Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Homemade Chocolates

When the weather gets bad, some people make cookies, some make brownies, I make chocolate.

Using a pound and a half of Barry 72% Cacao Venezuela that I bought in France, I made an assortment today, including mendiants each covered with a slice of candied ginger, a half hazelnut and a half or whole pistachio nut, depending on size. I was hoping to make them as beautiful as the ones from La Petite Rose, our favorite Paris chocolatier (they use Valhrona). Here you can see that I did not quite succeed -- theirs is the beautiful one with candied orange peel at center left -- but mine are not bad for an amateur.

Mendiants. The perfect one from La Petite Rose is at left center.
The other items were hearts filled with little griottes (Morello cherries) that I got from a jar of preserves from the La Chambre aux Confitures, fluted flat-topped cones filled with toasted hazelnuts, and little disks and leaves of pure chocolate.

Assorted homemade chocolates
Inside of a griotte-filled heart
I tempered the chocolate using Sherry Yard's microwave method, gradually melting the chocolate in short bursts at 50% power until I reached 115 degrees, then adding unmelted chocolate, waiting until the chocolate cooled to 85 degrees and reheating to 90 degrees. For the last step I used my sous vide cooker so I could hold the chocolate at the right temperature until I was ready to use it. As you can see, this method produced shiny chocolate that (you'll have to take my word for it) snaps when bitten.

It is fun and surprisingly easy to do this, and the results are impressive.

Bobby Jay

1 comment:

Nadege said...

Yes, I am very impressed! You did a fabulous job!