I am a huge fan of white chocolate…and not afraid to admit it 😉 Somehow bittersweet chocolate just doesnâ€™t do it for me…eating bittersweet chocolate â€˜straight upâ€™ I mean (for baking I use it a lot!). Bittersweet chocolate doesnâ€™t give me the satisfaction like a piece of white chocolate that slowly melts on my tongue (I never chew on white chocolate…just doesnâ€™t feel and taste right to me). Milk chocolate I rarely eat. When I do it must contain whole hazelnuts and raisins…that way itâ€™s almost as good as white chocolate! The strange thing about all this is that I used to be a bittersweet chocolate fan when I was a kid. Didnâ€™t like milk chocolate at all (white chocolate wasnâ€™t en vogue in the Netherlands back then). Chocolates I donâ€™t really eat often. When I do, itâ€™s usually truffles that I make myself.
Iâ€™ve wanted to have a book about making chocolates for a long time. There are loads of books about chocolate that have all kinds of recipes but somehow it is difficult to find a book that has more than 4 recipes for chocolates. I was very happy when Kees Raat (Dutch chocolatier) and Jean-Pierre Wybauw (Belgium chocolatier) both released a book about making chocolates. Raatâ€™s book is called Bonbon and is aimed at the home cook. It has a lot of exciting, not-so-classic chocolate recipes like Almond/Anchovy, Pink Peppercorn or Tomato Balsamic Vinegar chocolates. The recipes are fairly simple to make if you have the right tools like a thermometer and a digital scale.
Wybauwâ€™s book Perfecte Pralines (English version here) is for the more professional chocolatemaker. It covers a lot of processes involved in making chocolates. Very interesting indeed! The recipes are interesting but less practical for the home cook though.
I have both books for nearly 3 months and only now have I made the first chocolates. I made white chocolate cinnamon chocolates from Kees Raat’s Bonbon. They tasted very good; the cinnamon was not overpowering and complimented the white chocolate beautifully. The chocolates were dipped in tempered chocolate. I must say that tempering really makes a difference! Not only visually; the chocolate also sets much quicker and it has a good crunch.
The consistency of the filling didnâ€™t turn out completely right; it was a bit too stiff to pipe. That might have been because I allowed the mixture to cook while you aren’t supposed to…probably lost a bit of liquid that way. Anyhow…I tried piping it but that didnâ€™t work…rolled small balls instead (which worked fine btw).
From: Bonbon by Kees Raat
Makes about 25 smallish chocolates
100 g (3 Â½ oz) whipping cream
2 cinnamon sticks
dash of salt
50 g (1 Â¾ oz) bittersweet chocolate 53%, chopped
200 g (7 oz) white chocolate, chopped
150 g (5 Â¼ oz) and 50 g (1 Â¾ oz) white chocolate, finely chopped
Â½ tbs cinnamon
1 tbs icing sugar
Heat the cream, cinnamon sticks and salt just below boiling. Allow to steep for 30 minutes (donâ€™t allow to cook). A skin will develop. Donâ€™t stir; the skin will keep the flavours in the cream.
Remove the cinnamon sticks. Gradually add the chocolate to the cream and stir until smooth. You can heat the mixture au bain marie a little bit if necessary. Let the mixture cool down to room temperature.
Temper the chocolate by melting 150 g (5 Â¼ oz) of the white chocolate and allowing it to reach 45-50ÂºC (113-122ÂºF). Whilst stirring with a spatula slowly add enough of the 50 g (1 Â¾ oz) of white chocolate so that the chocolate is 29ÂºC (84ÂºF).
Take some of the molten chocolate with a teaspoon and make thin chocolate rounds on baking paper. Use the back of the back of teaspoon to spread the chocolate a bit. Make 25 chocolate rounds. Allow the rounds to harden.
Mix the cinnamon and icing sugar.
Pipe the filling on the rounds (or if the filling is too stiff: roll small balls).
Temper the chocolate again so that the chocolate you are working with is 29ÂºC (84ÂºF). Use a special chocolate dipping fork (or a fork with thin teeth from which you removed one outer tooth and one inner tooth). Lift the filling + round with the fork and dip into the chocolate. Tap the fork a few times on the rim of the bowl so that the chocolate will look smooth and even. Scrape the fork over the rim to allow excess chocolate to slide back into the bowl. (I found it easier to spoon chocolate over the filling and then do the tapping and the scraping). Place the fork at an angle on baking paper and carefully let the chocolate glide off the fork.
Dust a little bit of the cinnamon/icing sugar mixture over the chocolates with a small sieve.
Storing ~ The chocolates have a shelf-life of 2 weeks if stored in a dry place at 12 to 18ÂºC (54 to 64 ÂºF).
They can also be frozen for max 3 months. Pack the chocolates in wrapping plastic with the smallest amount of air possible. Place them in a plastic container Take them from the freezer 36 hours before you need them. Allow to defrost for 24 hours in the wrapping plastic in the fridge and 12 hours at room temperature.
Note ~ allow left over chocolate to harden. Store in fat-free paper at app. 18ÂºC (64ÂºF). You can use it till up to 6 months. Every time you want to use it to dip chocolates in you should temper it again.
1 chocolate â€“ 75 kcal
100 g â€“ 480 kcal
carbohydrate 42 g â€“ protein 5 g â€“ fat 33 g (saturated fat 19 g) â€“ fibre 1 g