Posts Tagged ‘Handmade chocolate’

Chocolate Champagne Truffles

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010
— Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

More people are making their own gifts at home this year and food is the most popular thing to make. What are the most popular home-prepared foods this time of year? During the holidays this season more home cooks are making a variety of wonderful, home-made cakes, cookies, pastries and candies. One of the easiest chocolate confections to master is the chocolate truffle.

A French invention, the original chocolate truffle was a ball of nothing more than rolled ganache—simply made of dark bittersweet chocolate and cream—often flavored and rolled in cocoa powder. It was named after the precious black truffle fungus because of its physical resemblance.

The chocolate truffle was originally created in the kitchens of the famous French culinary giant Auguste Escoffier during the 1920s. As the story goes, one day, as his apprentice attempted to make a pastry cream, he accidentally poured hot cream over a bowl of chocolate chunks rather than the bowl of sugared egg he should have aimed for. As the chocolate and cream mixture set, he found he could work the chocolate paste with his hands to form a bumpy, lopsided ball. After rolling the new creation in cocoa powder, he was struck by their similarity to the luxurious truffles from the French Périgord region and the Piedmont area of Italy.

As the truffle concept caught on, different truffle textures were created by rolling the center ganache in white confectioner’s sugar or finely chopped nuts, and the ganache was flavored with with the likes of Champagne and other liqueurs.

Today, the term truffle is often misused in America to describe any filled chocolate, and it becomes very confusing. If you see a box labeled “chocolate truffles,” are you going to get round balls of ganache, or ganache-filled chocolates? Or are you going to get a box of cheap assorted creams and other mixed chocolates?

Choclatique Champagne TrufflesAt Choclatique we take making truffles seriously, because we believe that there is nothing more decadent and indulgent than a luscious Champagne truffle made by our artisans—except, perhaps a whole box of them! Our Champagne Truffles are a wonderfully light, creamy and yes, even bubbly, white chocolate and cream ganache made with Dom Perignon Champagne and then enclosed in our rich, award-winning, Private Reserve Dark Chocolate which is then kissed with a leaf of 24-karat gold!

Choclatique Champagne TruffleOur Chocolate Champagne truffle is molded as a contemporary version of the cork peeking out from a bottle—a design created by the talented designers and artists from Ferrari. A Box of Bubbly is a wonderful marriage of the Grand Crux of flavors from France and the Grand Prix of Italian design.

You can find my simple, original Champagne truffle recipe below.

Ed’s Easy Chocolate Champagne Truffles

The chocolate truffle was originally created in the kitchens of the famous French culinary giant Auguste Escoffier during the 1920s. As the story goes, one day, as his apprentice attempted to make pastry cream, he accidentally poured hot cream into a bowl of chocolate chunks rather than the bowl of sugared egg he should have aimed for. As the chocolate and cream mixture hardened, he found he could work the chocolate paste with his hands to form a bumpy, lopsided ball. After rolling the new creation in cocoa powder, he was struck by their resemblance to the luxurious truffles from the French Périgord region and the Piedmont area of Italy.

Makes 24 truffles
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooling Time: 2 hours

Ingredients:
16 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate (64%), finely chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup Champagne or sparkling white wine or liqueur of your choice
1/2 cup cocoa powder, confectioner’s sugar or finely chopped nuts

Directions:

  1. Bring cream to a boil and slowly whisk into the chocolate.
  2. Whisk in warm Champagne or other liqueur.
  3. Whisk in softened butter.
  4. Pour into a 9 x 9-inch glass pan.
  5. Refrigerate until set about 2 hours.
  6. Using a melon baller or teaspoon scoop and portion out 24 truffles.
  7. Using “cold hands” round out the truffles and dredge in cocoa powder, confectioner’s sugar or finely chopped nuts.
  8. Store in an air tight container in a cool place.

ChefSecret: Some people naturally have “hot hands.” That makes it difficult to properly roll truffles without having them stick to your hands. Rinse your hands with cold water and immerse them in a bowl of ice and water before rolling. I usually use disposable latex or white cotton gloves.

Note: Fresh cream truffles only keep for a week, not that any one will let them stay around that long.

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Chocolate Cherry Cordials

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010
— Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique

I was always told by my mother, “Eat it all at once or you’ll be sorry.” Sure enough, upon taking a bite of this luscious cherry covered in chocolate, my chin and t-shirt was quickly covered with the white creamy liquid center of the chocolate.

Chocolate Cherry CordialChocolate Cherry Cordials were originally a French invention—chocolate covered Kirsch-soaked, marinated whole cherries which became liquid centers—soon found their way to the United States. In 1864 Cella’s Confections of New York started making liquid center cherries. In 1929 they began large scale production, but The Brock Candy Company (later renamed Brach’s) was well positioned to become a major competitor and steal the market share away from Cella’s.

During the 1930s, Brach’s introduced its own version of chocolate covered cherries, which quickly became a nationwide favorite. That particular candy not only helped the company survive the lean Depression era but would remain one of its biggest sellers for the next 60 years. Eighty years later Choclatique reinvented this famous confection using the original French recipe.

In this 1952 photo of the Brach’s Candy Company in Chattanooga fondant-covered cherries receive the bottom coating of chocolate.

Making Chocolate Cherry Cordials isn’t all that difficult. You don’t have to have a lot of equipment and be a sophisticated candy maker and you don’t have to take a small syringe and inject the creamy liquid inside the chocolate. That’s accomplished by making a sturdy fondant to wrap around each cherry and then dipping them in chocolate.

This home version of our Chocolate Cherry Cordial recipe is the very best I’ve tried and is similar to how we make them here at Choclatique.

Chocolate Covered CherriesI like to marinate my cherries in brandy, Kirsch or Grand Marnier for a minimum of 2 days—longer is much better. I like to wait 3 to 4 weeks before eating them to allow the enzymes to work their magic and liquefy the fondant. For the best results, please follow the recipe exactly as stated.

Ingredients
50 marinated maraschino cherries with stems, well drained
4 cups of brandy, Kirsch or Grand Marnier
3 tablespoons room temperature butter
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon brandy
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 pounds dipping chocolate couverture, Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate (64%), Choclatique Prestige Milk Chocolate (32%), or Choclatique Snowy White Chocolate (33%).

Directions:

  1. Prepare in advance: In a strainer, drain the maraschino cherries for about 2 hours; then marinate them with the liquor of your choice for a minimum of 2 days (longer is better).
  2. Using an electric mixer, combine the butter, corn syrup, salt and brandy in a large mixing bowl blending until smooth; about 5 minutes. Slowly add confectioners’ sugar and mix well for another 5 minutes to create the fondant. Knead the fondant by hand until smooth, silky and shiny; wrap in wax paper and chill for 30 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, drain the cherries. When the fondant has set, carefully shape a flattened marble-size piece of fondant around each cherry; place on wax paper-lined tray. Chill the wrapped cherries until firm, about 2 hours.
  4. Melt the chocolate and temper accordingly. Holding the cherries by their stems, dip each cherry in tempered chocolate and place on a wax paper-lined tray. Store in a covered container in a cool, dark place for 3 to 4 weeks to fully “ripen” and to attain the “liquidy” center.

Be sure to get a head start on the holidays as it take several days for the centers to become liquid. If you don’t want to go to the trouble and wait for the centers to liquefy you can purchase Chocolate Cherry Cordials directly from our website.

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Pal Joey

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

— Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique

I love doing radio. I have had several of my own shows over the years from Stump the Chef and The Food Show to The Super Foodies (no cape or tights involved!). My partner, Joan, co-hosted with me on the last two.

Occasionally we were asked to sub for the overnight guys at KABC in Los Angeles. Overnight talk radio is something else. It brings out all of the late night wackos. So when I was asked be on The Joey Reynolds show the first time, well… I was a bit skeptical.

Then I discovered that Joey Reynolds is the true leader of The Royal Order of the Night People. He’s “Mr. Nice Guy” from coast-to-coast, where his show is the absolute king of the night.

Joey Reynolds

Joey Reynolds

Joey rose to national fame as a Top 40-radio personality, and many leading authorities in radio think of Joey as the person who invented shock talk radio. A few years ago, he was the focus of a two-part series on the Oprah Winfrey Show about radio talk personalities. Joey was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland for his accomplishments in radio, television, and music.

Today, his unique style of radio-TV personality is a bit more mellow, but he is still able to attract and maintain huge and phenomenally loyal audiences in such markets as New York, Denver and Philadelphia. His radio shows sparkle with a rare and wonderfully sharp, spontaneous wit and his guests are truly legendary. So, I’m always delighted when I am in New York to be invited back to the show… perhaps not so much for my sparking personality as much as for our wonderful Choclatique Chocolate.

This last time I was on the show was the night that Michael Jackson passed away. The first guest of the evening was Ron Luxemburg, former president of Epic Records who was responsible for the Jackson cross-over career. The story that Ron told was that Barry Gordy actually agreed to let Michael leave Motown because he saw the singer’s great potential as a cross-over artist.

And then Joan and I were on. Now, that’s a tough act to follow on a very sad night, but from that moment on, it was all about Choclatique. The one really great thing about being on with Joey and producer, Myra Chanin, is that I never have to toot my own horn. I just feed them all chocolate and let Joey, Myra and all of the other guests talk about Choclatique Chocolate all night long.

We had planned to talk about our new Choclatique Moon Rocks Collection in celebration of man’s first walk on the moon 40 years ago this month, but because of the untimely death of Michael Jackson we dedicated the assortment—for that night only—to “The Moon Walker” himself—M.J.

It’s always a treat to be on with the king… the real King of Overnight Radio… my pal Joey.

Joan Vieweger, Joey Reynolds, Ed Engoron and Myra Chanin on the overnighter Joey Reynolds Show, WOR, New York

Joan Vieweger, Joey Reynolds, Ed Engoron and Myra Chanin on the overnighter Joey Reynolds Show, WOR, New York

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