Gastronomically Terrific

August 29, 2010

Truffles, Mark 2

Filed under: Sweets — Tags: , , , , , , — thinkingdan @ 9:52 pm

I claimed I would never make truffles as a present.  I lied.

Trufflicious, and beautiful. Score 1 for science.

These are the same recipe as the previous truffles, with only one difference: I used a chocolate mould.  (Actually an ice-cube mould, but who is to know?)  Instead of fighting the cooling of the mixture, simply pour some chocolate into a mould, smooth it around the edges, then leave to set.  Then pour in some truffle mixture and leave again.  Finally add a chocolate layer to seal the truffle inside.  The end result tastes the same as hand-crafted variety, but is infinitely easier to present well!

I also tried some variation here.  Notice that there are white and milk chocolate truffles.  Much to my dismay, the white chocolate ones were a little too sweet since the truffle mixture is also filled with condensed milk.  They weren’t bad, but not as good as the milk variety.  However, more successful was cherry brandy flavouring – a dash or two in the truffle mixture lead to a divine melting on the pallete, and Tia Maria worked as well.

Tasty yummy goodness, and I’m not even sad that I left it ages to blog about it – we had mixture left over and this evening another dozen truffles have mysteriously appeared.  I’m off now to eat them…

Who made it: Dan

Recipe: See my previous post.

February 15, 2010

Truffles

Filed under: Sweets — Tags: , , , , , , — thinkingdan @ 10:12 pm

First up: acknowledgements.  Huge thanks to Anne for making these for us at Christmas, and putting up the recipe!

There is only one word to describe these truffles: divine. It might be blasphemous, but the only way I can describe the taste is as a Mars Bar made personally by God.

Home made truffles come in all shapes and sizes yet just one awesome favour. Trust me, you don't want them to taste of anything else.

Making your own truffles is a way of turning some tasty chocolate into loads of even tastier chocolate (again with the divinity thing – except that chocolate tastes better than loaves and fishes!).  It’s a fair amount of effort, and it matters which chocolate you start with, because “all” you do it melt it in with some condensed milk, refrigerate, and coat in chocolate.

Of course, that’s some “all”. Anne details all the clever tricks that make it easier, but at the end of the day warm melted chocolate goes on cold balls of truffle that melt at room temperature.  Its a very tricky business!  We don’t have Anne’s “truffle-fu”, so got a little more “variation” than would be ideal.  Still, the taste is all there.  After the ordeal of making them, we were wondering why we bothered since chocolate tastes so yummy anyway.  But the next day when I tried the first one…

Oh.  My.

I won’t be making them as a present – they are tricky, and I couldn’t get them as perfect as Anne did – but if anyone is reading this – I’ll take it as a present any time!  And getting the taste right is thankfully easy, and oh so worth it…

Who made it: A joint effort, though I’ll claim responsibility for the decoration!

Recipe: See Anne’s post, and the pioneer woman‘s post, which is two links in the industrious history of this magnificent recipe.

January 31, 2010

Profiteroles

Filed under: pudding — Tags: , , , , , — thinkingdan @ 4:37 pm

The final stop in our three course dinner was:

Profiteroles

Cream, fat, and chocolate.  On a plate.

Profiteroles: an excuse to have chocolate. Mmm, chocolate.

I’ve never been that fond of profiteroles, and until making them, I never understood why.  It turns out that there are two styles of profiterole: the “true” ones that we made, but there is also a sweetened version that I suspect you most often get from bakeries and supermarkets.  It turns out I like the sweetened version most.

The “bun” part of the profiterole is “choux” pastry: butter, flour and egg.  Notice the lack of sugar.  As they are, these taste the same as a scone, with a slightly lighter texture.  As you can see from our picture, ours didn’t come out in the nice round circles I’m used to seeing, but actually looked like mini buns.  They are also quite finicky about how long you cook them; half of ours were a bit too crispy, though the rest were just fine.

You then chop these in half and fill them with whipped cream.  Here comes my second disappointment; I don’t really like cream.  When its sweetened, its just great, but these aren’t.  So: we basically have cream sandwiches at this stage; chocolate éclair without the chocolate.  They don’t taste any better than shop bought ones, and it is fairly tricky to get right.

Finally, you drizzle the whole lot in chocolate sauce, and finally I begin to see the point in profiteroles.  The recipe calls for brandy to give the sauce a little extra, but we took a gambit and came up trumps by instead adding Cherry Brandy.  I’ve only recently discovered this stuff (see here), and I’m forming the following hypothesis:

“Everything tastes better with Cherry Brandy.”

Now this is still an open question; we need to do some experiments before I can call this a true theory!  But it certainly works here; it turns a dull pile of cream sandwiches into a cherry chocolate explosion.   I don’t really see any purpose in making profiteroles again – not unless I find sweeter recipe – but I’m certainly going to take the next excuse I can to make chocolate sauce with Cherry Brandy.  Yum!

Who made it: Anna and Dan jointly.

Recipe: “Halleyujah! Chocolate!” , page 44.

January 22, 2010

Chocolate Pots

Filed under: pudding — Tags: , , , , — thinkingdan @ 10:26 pm

Chocolate Pots. That would be pots, filled with chocolate.

Pots, of chocolate

Dark chocolate, white chocolate and milk chocolate make for a chocolatey chocolateness

This recipe comes from  the “Co-operative magazine” which mysteriously appears every so often in the post.  In fact, this magazine has some exceptionally good recipes in; so good we thought “Mmm, lets write a blog about all this yummy food”.

This comes as a slight disappointment on the tail of the previous recipes from the co-op, which remain sadly unreviewed. The bottom layer is a creamy chocolate sauce, topped by white chocolate mousse, and a milk chocolate mousse.  These are all pretty tasty as you’d expect, but the overall effect is extremely sweet and it took me two tries to make it all the way though.

This is a shame, as the dessert would have made a perfect topping for a cake, or flavouring for smaller chocolates.  In general, I’ve found this sort of dessert a bit much, favouring instead cakes or baked puddings.  Perhaps I’m just a simple cake monster and should stick to what I know and love?

Who made it: Anna slaved over a hot stove and a whirring blender whilst Dan supervised by licking everything he could find.  Yes, everything.

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