The birdnest is made out of ganache that I squeezed through a garlic press. It’s not the easiest of jobs to do, but someone has to do it 😉 I could have opted for either tempering chocolate and using that to make a nest or by making modeling chocolate (adding a little corn syrup to melted chocolate). The first option would have made for a less ‘real’ looking nest, not to mention the hassle of tempering the chocolate. The second option would have looked like a ‘real’ nest but wouldn’t have such a great taste (at least my experience with white modeling chocolate was that it just wasn’t nice to eat). So ganache it was. It is a bit nerve wracking to use a garlic press to ‘pipe’ the ganache because only a little fits in there. Because of that the ganache ‘threads’ are not very long, making the nest look less stylised but also less neat. All in all I was happy enough with the end result. Now that I’m thinking about it, I should have used a spaghetti maker! But unfortunately I don’t own one so the garlic press was my only real option…or if I wanted to make an ostrichs nest I could have used a potato ricer 😉
I’ve had my eye on Sherry Yard’s caramel ganache for a while and in my imagination I had tasted it many times already. So when I finally did taste it in real life it disappointed a little bit. It was a little bit bitter. Maybe I let it become too hot. The thermometer was still going up when I took the saucepan off the heat at 348Â°F (175Â°). So maybe it was already over and my thermometer was a bit slow. But judging by the colour it wasn’t far over because it wasn’t even dark amber yet. It was by the time the bubbles subsides. Colour wise it looked like a perfect caramel. I’m recovering from a minor flue so maybe that changed the way the ganache tasted too (also I’m very sensitive to bitter). Let’s just say that it wasn’t as delicious as I had imagined it would be. It did have an intense caramel taste and wasn’t overly sweet.
200 g (7 oz) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
100 ml (3 â…“ fl oz) whipping cream
Brush a small half round bowl (where three eggs will fit into) with oil. Stick some plastic wrap on it. Place it upside down onto a glass that more or less snuggly fits (this will be easier to work with later on). Put it in the frigde for at least an hour.
Place the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl.
Bring the cream to a boil. Pour over the chocolate. Tap the bowl on the counter a few times and allow to stand for a few minutes. Stir with a spatula until the chocolate is melted. Allow to cool down to room temperature. Fill a garlic press with ganache and squeeze the ganache onto the chilled bowl, trying to work in a circular motion, working from the top. (The garlic press will need to be refilled and refilled.) If the ganache doesn’t stick to the ganache already on the bowl, help it by pressing it slightly with your fingers.
Caramel ganache filled eggs (from The Secrets of Baking by Sherry Yard)
enough for filling 3 eggs and rolling enough truffles for tea
4 oz (115 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 oz (115 g) milk chocolate, chopped
Â½ cup (120 ml) sugar
2 tbs water
1 tbs light corn syrup
1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream
3 empty and clean egg shells
sprinkles (I used a combo of small pearl and golden sprinkles)
Place the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl.
Combine the sugar, water and corn syrup in a medium saucepan and stir them together.
Heat the mixture without stirring on medium heat during 4 minutes with the lid on the pan. Slowly Take the lid off and continue cooking until the mixture reaches 350Â°F (177Â°C). The mixture will be deep amber. Remove from heat and let the bubbles subside for about 30 seconds. Meanwhile bring the cream to a boil. Pour the cream over the caramel (watch out, it will bubble!) and stir until the caramel is dissolved. Pour the mixture onto the chocolate. Tap the bowl on the counter a few times and allow to stand for a few minutes. Stir with a spatula until the chocolate is melted.
Allow to cool down before piping the ganache. It should be cool enough to pipe at about 70Â°F. Pipe the ganache into the egg shells and sprinkle with some sprinkles.
The remaining ganache can be rolled into truffles or cookie filling. If not used immediately, store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.