I chose Orange Truffles for the first recipe to try in Peter Greweling’s book Chocolates and Confections: Formula, theory and technique for the artisan chocolatier for two reasons: one, they were truffles and therefore within my comfort zone (in theory), and, two, I had plenty of Grand Marnier on hand.
Though molded chocolates are among my favorite types of confections, I’ve gotta say that they’re a big pain in the arse to make at home. Everything is hurry-up-and-wait, extremely messy, and sometimes seemingly impossible for anyone with fewer than four hands.
But I never regret making them — and I will probably make many more. Continue reading
English toffee is rather easy to make — I based my cashew-loaded version on Carole Bloom’s recipe, but most recipes I’ve found use near-identical formulas. Bloom instructs us to roll the dipped toffee in chopped nuts, coating the piece entirely. I found that to be overkill and decided to have just one side covered with nuts, with a cashew half garnishing the top.
To get the chopped cashews on just one side of the dipped toffee, have a shallow pan filled with toasted chopped cashews (about two to three cups worth) ready to go before tempering the chocolate. Place each freshly dipped toffee piece onto the cashews, gently press a whole cashew onto the top (using this pressure to also press the toffee into the cashew pieces), and let each piece sit until the chocolate is set enough for you to safely move them to another pan. As you take the set toffee pieces off the pan, redistribute the remaining chopped cashews to ensure all subsequent pieces also get a nicely cashewed bottom.
The Carole Bloom recipe I used is from her book Truffles, Candies, and Confections, Ten Speed Press, 2004, p.156-157.
Unable to find a trustworthy cappuccino truffle recipe with a white-chocolate-based ganache (I was trying to please both a coffee lover and a chocolate hater), I decided to adapt truffle goddess Carole Bloom’s cappuccino truffles recipe, which in its original form has a dark-chocolate ganache base.
I was seeking a relatively easy cookie or bar recipe that called for a lot of white chocolate, milk chocolate, or both. I came across this fabulous recipe in Janice Wald Henderson’s appropriately named cookbook White Chocolate. The recipe calls for 1 pound of white chocolate and 8 ounces of dark chocolate. Since I had over 5 pounds of white chocolate to use up, I baked up two batches — one batch with walnuts, one without.
Source or inspiration for recipe: Original recipe inspired by fond memories of jimmie-coated ice cream scoops in cones.
Yield: Two large (approx. 11×17″) slabs of bark (This is actually a double recipe that is easily halved.)
- 2 lbs. white chocolate couverture, tempered in an extra-large bowl
- 12 sugar cones (usually one package), broken into medium-sized pieces (about 1 inch each)
- 8 oz. dried tart cherries, such as Trader Joe’s
- 3 – 4 oz. (a generous 1/2 cup) real chocolate sprinkles (Not the supermarket variety made with wax, please. Try Guittard’s, which you can get via King Arthur’s Flour Catalog, among other places.