"And now let us welcome the new year, full of things that never were."
Being the late runner that iam , iam yet again late in welcoming the new year on the blog, but iam so so glad that its not one of those years when iam still hoping that this is going to be a year when i will be blogging more often and i have to revive my blog, and i have to do so many more things on the blog, well this is a year, were i started the efforts a month ago, posted on 28 days of December and the blog looks so much more livelier and colorful and active, that i dont have to plan, things are just happening. And iam loving it.
I am excited to start this year with something new and am sure its going to be like this most of this year, i have pledged to try out many new things and this is just the beginning. For a long long time i have wanted to try out truffles at home, i had read about the ease of preparing it, then i saw Ruth's account of Chef Antonio making the truffles and then at the same time i managed to arrange an awesome 5 course meal with the help of Chef Antonio at Movenpick for our 5th anniversary and Chef was gracious enough to give me a demo of giving me a live demo of the making of the truffles. I instantly fell in love with the techniques he used and had been wanting to try the techniques soon enough. Not to forget i was also tempted by the beautiful photographs of the truffles in BBC Good Food Magazine long ago.
Finally this weekend, i managed to try it out and all of us were in total awe of it. To the extent that i had intentions to save some for my colleagues but they didn't survive that long. Presenting the melt in the mouth dark Chocolate and pistachio truffles.
Dark Chocolate and pistachio truffles
Yields : 25 truffles
Preparation time : 1 hour (for the pistachios or just 5 mins)
Making time : 25 minutes
400 - 500 gms dark chocolate compound
100-150 gms milk chocolate compound
200 gm fresh cream
1 tsp vanilla essence or vanilla scraped out of 2 vanilla pods.
2 tbsps dark / gold rum (optional)
100 gms of pistachios shelled / peeled and coarsely chopped for coating
2 tbsps of cocoa powder for coating
ice for thickening.
1. Melt all the chocolate in a double broiler for 5 mins or until the chocolate melts, i like more of the dark chocolate, but you can adjust the proportions as per your liking.
2. Also add the vanilla and half of the crushed pistachios into the mixture. If you are intending to use the rum, add it now. When the chocolate has melted, it will seem too liquid to be rolled into truffles, dont worry, you will see the magic when you add the cream.
3. ONce the chocolate is melted, take it off the broiler and dd the cream and stirring continuously, coz you would see the chocolate will start thickening dramatically. If you are in a colder region, it will thicken even more.
4. The truffles mixture will not be thick enough to be rolled into truffles, keep stirring for 5 minutes and place it over a bed of ice cubes to fasten the thickening process.
5. The chocolate will start hardening at the bottom, if placed over the ice bed, so you can place it over the broiler water for a few seconds so that it doesn't stick.
6. In less than 5 minutes the mixture is ready to be rolled into truffles. Its still a sticky mixture, use the technique used to make quenelles, as shown here, use 2 tsp, make quenelles and drop it over the cocoa powder bowl.
7. Coat some of the truffles with the coarsely cut pistachios, make sure you do the pistachio coated ones before, as otherwise too much of cocoa in your hand will make the pretty green pistachios turn brown.
8. To make the pistachio coated truffles, dont heavily coat the truffles with cocoa, you need only as much to keep it not as much sticky as before, once it is somewhat round, place it in another plate, dust off the extra cocoa, and then transfer it to the pista bowl and coat it completely with the pista. (All these details so that your truffles look pretty and green and not muddled in half cocoa and half pista)
7. If you are making a plain cocoa truffle, coat it will with the cocoa and pick it and shape it into a circle by your hand.
1. Chop the chocolates as per your convenience, note we need to melt these chocolates, so the thinner the easier.
2. Assemble all the ingredients in one place, its a very small process, but you need to have all the ingredients in one place once you get started.
3. Place the cocoa powder and pistachios in a shallow bowl, as you need them for coating / rolling the truffles.
4. Preparing the pistachios is the most tedious task, the peeling , i fry it for a min or two for easier peeling, for the chopping, i did the chopping in two batches, 1 in the mixer, the lot which had to go into the truffle mixture, where the shapes / sizes didn't matter (all you want is coarsely ground and not a paste.). and the other lot i chopped it myself , so i could maintain the sizes.
5. If you are making the truffles in small batches, you may use a fondue set for melting your chocolate, but a double broiler is the easiest way to handle the quantities in question.
6. Take the ice out of the refrigerator only when you are ready for that step .
7. if you have not done something like this before , shaping of fudgy looking blobs into spheres using your hands, just make a cup of your hand, hold the truffle inside, and keep shaking it horizontally 10-15 mins and you will see the beauty, how it transforms into a circle by itself.
8. If you have some time in hand, once done, place the truffles in the refrigerator for 1/2 hr and then relish them, it adds a totally new dimension to it.
9. Its a little messy job, so be prepared :)
These are the quickest and yummiest looking to take to friends place or a dinner party or a simple gathering of friends, a sure shot win, has chocolate ever failed anybody! Nah!