Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tools Of The Trade

It is 'Chocolate Season' at my house! Producing handmade truffles is a labor intensive project, so I will spend a few posts on one of my favorite topics....Chocolate!! 

Belgian Callebaut Chocolate Slabs
I use only Belgian Callebaut dark, milk and white chocolate; I purchase it in 5 kg slabs. Pictured below on the right, are some tools required for the job. From left to right in the photo are the tools I use for breaking down the chocolate slabs to decorating and packing the truffles. 
Start with a sturdy, hardwood cutting board. To break down the chocolate slabs, I use an ice carving tool, then chop the chunks with a 10" serrated French Knife into small pieces for tempering or making ganache. Ganache (the truffle filling) in its most basic form consists of chocolate and whipping cream, I also add liqueur...it becomes liquid decadence. Once completely cooled, the now solid ganache is portioned with a #100 scoop and formed into the truffle fillings, then allowed to cool and set overnight.

The dipping chocolate is 'tempered' (see 'Helpful Tips' on
Tools of the Trade
my website www.gourmetbysallyrae.com) in a stainless steel bowl set over hot water. I use a chopstick to stir and the thermometer is always in the bowl to assure the temperature stays exactly where I need it. Each ganache filling is then dipped in tempered chocolate and set on a wax (or parchment) paper lined bake sheet. I use dipping forks (they are available in plastic or metal) and find the work is faster and less wasteful than using my fingers in the chocolate.

Dark Choc. Ganache~White Tempered Choc.~Dipped Truffles

The trays of dipped truffles sit at a cool room temperature until the chocolate is firm and then decorated using a piping bag and decorator tip. Once the chocolates are cooled and set, a cotton glove is used to handle them. This prevents any damage from the warmth of your hand or fingerprints on the finished chocolates.
In a few weeks I will have some photos of the finished product. Until then, I am working on a quick and easy Spooky Halloween treat. 
Till next week, Bon Appetit!

Photos in my kitchen ~ by Sally Rae
www.gourmetbysallyrae.com  

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