November 3, 2009

What's Cookin: Chocolates

This is what the winner received in the mail a couple weeks ago, although she reported it probably looked better on my end than it did on hers. I just happened to mail it during a not-uncommon October heatwave in Southern California. Not all of them melted, thankfully, and I believe she said she ate them all anyway. If you recall, this is the same girl who licked her knitted stocking clean after her dad lit a fire just underneath them for Christmas, not realizing there was chocolate in each one. For this story alone, Valerie, you are a bosom friend.

Here's a run-through of my first attempt at making chocolates.

Behold, the peanutty centers of the PB balls. I just love the name. I dipped these in semisweet and then milk chocolate. Next time I think I'll do just milk and reduce the powdered sugar in the filling, as they were a bit more crumbly than I'd like.

Next were the ganache truffles. I did some dark chocolate and some chocolate raspberry, but the method was pretty much the same. Melt the chocolate with warm cream, whisk until smooth, add any flavoring, then refrigerate. When cold enough, roll away. I think I let these get a little TOO cold, because the ganache broke my small Pampered Chef ice cream/cookie scoop. I'm still ticked about that one. But I guess you don't get great without a lot of mistakes, blah blah blah.

The rolling:

And the finished rough-looking balls. These are called truffles because when rolled in cocoa (which I did with just the dark chocolate), they resemble the mushroomy truffles that pigs find. The name now includes all sorts of chocolates that have a chocolate and cream base, but most are now dipped (which I did to the chocolate raspberry ones). And this particular pig is very good at finding these kinds of truffles, thank you.

These last ones were a favorite for Ted and some wonderfully obliging taste-testing neighbors, C&A. Melted caramel topped clusters of cashews and dried cranberries,

then were topped with melted milk chocolate.

Ted and I tried a similar confection after the chocolate exhibit at the Raleigh Natural Science Museum and loved them. The creator dubbed them "Bog Frogs" - a play on turtles and the fact that they contain cranberries, I imagine. We just called them scrumdiddlyumptious, and I was certainly not disappointed with my knock-off. Until next time, chocolate lovers!


Jean said...

Mmmm. Mmmmmmm. MMMMMM!!!! THESE LOOK SO GOOD!!!!!! (Is it bad if I just licked my screen? Like, is my computer going to break now?) Nice job, Syphus. I miss you. :-)

The Bunker Family said...

I don't think we talked after I had the peanut butter ones but OH MAN! Those were fantastic and I don't even usually like peanut butter chocolate stuff. I think I loved it b/c it tasted like real pb and not the fakey stuff. It was ALL good. Didn't share. :)

The Cooling Rack

Baked goods are only half the story...