to a simmer

2. Put chopped semi sweet chocolate in a large bowl and pour simmered heavy cream over chocolate. Allow cream and chocolate to rest for about a minute so that chocolate softens and melts.

3. Stir mixture gently from the center until everything is well combined.

4. Repeat steps 1-3 with 1 oz heavy cream, remaining 1 1/2 tsp honey, and white chocolate.

5. Pour both chocolates in separate baking dishes and refrigerate for 1 hour until chocolate is pliable but firm enough to scoop.

6. Meanwhile, prepare your toppings. In this case, grind your candy canes very finely. You can also leave some pieces a bit larger for extra crunch!

Why not experiment with other toppings if you have them handy? Toasted and chopped pecans, caramel sauce, melted/tempered chocolate as an outside layer, m&ms, ….whatevs…

7. Remove chocolate from refrigerator. Make dollops of the chocolate mixture and place dollops on a baking sheet that has been covered with parchment paper. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes, until chocolate is firm enough. Roll dollops into rough spheres.

8. Roll the truffles in the finely chopped candy canes. Chill until ready to serve.

Observations:

– The rich and creamy texture interior and the crunchy and brittle minty exterior produce a nice contrast.

– I originally used the 2 (heavy cream) : 1 (chocolate) ratio for the white chocolate truffles and the consistency was too thin and runny, to the point that I could not shape the chocolate into dollops or spheres. For that reason I think that the ratio 2:1 does not apply to white chocolate. Maybe it’s due to the absence of cocoa mass in white chocolate…hmmmm….The makeup of dark chocolate and white chocolate is definitely different so I guess that the proportion of chocolate and cream that is used in each recipe should be different.

Results/Conclusion: These truffles are fun to make and easy to eat. Oh yes they are. This winter play some Christmas carols, wear a Santa hat, sing “Last Christmas” by WHAM, make a snowman if snow is available (and if it’s not available as well..), give your family and friends hugs, drink champagne, give thanks for how lucky you are, and of course…make and eat peppermint chocolate truffles and do the truffle shuffle!! 

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