Sunday, December 14, 2008
Chocolate for the Holidays
Just in time for the Holidays- What do you get when you mix cream, vanilla, deep-dark-chocolate and a little heat…It's Bliss! I just have to share my secret. There are few recipes that I keep close to the vest. This is one of them. I will guarantee you that this one will please your sweetheart, your children, your parents or your guests. If they like dark chocolate- they will LOVE this. I frequently serve this as a fondue type dessert alongside fresh fruit slices. We have also draped it on warm berries, dipped marshmallows in it, spooned it over ice cream and licked it off a spoon. If you serve it warm, it's silky and liquid. At room temperature it starts to solidify. When chilled it is firm enough to scoop into truffles. You can even freeze it in ice cube trays and pop out a couple for a quick hot fudge fix. Any way you slice it- It's a moment of chocolate rapture. I've even deep fried it- see recipe below- for a molten chocolate meltdown. Hope this makes your holiday just a little bit sweeter.
Dark Chocolate Truffle Sauce
Serve this silken chocolate sauce atop ice cream or dip fresh fruit into its depths for a delightful end to any meal.
12 oz (2 cups) dark or bittersweet chocolate bits
2 oz unsweetened chocolate- chopped
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Heat the cream in the bowl of a double boiler. Add the chocolates. Melt the chocolates together with the cream, whisking constantly until smooth. Add the vanilla and salt. Stir until completely combined. Serve warm.
If you have any leftovers, cover and chill. When cool, shape into a log or large ball. For individual servings, use a small scoop or spoon to create little balls the size of your favorite truffles. Roll in cocoa or grated chocolate.
Deep-Fried Chocolate Truffles--OMG
3 cups chopped semi-sweet chocolate
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
3 cups fine dry French bread crumbs or panko bread crumbs mixed with1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon and 1/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour mixed with 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 eggs, beaten with 1 teaspoon water
Vegetable oil (for frying)
Finely grate or shave chocolate; if necessary, transfer chocolates to a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse briefly; be careful not to let the chocolate melt in the processor bowl. Place chocolate pieces in a large bowl.
In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, heat the cream just to a slight boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate pieces and allow the mixture to stand for 5 minutes. Stir mixture in a slow, circular motion. The molten chocolate and cream will blend slowly, and then become smooth and glossy. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, press the film onto the surface of the chocolate to prevent a skin from forming.
At this point, chill the ganache in the freezer for approximately 3 hours or until it is the consistency of modeling clay. Every 30 minutes give it a gentle stir to keep it from separating.
Line a sheet pan or cookie sheet with waxed paper and roll the ganache into small balls about 3/4-inch in diameter. Arrange the balls on a sheet pan. Put them back into the freezer for about an hour so they are completely firm.
Set three shallow bowls out across your work surface, into one place the flour mixture; into the next place the beaten eggs and into the third place the bread or panko crumbs.
Using your left hand, take a chocolate ball, roll it in the flour, and drop it into the egg. With your right hand, coat well with the egg, and transfer it to the bread-crumbs. Coat well and transfer to another half-sheet tray covered with waxed paper. After all the balls have been coated, repeat the process - flour, egg, bread-crumbs. At the end of the second coating they should be almost the size of a golf-ball. Place them back into the freezer for at least an hour, or even overnight. If you're going to keep them longer than that, put them on layers of waxed or parchment paper in an air-tight container.
When ready to serve, put vegetable oil into your fryer and bring it to 375 degrees F. Fry two balls at a time. Transfer the cold truffles into the oil and let them fry for almost a whole minute. The coating will be golden brown and slightly hard (the sugar will be nicely caramelized). Let dry on paper-towels. Serve them while still hot.
Makes 3 dozen truffles.