Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Chemistry at home

Last night Nick and I made chocolates. I had been preparing for this all week, well, sort of. I had been doing some Internet research on the whole process, ingredients, etc. However, I did that really cool thing where you read "make sure you don't get baker's chocolate" but somehow in imprints in your brain as "you must get baker's chocolate" so I end up grabbing like 2 packages of it. Bottom line is my kitchen now has like 10 cups of unsalted stick butter, 3 packages of bakers chocolate, 3 bags of chocolate chips, a quart of heavy whipping cream, chocolate flavored almond bark, white almond bark....basically my kitchen is a diabetic nightmare....and it is awesome.

So last night, being as I don't have the skill or equipment to start tempering my own chocolate, Nick and I decided to start by using the chocolate almond bark as our shell...totally idiot proof....and focus on experimenting with our filler.

I stress Nick and I due to the fact that Nick is really getting into this whole thing. Th
e kid was a chemistry major so he is just eating up all this information I am getting on the Internet about the make-up of different types of chocolate and how it reacts to heat and so on. His eyes are just lighting up with the idea of playing with heat, melting solids into liquids, trying to maintain a certain temperature, and the idea of not just blending things together but altering their essentials.

s first round we decide to try filling our shells with nutella, straight up, and experiment with a dark chocolate cointreau truffle. Results were promising. While the nutella proved to be delicious it was a little hard to work with so next time we plan on trying to develop a nutella truffle. The cointreau truffle, however, was damn good. So good, in fact, that Nick took a finger of it while I wasn't looking and just screamed, "SHIT!" I was startled and thought he had lit something on fire or at least spilled the whole saucepan on the floor. He just looked at me wide-eyed and said, "Erika, this is really awful and you aren't going to like it. I am just going to have to take this whole thing to work tomorrow and I'll just take care of it myself."

So here's how we did it:

You need -

1 pkg dark chocolate chips (get the good stuff - check the ingredients and make sure they use cocoa butter and not vegetable oil)

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

1/4 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup Cointreau

Start by heating the butter and chocolate chips on low heat, stirring constantly until completely melted and smooth
Stir in cream cream and liquor then stir aggressively to thoroughly blend.
Leave on heat and firmly stir for a few additional minutes to burn off a little of the alcohol
Remove from heat and move into fridge to cool for roughly 30 - 40 minutes.
Check truffle and stir frequently.

For filling chocolates you will want to use the truffle while still malleable. If not filling chocolates the truffle will set into a moldable solid form. While I haven't tried this yet I have a little extra in the fridge I intend to form into balls, dip into Cointreau then coat in unsweetened cocoa powder.

Surprisingly easy.

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