Today is my little brother’s birthday, so Happy Birthday Z! I call him little brother but he’s far from little (nearly 2 m / 6’6â€) but he’s younger so he’s my little brother 😉 Now that we’re on the subject of my brother, he has a blog too. Not a food blog but (nowadays) a blog with mainly pictures. If you like out of the ordinary pictures of (usually) very ordinary things take a look at his blog Zz.
About the picture, I didn’t actually make these treats for my brother but I had to post something 😉 Plan on making something tonight because we’ll be seeing him tomorrow at my parents place.
The first time I made lemon grass ganache I used it to fill bite-size tartlets. I piped the ganache (at room temperature) into the tarlet shells. That time I also made dark chocolate ginger ganache (with fresh ginger) but I let it set a bit too long and was therefor unable to pipe it. Popped it in the microwave for a tiny bit but that made it sort of runny so I just poured the ganache into the tartlets instead of piping it. Looked ok too. Only it didn’t taste ok 😦 Not to me at least. Fresh ginger and bittersweet chocolate don’t create synergy. And no synergy no photograph, ha!
The lemon grass and white chocolate ganache however was really delicious! I’m a big fan of white chocolate – I know that this doesn’t make me a sophisticated chocolate eater :p – so probably I’d like most flavour combinations with white chocolate. But I think even for people who aren’t into white chocolate that much, the fragrant and fresh lemony taste of the lemon grass makes the white chocolate a lot less white chocolate-y.
A week later I made the lemon grass ganache again to use as a filling for hazelnut cookies. The ganache never actually made it between the cookies until a week later though. Instead I used the chilled ganache to make truffles. They were a present to a friend of mine. I wasn’t sure if she was into white chocolate so to take the edge off the sweetness I dipped them in bittersweet chocolate and rolled them in cocoa powder.
To make the photograph I bit off part of a truffle while it was still cold from the fridge (I was in a hurry so there was no time to waste). Should have let it come to room temperature because the filling would have been less firm and that would have looked better in the picture. It’s just a detail but stil 😉
White chocolate & lemon grass ganache
75 ml (2 Â½ fl oz) whipping cream
1 stalk of lemon grass, chopped into Â½ cm (1/5 in) pieces
200 g (7 oz) white chocolate, finely chopped
Heat the cream with the lemon grass until just simmering. Let it steep for 30 minutes. Strain through a fine meshed sieve into a measuring cup. Press onto the lemon grass with the back of a spoon to get more flavour out of it.
Fill up the measuring cup until you have 75 ml (2 Â½ fl oz) again. Reheat the cream again. Pour the cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for a few minutes. Stir until smooth. If not all the chocolate melts, pop it into the micro wave for 10-20 second intervals at 40% power until the chocolate is nearly melted. Or alternatively heat it au bain marie. Stir until everything is melted.
Allow to come to room temperature for a several hours.
Use at room temperature if you want to pipe the ganache.
Chill if you want to make truffles.
cocoa powder, sifted
white chocolate and lemon grass ganache
400 g (14 oz) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
Put a piece of baking paper on your working surface to put the truffles on.
Put the cocoa powder in a bowl.
Scoop out balls with a melon baller. Roll between your hands to make a smoother ball. Place on the baking paper.
Melt the chocolate au bain marie (or in the microwave). Allow it to cool down (if necessary) to 40Â°C (104Â°F). Place a ganache ball on a fork, submerge the ball in the chocolate. Use a spoon to cover the top with chocolate. Tap the fork a few times on the bowl and slide the bottom of the fork over the lip of the bowl to remove excess chocolate. Tip the truffle in the cocoa powder and use your hand to move it around covering it completely with cocoa powder. Place the truffle onto the baking paper. Repeat with all the truffles.
Sweet shortcrust (from Modern Classics Book 2 by Donna Hay)
135g (1 cups) flower
1 Â½ tbs caster sugar
75 g (2 Â½ oz) cold butter, chopped
1-1 Â½ tbs iced water
Process the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. While the motor is running, add enough iced water to form a smooth dough and process until just combined. Knead the dough lightly, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180Â°C (350Â°F). Divide the dough in 12 and press into a 12-cup mini muffin pan. Blind bake for 10 minutes. Remove the baking weights and bake for another 10 minutes or until the crust is golden. Allow to cool completely.