CHOCOLATES WITH CHOCOLATE GANACHE
marvellous chocolate ideas . . . . .
hand made chocolates can be one of the most satisfying
tasks in the kitchen and yet one of the hardest to write
about and describe.
surprising I suppose when a true chocolatier will have
years of apprenticeship and experience behind them,
yet we all wonder why we can never get it quite right.
The chocolatier will be repeating tasks day after day
for years to gain perfection yet we ponder why after
a few attempts, over a period of months, it is not all
coming together like a professional. We have to accept
limitations, accept the fact we do not have the tools
and equipment to rival the best Belgian or Swiss chocolatiers.
said that producing hand made chocolates can be rewarding,
fulfilling and fun . . . as long as we do not expect
to be experts overnight. A simple way of starting to
learn this art form is mastering the making of what
is called a ganache. A ganache in the simplest of terms
is one of the soft, creamy, chocolate fillings.
cream in a thick based pan and remove from the heat,
the chocolate and stir in the butter, stirring until
the butter has also melted and is fully incorporated
in a couple of drops of your favourite flavouring
essence such as orange, banana, almond, etc
in the cream and stir quickly as the mixture will
from the heat and allow to cool
ganache can be moulded by hand into rounds, ovals, etc
but chocolate moulds are readily available. They are
generally made of a clear plastic. If you invest in
these, care has to be taken with their maintenance so
read the instructions carefully.
they should not be washed, but just wiped out with paper
towels. If you are worried about the hygiene factor,
wash them carefully in hot water with only the minutest
of detergent in the water, rinse them thoroughly, turn
them upside down to drip dry and then pat and polish
with a soft paper towel or the cloth used for wiping
spectacles. These moulds tend to scratch and ruin very
easily and will result in dull looking chocolates.
these moulds are used, using a long process that involves
coating them with chocolate, cooling, filling, etc.
I found that for the layman they are best used as follows:
a small amount of the ganache and press lightly into
the mould to form the shape, taking care not to get
any air bubbles
you would like to place a whole nut, chopped nut,
etc in the middle, just half fill the mould, lightly
press the nut in and add more ganache to finish
a palate knife, level off and scrape away any extra
turn out buy turning upside and gently tapping
them up carefully they may then be dipped and / or
coated (see below)
you do not have or do not want to invest in moulds they
may also be shaped by hand. Roll into small balls, ovals
or turn the ganache out onto a clean bench and shape
into a thin rectangle and cut into small squares, rectangles,
diamonds, etc or using small pastry cutters cut as required.
of the easiest ways of covering the chocolates is to
roll or lightly press them in cocoa, dessicated coconut,
ground almonds, etc
more adventurous will want to coat them in 'solid' chocolate,
for this one will need care and attention. There are
dipping utensils that can be picked up quite cheaply
for this, that are made of wire, that allow the chocolate
to fully envelope the ganache. But with care one can
do it with a couple of teaspoons or forks (the forks
I found work better).
an amount of chocolate
rest the shaped or moulded ganache on a fork (do to
try to spear it!) and using the second fork in the
other hand guide it to the chocolate and immerse,
while keeping it in the fork
and place on a sheet of silicon paper, mat or overhead
projection sheet. (The latter is widely used by professional
chefs, as it is non stick, fairly cheap, readily available
and leaves the chocolate with a sheen and may be re-used
. . . but I didn't tell you that!)
to set and decorate
your chocolates have hardened, they may then be decorated
a different colour chocolate into a small paper piping
bag, cutting a fine nib and piping different lines,
shapes, etc onto them. You will have all seen what
I mean on the chocolates your loved one has given
you over the years!
a slice of almond, etc maybe be secured on the top
just before the chocolate hardens, if the chocolate
hardens and you want to finish this way, dip the prong
of the fork into the melted chocolate and just dot
the top of the finished item and place the nibbed
or sliced almond, etc on top.
are just a few ideas. I am sure before you start or
as you are working you will think of many more. Maybe
layering the large rectangle of ganache you have just
made with a thin layer of marzipan before you cut it
and dip them or lightly pressing in a layer of coconut
- if you can think of it, it can be done!
and bon appetit . . . . .
quantity (add to taste)
meaning a whole one of
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