There’s only one thing better than buying chocolates for your Valentine this year and that’s to make them yourself.
Chocolatier, Paul A Young - shows us how easy it can be with his classic dark, orange and almond, salt and pepper and rose chocs.
Serves: Makes 40 to 50 truffles
For the tempered chocolate (optional)
400g of milk or dark chocolate
Glass or stainless steel mixing bowl
To make the chocolate truffles
For the water ganache truffles (dairy free)
400g Fine quality dark chocolate (64% to 70% cocoa solids) – Green and blacks, hotel chocolat, Lidl/Aldi origin bars, Super market finest/best/taste the difference (Not Lindt)
100g unrefined golden caster sugar
For the peppermint crunch
5 drops of peppermint oil
Demerara sugar for sprinkling
For the cookies and cream
2 or 3 crumbled cookies of your choice
100g white chocolate, grated
For the classic dark chocolate
50g cocoa powder for rolling
For the almond and rose:
50g of marzipan
8 drops rose oil
Ground almonds, toasted
Metal or glass mixing bowl x 2
Spatula x 2
Whisk x 1
If you want to try tempering the chocolate I recommend you trying this method first as it requires no special equipment at all and its also very clean, no pouring chocolate onto your kitchen counter. Once you have mastered this technique there will be no stopping your creative urges to produce amazing chocolate bars, truffles and other yummy goodies.
Place two thirds of your required amount of chocolate into the mixing bowl
Fill the pan with water until just below the bottom of the bowl when sat on to of the saucepan. Place on a medium heat and allow the water to become hot but do not allow to boil as this can burn the chocolate and it will become grainy and totally ruined. So take care.
Allow the chocolate to melt for at least one hour. The temperature of the chocolate should be at 55 degrees centigrade. Once fully melted remove the bowl from the saucepan and place on a towel or cloth.
Now while mixing vigorously add the remaining one third of chocolate in small pieces. Keep mixing until fully melted and until the chocolate cools to 27 to 28 degrees centigrade, this is when the chocolate begins to crystallize.
At this point place the bowl back onto the heat until the temperature reached 31 to 32 degrees, this is the working temperature and the chocolate is now ready to use.
Dip the end of a knife or spatula in to the chocolate and allow to set. If the chocolate is smooth, glossy and brittle when set then you have mastered seeding tempering.
To make the chocolate truffles: Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in a medium sized bowl.
Bring the water and sugar to the simmer then pour onto the chocolate, use a whisk to mix well until its nice and glossy. Separate the ganache evenly into 4 bowls.
To flavour your truffles
Variation 1: Pepper mint crunch truffle
Add 5 drops of peppermint oil and mix well. Refrigerate for at least an hour until set. Hand roll the ganache into 10 to 12 even balls using cocoa powder on your hands to prevent sticking.
Roll truffle in tempered chocolate and sprinkle with demerara sugar.
Variation 2: Cookies and cream
Add 2 or 3 crumbled cookies of your choice and mix well. Refrigerate for at least an hour until set. Hand roll the ganache into 10 to 12 even balls using cocoa powder on your hands to prevent sticking.
Grate 100g white chocolate on to a baking tray, coat the truffle in tempered chocolate then roll in the white chocolate crumb.
Variation 3: Classic dark chocolate truffle
Refrigerate for at least an hour until set. Hand roll the ganache into 10 to 12 even balls using cocoa powder on your hands to prevent sticking. Coat in tempered dark chocolate and roll in cocoa powder.
Variation 4: Almond and rose
Grate into the ganache 50g of marzipan and add 8 drops of rose oil. Mix well. Refrigerate for at least an hour until set. Hand roll the ganache into 10 to 12 even balls using cocoa powder on your hands to prevent sticking.
Refrigerate for at least an hour until set. Coat in tempered chocolate and roll in toasted ground almonds.
Allow your chocolates to set for a few minutes then present in a box, vintage teacup, bowl or use cellophane bags with ribbon. Your chocolates will last seven days in a cool dry place but do not refrigerate.