Have you ever wondered how to satisfy an expensive chocolate craving without visiting your favorite French chocolatier? Joe David, author of Gourmet Getaways, and Jill Prescott, Ecole de Cuisine (Asheville), provided WUSA-TV morning news viewers Thursday, March 12, 2009, with an exclusive demonstration on how this can be done.
During the four-minute segment, Jill Prescott, a French-trained chef, and Joe David, magazine and book writer, gave viewers a peek on how easy it is to create quality French truffles at less-than-store prices (watch above attached video and review recipe below for details). The trick, according to Jill Prescott, is in using high-end Valrhona chocolates and a pure heavy Organic Valley cream.
Jill Prescott’s Bittersweet Chocolate and Fresh Ginger Truffles
It is important to use a pure heavy cream, one without stabilizers such as carageean and guar gum that will make the chocolate curdle. Check your local dairy companies. I shop at a market that carries a nationally recognized brand, Organic Valley. This company produces both the pure cream and one with the stabilizers. Ask for the pure cream, the other is made for shelf life and will curdle the ganache.
For the ganache; 1-pound bittersweet chocolate 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream 1 ounce grated fresh ginger For the coating; ½ pound bittersweet chocolate 1 ¼ cup sifted cocoa powder
Chop the chocolate with an 8-inch chef knife. Put chocolate into a small saucepan.
Place the cream into another small saucepan. Bring just to a boil and then remove from the heat. Add ginger and set aside for 2 hours.
Bring cream just to a boil again. Strain cream through a fine mesh strainer into a liquid measuring cup so that you have exactly one cup of flavored cream. If you have extra cream discard it, if you are short add cream. Discard ginger. Pour hot cream onto chopped chocolate.Using a small whisk begin stirring in the center of the pot and stir in a circular motion from the middle working out. Do not whisk fast but do so gently and slowly. If there are stubborn pieces of chocolate that will not melt, warm the pan over heat just long enough to get the pan warm-hot. DO NOT allow the mixture to get hot, usually just a small amount of heat from the pan will be enough to melt the chocolate. Stop as soon as the mixture has blended. Allow the mixture to cool at room temperature for about one hour or until firm.
Shape small teaspoons full of the chocolate into rough1 inch balls. Refrigerate balls for one hour.
Meanwhile chop remaining chocolate. Place cocoa powder on a cookie sheet with sides.
When truffles are hard begin coating with the melted chocolate. Place about ½ teaspoon of melted chocolate into the palm of one hand. Quickly roll a cold ‘truffle’ around between your palms to coat with the melted chocolate. Drop them into the sifted cocoa. Roll them around to coat all around. Then put 3 or 4 at a time into a fine mesh strainer and shake off the excess cocoa.
Store in an airtight container in refrigerator or freeze but always serve at room temperature.