Join the chocolate mania!

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July 24, 2013 by Shweta D'souza

At the heart of a good chocolate truffle is the ganache. It sounds poncy but really it’s just 50:50 cream and chocolate and it’s really easy to make. Once you have mastered the basic recipe, you can infuse the cream with different flavours to create your own unique truffles“, exclaims Heston Blumenthal, the lovely host of How to cook like Heston on TLC. I must admit, I couldn’t get the idea of making chocolate truffles off my mind once I heard this. Was it because of the tempting visuals on the show? Or maybe I was just amazed by sheer deliciousness of chocolate. Well, both tempted me!

Why Heston’s Recipe?

Heston Blumenthal challenges the way we cook chocolate. The secret to success, he says, when cooking this luxurious ingredient is gentle seduction – indirect heat and away from moisture. With these simple rules, Heston whips up creamy truffles, a passionfruit gateaux with an exploding popping candy base, and a tiramisu hidden under a layer of edible chocolate soil… in a flowerpot.

Heston Blumenthal

Heston Blumenthal

Armed with a can of keyboard dust cleaner, Heston shock freezes melted chocolate into a pliable chocolate sculpture, uses a paint sprayer loaded with velvety dark chocolate to coat a frozen cake, and shows us how the good stuff is made using a pneumatic drill.

He visits his village hall to show the colourful characters from the local amateur dramatics group the best way to make a hot chocolate, and invites them over for tea to try his magical flowerpot tiramisu.

Let me share this amazing recipe with you, go ahead and conquer the chocolate world!

Chocolate Truffel

Chocolate Truffle

Ingredients

  • 300ml double cream
  • 300g dark chocolate, chopped (minimum 65% cocoa solids)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Cocoa powder

Preparation

-Place the cream in a pan over a medium heat and bring up to a simmer.
-Melt the chocolate in a large bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.
-When the cream is simmering, remove the pan from the heat, add the salt, and add to the melted chocolate a third at a time, making sure that the cream is thoroughly incorporated after each addition. Allow to cool slightly.
-Pour the chocolate mixture on to the lined tray and leave to stand at room temperature for 4 hours, then place in the fridge for 5-6 hours or until set.
-Using a small melon baller, scoop balls of the chocolate out of the ganache then roll in cocoa powder before serving.

Chocolate Gateau

470

Ingredients

For the base

  • 150g all butter shortbread biscuits
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • melted 2 tbsp
  • white caster sugar
  • 25g neutral popping candy

For the chocolate ganache

  • 175g whipping cream
  • Pinch of salt Pulp from 6 passion fruits
  • 50g fresh custard
  • 110g dark chocolate (minimum of 60% cocoa solids), broken into pieces
  • 50g milk chocolate, broken into pieces

For the flocking

  • 500g dark chocolate
  • 200g vegetable oil

Preparation

-Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4. Place the shortbread biscuits on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 10 minutes until golden brown.
-Place the biscuits in a food processor and add the melted butter and sugar. Blitz until the mixture resembles fine sand in texture.
-Gently stir in the popping candy. Place the mixture inside a 15cm cake ring placed on a tray lined with baking paper. Flatten using the back of a spoon then put to one side to set.
-Add the cream, salt and passion fruit to a small saucepan and place over a medium heat until it almost comes to the boil. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for 5 minutes, then stir in the fresh custard.
-Put the dark and milk chocolate in a bowl. Place over a bain marie (a pan of gently simmering water) and allow to melt completely. Remove from the heat.
-Strain the infused cream and add to the bowl of melted chocolate a third at a time, making sure to incorporate the cream thoroughly after each addition. Allow the ganache to cool to room temperature.
-Once the tart base has set, use a pastry brush to spread some of the ganache on top of the base and around the edges then place in the freezer for 5 minutes. This will ensure that the ganache will not seep through.
-After 5 minutes, pour the remaining ganache into the ring and place the tart in the fridge to set for 2 hours. Place the tart in the freezer at least 4 hours before flocking.
-After the gateau is fully frozen, sit the gateau on a wide upturning glass or pot. -Remove the metal ring by lightly warming with a blow torch. Remove by carefully sliding the ring downwards. Place back in the freezer.
-For the flocking, break the chocolate into chunks and place in a small bowl. Melt the chocolate by placing the bowl over a bain marie. Leave to cool slightly before stirring in the vegetable oil.
-Fill the base of a paint gun with the melted chocolate mixture and attach the nozzle. To avoid redecorating the kitchen in chocolate brown, set a large cardboard box on its side to provide a protective roof and walls to work in.
-Remove the gateau from the freezer and carefully lift it onto a plate. Place the gateau in the cardboard box then spray it with the chocolate, turning carefully as you go. Return it to the freezer until 20 minutes before serving.

Tiramisu

Ingredients

For the crystallised dark chocolate

  • 200g white caster sugar
  • 80g dark chocolate, roughly chopped (minimum 60% cocoa solids)

For the caramelised Grape Nuts

  • 50g Grape Nuts cereal
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 15g brown sugar

To finish the soil

  • 60g white chocolate
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • Toasted and caramelised Graoe Nuts, roughly chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 60ml hazelnut oil
  • Crystallised dark chocolate

For the dark chocolate layers

  • 250g dark chocolate (minimum 60% cocoa solids)

For the Marsala cream

  • 3 large eggs
  • 50g unrefined caster sugar
  • 300g mascarpone
  • 200ml whipping cream
  • 60ml Marsala
  • 1.5g leaf gelatine, softened in a little cold water

For the sponge fingers

  • 24 sponge fingers
  • 150ml ground coffee brewed in 400ml water
  • 100ml Marsala

To serve

  • Basil and mint leaves to garnish

Method

-For the crystallised dark chocolate, put 75ml cold tap water and the sugar into a saucepan and place the pan over a high heat. Bring to the boil and continue to heat until the temperature of the liquid reaches 135ºC or until the syrup at the side of the pan begins to colour.

-Remove from the heat and immediately add the chopped chocolate. Whisk to incorporate the chocolate and continue to whisk until the liquid has completely crystallised.

-Pour the chocolate crystals onto a parchment-lined baking tray and allow to cool. This can be kept in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month.

-To caramelise the Grape Nuts, place them in a frying pan over a high heat and allow to toast for approximately 4 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time. Add the salt and continue to toast for an additional minute.

-Sprinkle the sugar over the surface of the Grape Nuts and stir with a spatula until the surface of the Grape Nuts is well-caramelised.

-Pour the caramelised Grape Nuts on to a parchment-lined baking tray and allow to cool at room temperature.

-To caramelise the white chocolate, preheat the oven to 190ºC/gas mark 5. Place the white chocolate on a parchment-lined baking tray and place in the oven for 15 minutes. After the first 5 minutes, begin to stir the chocolate every couple of minutes until fully caramelised.

-Mix the crystallised dark chocolate and caramelised white chocolate with the cocoa powder and caramelised Grape Nuts then add the salt and the hazelnut oil.

-To make the dark chocolate layers, break the chocolate into pieces and melt in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.

-Pour the melted chocolate over a sheet of acetate. Place another sheet of acetate on top and then place a heavy chopping board on top to create a thin even layer. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes.

-Using a pastry cutter roughly the size of the inside of the flower pots, cut out four discs. Store in an airtight container in between sheets of parchment in the fridge.

-To start the Marsala cream, whisk the eggs with the sugar until light and fluffy.

-In a separate bowl, whisk the mascarpone, whipping cream and Marsala until soft peaks form. Fold the cream mixture into the sugar and eggs in three additions.

-Place 5 tablespoons of the cream mixture in a small saucepan. Squeeze the excess water out of the gelatine leaf, add it to the pan and warm up the mixture just enough to melt the gelatine. Whisk the mixture into the bulk of the Marsala cream.

-To soak the sponge fingers, place them in a flat tray. Mix the coffee with the Marsala, and drizzle some of this over the top. Allow to soak for approximately 1 minute, then turn the sponge fingers over and drizzle with the remaining coffee mixture.

-To assemble the tiramisù, place a chocolate disc on the bottom of each pot, then add some sponge fingers soaked in coffee and Marsala. Next add some Marsala cream. Place another chocolate disc on top then some more Marsala cream, one more disc and a final layer of cream. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

-Sprinkle the soil on top of each tiramisu flower pot to cover the surface.

-To finish the tiramisù, brush some melted chocolate underneath mint and basil leaves and, when dry, ‘plant’ them in the edible soil.

Ofcourse you CANNOT go ahead with this recipe without getting hypnotized by visuals and scientific techniques: http://youtu.be/ovr1yXqIX8Q

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