Friday, July 17, 2009

Ginger Chocolates and Salt Caramels

Finally, I've gotten off my heiney and made a couple batches of chocolates! This week's excuse was mother's birthday (which was last month). She likes ginger, and I just got Michael Recchiuti's cookbook which includes the recipe for his marvelous ginger ganache. So I had to try it! I'm very excited about this cookbook...Recchiuti chocolates are my favorite of all that I've tasted anywhere in the world, and all of my favorite flavors are in this book....yay! I've had it with dipping chocolates (tedious!), so this month I invested in some polycarbonate molds. Easier, and a prettier result. Though as usual, due to my tenuous grasp of chocolate tempering technique, the results were mixed. About half of them were nice and shiny, and half had streaks of untempered chocolate, or were cracked because they didn't fall out of the molds easily, and I had to whack the molds too hard to get them out.

Since I was in the chocolatier spirit, I also decided to modify one of Recchiuti's caramel recipes to try to replicate my favorite salt caramels from Sahagun.

Started out by tempering the chocolate in the machine...
Dusted some of the molds with lustre dust...
Then filled the chocolate molds and let them drain of excess chocolate. You're supposed to scrape the tops off again, but I waited too long for the dark chocolate, so they had set up too much and some got a little raggedy.
Then filled the molds with the ganache or caramel, and topped them with another layer of chocolate after filling was set...
Some of them turned out pretty well....
Others not so much....
The ginger ganache was a dark chocolate in a white chocolate mold, and the salt caramel was covered with dark chocolate.

Lessons for next time:
1. Use less lustre dust. I think less is more in this case...they looked a little funky.
2. Cut the salt in the caramel by 1 tsp. I got a little carried away, and it was a bit salty, even for me! But I will not let them go to waste, because I am frugal that way! ( "Don't waste chocolate": my number one motto).
3. Tempering: practice, practice, practice. I will try warming the molds first and letting the chocolate filled molds rest for a few minutes before draining for a thicker shell, which will hopefully release from the mold easier.


Emily said...

mmmm! looks delicious!

evil cake lady said...

the molds you bought are really cool--especially the one you used for the salt caramels! i'm sure your mom was happy with the truffles, streaked or not, but in the future i will happily help you get rid of any truffles you feel are fails.
i am like melinda, i like to see the insides of things. was the caramel thick or did it ooze a bit?
glad to see you blogging!

Amanda said...

Thanks! I will definitely take pictures of the insides next time...good idea. It was kind of an oozy caramel, but a little thicker than Sahagun's. That is the beauty of the molded can have more liquidy fillings! Anytime you want to swap some truffles for a slice of your yummy cake, you just let me know! :)

john jay said...

oh I like that chocoloate
i love eating that's why im too fat now :)
but most of the time what i eat are chocolates
in fact i buy macaroons online
because that's my favorite which is chocolate macaroons.
well anyway that chocolates above are interesting i wanna try that also.