Saturday, 1 December 2012

With Christmas coming and all the gift giving...

Written by Linda Gauthier

Christmas is coming and I have only just truly realized that, it is already the 1st of December.
We celebrate Christmas in our home in a slightly different manner, my husband and I don't exchange gifts anymore.
Instead, we give the money we would normally have spent on gifts, to a local charity which helps the homeless.  This wonderful place is called "Our Place Society".

Now, having said that, I don't mean we don't give anything to anybody else.  We tend to give gifts of food, or things we have made, to family and friends.  So with that in mind, I created a truffle recipe as part of my review of ".Green and Black's Organic Chocolate.

Truffles make a wonderful gift, and because I am truly trying to limit my calorie intake, I am using the rationale that 1 small truffle is equal to 1 tsp of chocolate, which is not going to kill me.  Right? Right!

My recipe involves ingredients from two of my favorite suppliers of organic products.  These  companies being  "Green and Black's Chocolate" and "Victorian Epicure Selections".

I used Epicure's Mocha Cheese Dip, and Epicure's Pure Cocoa powder, with Green and Black's Organic White Chocolate, their Dark 70%, and Espresso Dark Chocolate. 

I have called my Truffle "Coffee and Cream", so here is the method and how I developed the recipe.

I started off with Green and Black's recipe for Chocolate Truffles with lavender and fennel. It sounded yummy, but it was not exactly what I had in mind at that moment.  I used the basic recipe, linked above, minus the lavender and fennel.

Coffee and Cream Truffles

70% Cocoa Solids, (G & B's Dark Chocolate and Espresso Bars Used )
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ cup organic unsweetened cocoa powder (Epicures Pure Cocoa)

Coffee portion of the Coffee and Cream Truffles

In a food processor, grind the chocolate to a fine powder, about 10 seconds. Pour ground chocolate into a medium-sized, heatproof bowl, and set aside.

Place the cream and butter in a small, heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, about 1-2 minutes.

Add the granulated sugar to the chocolate-cream (ganache) mixture. Whisk the chocolate, cream, and sugar together until smooth. If not completely smooth, place the bowl over a pan of simmering water to help melt the chocolate a little more. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 2 hours until the mixture is thick enough to scoop.

Now for the Cream 

150 ml Eagle Brand Condensed milk
2 bars of Green and Black's White Chocolate
1/4 to 1/2 c heavy cream

1st step melting in double boiler

Cream, condensed milk and chocolate almost to right thickness

Perfect thickness, slow to drip, see the beautiful Vanilla seeds in the chocolate?
Aroma is out of this world.

I let both mixtures sit overnight to ensure that they were the right consistency for rolling into the truffles.  The only concern I had about the recipe to this point, was that I felt there was a little too much butter fat or oil in the Espresso portion.  I believe I may reduce the butter content slightly in the future.

Rolling of the Truffles.

Line up both portions and roll quickly into a ball.
I used a small melon baller to form portions.

rolled truffle before coating is applied aprox. size 1 tsp.

rolling in Epicure's Mocha Cheese Ball Mixture

Completed and cut in half to show what it looks like.
Wish I could let you see what it tasted like.

I had this many made for a party I was serving these at.
Plenty of truffle mixture left for at least 4 more full trays.

When I served these at the party, I did not let anyone know who made them or what was in them, so that I could be sure of an unbiased taste test.
These are a few of the comments heard: Amazing. OMG, where did you get these? Have you tasted these, they are amazing! These are addictive!
So, I guess you get the picture.  They were a hit and yes, some of you may be getting them for Christmas, that is if you are very, very good children.

I have gone out and bought some more Green and Black's Chocolate, so I can try an intriguing recipe for lamb I found on their site.  Have a look for this product.  I'm sure you will be pleasantly surprised.  In the Victoria area, you can buy it at:  The Market on Yates, The Market on Millstream, or at Save-On-Foods.  Please try it for yourself and test the recipes.  This is not your ordinary chocolate.  Besides the flavour, it is Organic and Fairtrade, all very good reasons to treat yourself to this delicious confection. 

****Please note I did receive the chocolate to test at no cost, but the opinions about the product are my own, with no incentive to give a good review, other than that it met my quality standards of a product and was found worthy of high praise.

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