Surviving from Christmas Eve, Christmas, Boxing Day, New Year's Eve, lunches, at the gate (perhaps) the Epiphany lunch, and here I am suggesting you to make chocolates?
I'll answer in a simple and honest way: yes, because the new year deserves sweetness… maybe it'll decide to bring something good with it (do you want to attract bad luck not celebrating it with the due courtesy?!).
So, despite all the lunches, dinners and aperitifs, roll up your sleeves and let's make something sweet (but not too much, they are still dark chocolates) and aromatic (orange flavored) to gain favors with 2012.
… Then maybe the Mayans are right and all this will be useless!
HAPPY NEW (and maybe last) YEAR!
Today my post is featured on Helene's blog, Masala Herb.. go check it out!
CHOCOLATES FILLED WITH ORANGE FLAVORED GANACHE
Ingredients (for 14 big chocolates)
For the shell
* 200 g extra dark chocolate
For the filling
* 100 g extra dark chocolate
* 100 ml fresh whipping cream
* grated orange peel
To make the shells, the most important thing is to temper the chocolate, so that you stabilize the fat crystals (and avoid the formation of the white coating and so that the chocolate stays in shape, without dramatically melting down). Melt 2/3 of the extra-dark chocolate (133 g) in a water bath; meanwhile, finely chop with a knife the remaining 1/3 of the chocolate (67 g). When the chocolate has melted, remove it from heat and add the finely chopped chocolate, stirring, so that the chopped chocolate melts and so that you lower the temperature of the melted chocolate. You have to bring the temperature to 80,6° F/27° C (but someone things that the optimum temperature is 82,4° F/28° C or 84,2° F/29 ° C), then put briefly the chocolate in a water bath and raise the temperature by 35,6° F/2° C (thus bringing it to 84,2° F/29 ° C, 86° F/30° C or 87,8° F/31° C, but never more than 89,6° F/32° C); this last step (raising the temperature) can be bypassed. Now you can use the chocolate.
Then make the shells by pouring the melted chocolate into the silicone (or polycarbonate) mold and eliminating the excess chocolate. I recommend you to make two chocolate layers, so that you have a strong shell, since we want to make a filled a chocolate. So, make the first layer, let it cool in the refrigerator (about 10 minutes), make the second layer (always making sure that the chocolate is at the right temperature) and let it cool in the refrigerator again. Keep aside the leftover melted chocolate and, in the meantime, make the ganache.
Bring the whipping cream almost to a boil. Flavor it with grated orange peel (infuse it for 5 minutes); meanwhile, finely chop 100 g of extra-dark chocolate with a knife. Bring almost to a boil the whipping cream again, then turn off the heat, pour in the chopped chocolate and stir vigorously until the chocolate is completely melted and the ganache is smooth. Let it cool down, then put the ganache in a sac-a-poche.
Take the chocolates mold from the fridge and fill the shell (now cold) with the ganache. Then bring the leftover melted chocolate to the right temperature and then make the bottom of your chocolates (again, make two layers, to improve the resistance of your chocolates) and then place the mold in the refrigerator. When the chocolates will be cold, take them out of the mold and wrap them to give them as a gift, or just keep them for yourselves … believe me, it will be hard to let them go!
I know that the recipe may seem very complex, but it really is simpler than it seems. Here below I leave you a picture/ a suggestion of Christmas wrapping (but you can change it and make it for other holidays, too), simple and effective.