Saturday, September 27, 2008

Switzerland Truffles, Day 2

Day 2 was actually 2 days ago. All 4 truffle batches turned out quite well, though not without a few problems, of course. Thanks to a good tip from one of the professionals over at the Pastry Chef Forum, most of my truffles do not have feet (little puddles of chocolate at the bottom of the truffles)! The key is: during the dipping process, hold about a quarter of the truffle in the chocolate while surface tension pulls off the excess, and then wipe the bottom of the fork on the side of the bowl before putting the truffle on the tray. works!

Before dipping, however, I precoated all the truffles by rolling them in chocolate between my hands, to give them a light coat. Fun!
Unfortunately, it turns out that I should have done this twice for the passionfruit truffles--dark chocolate center covered in white chocolate. You can see the dark chocolate beneath the white, and also the precoat was a little thin sometimes and the ganache peeks through the bottom of the truffle. This shortens the shelf life, so sadly I will have to eat all of those right away. It's a tough job, but I'm a trooper and I'll get it done! Lesson: 3 coats of white chocolate if covering dark ganache.The gingerbread truffles are scrumptious, though I might go for a tad less of the spices next time. The nice thing about the crisped rice coating is that it covers any flaws!

I accidentally used the wrong dark chocolate for the lemon truffles. I was going to use the strong and acidic Valrhona Manjari, but accidentally tempered the more mild El Rey Mijao instead. Not to worry, they're still tasty! Tastier than I thought they would before before I dipped them, in fact.

What was supposed to be Banana Caramel Crunch turned into just plain Banana Caramel. The crunch disappeared overnight, which may be because the ganache didn't set up too well. Possibly because I agitated the ganache too much before letting it cool down. The hot cream/banana mixture did not adequately melt the chocolate, so first I put it over a steam bath, and when it was still lumpy after being heated I whizzed it up with an immersion blender. I should have followed the directions and heated the banana and the cream separately...I think the cream may have curdled and contributed to the problem. So I had a sticky ganache to work with, and I'm worried that it may not be stable enough for a long shelf life. Hopefully the truffles will last a few more days til they arrive in Switzerland. Lesson: Don't heat fruit puree and cream together.I also made a few milk chocolate covered dried strawberries. I was inspired by the tasty but outrageously expensive confections at Godiva, so I ordered 3# of dried strawberries. Unfortunately, I neglected to look at the ingredients first, and didn't discover until they arrived that they were sweetened. They do taste good, but I think they might be better if they were unsweetened. But maybe Godiva uses sweetened strawberries too. I'll have to buy another package and analyze them.

All in all a good effort, and I'm already anticipating trying a new ganache technique with my milk chocolate vanilla truffles! Maybe next week!


Michael said...

I don't think unsweetened strawberries would make those better. I loved the ones in the truffles that were already sweetened!

evil cake lady said...

you could always try a dark chocolate with the sweetened strawberries...
so much chocolate!! how can you manage not to eat all the chocolate?

Amanda said...

Ha're so funny! You don't think I give them all away, do you? I'm not even going to tell you how many truffles I ate last week, because you would be sickened and appalled! I actually did try dipping some of them in dark chocolate first, and then milk chocolate (has to be some milk chocolate, that is what I prefer with strawberry), but it didn't seem to make much difference.

evil cake lady said...

yeah well, i ate most of the third layer of sour cream banana cake with the extra sour cream ganache all by myself! why does my hobby have to be so fattening? sigh.

Amanda said...

Yeah, I hear you. But banana cake with sour cream could anyone NOT eat it all when given the chance? Besides, bananas have potassium so really it's health food! I like to microwave it for about 10 seconds so that the ganache is soft and melty. mmmmmmmm, heaven!