Sunday, February 14, 2010

Chocolate Valentines, Some are Spicy and Some are Sweet!

When Kate of Serendipity contacted me about a special Valentine Post she was organizing I immediately agreed to join. She offered to send chocolate, but since I had just taken delivery of 30 pounds of Belgium chocolate I declined her offer, (Something I regret to this day) but agreed to post. I knew I would make truffles, but what flavors? My dilemma was this, I have a sweet Valentine,
who is kind, gentle and thoughtful. He loves playing with fire,  eating spicy food and always has a smile on his face.
My Spicy Valentine,
who spins a mile a minute, bites off more than she can possibly chew, and somehow manages get it done. She is quick to cut, has no patience and laughs until everyone is forced to laugh with her. 
But they are both chocolate lovers. What to do? Make a spicy chocolate truffle for the sweet one.....
and a sweet chocolate truffle for the spicy one.
To make my spicy truffle I used Lindt Chili Dark Chocolate to prepare the ganache. I then enrobed it in dark Belgium Chocolate. Sprinkle with red peppercorns it was a delight for the senses.
My sweet truffles were made with dark Belgium chocolate with Cardamom and Grand Marnier.  They had a hint of orange which worked well with the Cardamom. I have a confession, I once read Kate's blog that cardamom and orange were made for one another. I agree, it's a match made in heaven.
Both my Valentines were thrilled. Neither wanted the other person's truffles. Which is a switch from 10 years ago! 
This Special Valentine Blog was Hosted by Kate @ Serendipity. Click on Kate's web site and see all the Chocolate Valentine's created today!
Kate I made an Orange Cardamom for you! 
Happy Valentine's Day Dear Friend!
Basic Ganache Recipe

12 ounces, best quality chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup cream
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 tablespoon liquor

Melt chocolate in a microwave, stirring every 15 seconds, being careful not to burn it. Cool to 90 degrees F.
Bring the milk, cream and corn syrup to boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool to 90 degrees F.
Once cooled stir the cream into the chocolate mixture until smooth. Stir in the liquor.
Place in a food processor and  process about 30 seconds until smooth.
Spread on a plastic covered sheet pan and cool to 75 degrees. 
Once cooled you can pipe them out onto a parchment covered sheet pan, or using a melon ball tool, form them into balls. If you are hand rolling them, use disposable gloves. It's much easier. 
Chill the balls slightly, and then dip the truffles in melted chocolate. Temper it if you dare!
You can add any number of spices or liquors to this recipe and you will have a wonderful creamy ganache. Many recipes suggest putting your chocolate in the food processor and pouring boiling cream over it to make the ganache, but this method makes a creamier and longer lasting ganache. 
All Text and photos are property of The Gypsy Chef