Sunday, March 20, 2011

Renegade Chocolate Truffles - Solidarity Chocolates


Finally a post! Holy smokes does protesting and chocolate school take up a lot of ones time. I am back... with a post and plenty of photos to keep your mouth watering and have you running to your craft cupboard to whip up a protest sign and join me in our next march!


Many of you know there has been a coordinated effort around the country to eliminate public worker's union rights. This has had a direct effect on me, my family and friends and will undoubtedly have a direct effect on the our children's education, and the climate and future of our beautiful state of Wisconsin. The past 5 weeks have been filled with many visits to our capital building, hours of protest marching, swells of beautiful energy of one hundred thousand people coming together to fight for our collective bargaining rights. These visits have left many of us tired, sad, hopeful, angry, blissed out, furious, elated, high, depressed - you name the emotion, we have experienced it here. 




Not to mention that the entire world seems to be going to hell in a hand basket...... quickly. What is in the air as of late? Good grief?I n some cases it is as if we have finally woken up and decided collectively, to fight for what is right! on a side note.....(I am hoping that Washington Nuclear Energy Lobbyists are reading this right now are having a conversion experience) Wake up and face the facts.... NO SUCH THING AS GOOD NUCLEAR RADIATION!  However, in other cases, it seems like the whack jobs out there keep getting kookier while the rest of us wise up to the ridiculous farce we call our government! Japan, Libya, Egypt, Syria, the continual assult on women in Afghanistan, Sudan, the Congo... yikes! Spread some love around people because the world needs it right now.




I decided to spread some love around with delicious chocolate truffles. I wore the little "get-up" you see below and handed out plenty of truffles, caramels and cookies to the people of Wisconsin! My way of spreading love these days is by making chocolate.


The inside of the box, looked like this!


Solidarity Chocolate...... I may be busy with protests, but I have also been busy keeping up in my chocolate class. I have been creating and eating a lot of chocolate. The Swiss eat the most chocolate. However, I bet that I have out-eaten anybody this year in the world of chocolates. Tasting and testing and more tasting and testing, that has been my modus operandi in the kitchen these days. Here are a few pics of me busy, testing, creating, tempering and tasting!







The above chocolate truffles are a buttery sensation. They are laden with organic cultured butter, Valrhona chocolate, organic cream, and covered with Valrhona's Cocoa Powder. If you haven't tried their cocoa powder, try some today as it as such amazing depth. I topped several truffles with Pink Sea Salt, however, I did not snap a pic. These are topped with a Gray Celtic Sea Salt.



 – Pink Diamond Truffles –

24 oz Valrhona Manjari
8 oz Guittard Orinoco Milk Chocolate
1 & 1/3 cup heavy cream
11 TBS unsalted butter, room temperature soft
Cocoa powder – Valrhona – for rolling/coating
Hawaiian Pink Salt for topping truffle 

Melt chocolate to 115 degrees  Heat cream until it just comes unto a boil, let cool to 155 degrees.
Add cream to chocolate mixture, emulsify mixture. Add butter until well combined and no streaks are left. Pour into prepared pan, a plastic wrap lined 9x13 pan. Chill for at least 2   hours.
After chilled. Cut diagonal lines 1” wide. Remove strip, cut again along the diagonal for a diamond shape. Coat in Valrhona cocoa powder. Top with Hawaiian Pink Salt. Arrange on tray. 

I chose to coat these truffles with Valrhona cocoa powder. I have been a huge fan of Valrhona cocoa powder for years. It offers up some of the most earthy and sensual flavors. The silky powder on one’s lips adds a really neat dimension to these uber-rich butter truffles. The centers are very creamy, mellow, due to the cream, butter and milk chocolate ingredients. These ingredients are then offset with the sharp, bright flavor notes given by the Manjari bittersweet chocolate. 

I coated these truffles in plain Valrhona cocoa powder. I did not roll these truffles as they contained too much butter and they had the tendency to slide around in my hands instead of forming a nice round ball. Hence the really unique diamond shapes. I was thrown off at first as I was assuming a “truffle” needed to be “round”. I settled on the diamond shape to try something “out of the box.” (have you seen MarieBelles Chocolate Truffles…. For the un-adulterated fresh truffle… not quite a sphere) I dropped the diamonds in a bowl of cocoa powder and coated them thoroughly. I actually gave them a second coat of cocoa powder to help seal the truffle. 

The diamond shapes look very elegant on a serving tray and when topped with the pink Hawaiian sea salt, they looked even more regal and delicious. The salt would stay on the truffle if the grains of salt were just slightly pressed into the top of the truffle. I chose the pink salt because it looked so striking on the dark, velvety cocoa powder. I also tried out gray sea salt and it also looks fantastic on the cocoa powder, almost as if snowflakes landed on the truffles. The truffles did not need the salt, but I am a HUGE fan of adding salt to any chocolate as it really brings out the flavor nuances.