Friday, April 16, 2010

French to English: Chocolate, Part 3

Did you know that you can make truffles at home?  I had no idea until I came across some truffle recipes.

This white chocolate truffles recipe is from Ghirardelli's chocolate cookbook.  I mentioned this book in my last post when I talked about Domingo Ghirardelli, an Italian who settled in San Francisco and became a successful chocolatier.

I envy people who can make homemade chocolates; next to bread, the smell of chocolates can liven up the atmosphere of any home.  Imagine a condo right in the heart of downtown giving off chocolate aromas from the 18th floor!  (That might increase the value of your real estate).

The wonderful thing about this recipe is it has only 4 ingredients and  the method for making truffles is described in less than 10 sentences!

Here is the recipe for those who want to try their luck with white chocolate truffles (from The Ghirardelli Cookbook, ISBN:  9 781580 088718):

You'll need these ingredients:
* 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
* 1 tbsp unsalted butter
* 8 ounces Ghirardelli white chocolate baking bar, chopped into small pieces
* 1 cup shredded coconut or chopped almonds


1.  In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer.  Add the butter and stir until melted.  Add the white chocolate.  Stir until completely melted and smooth.  Remove from the heat and pour into a shallow bowl.

2.  Cool, cover and refrigerate the mixture until firm, at least 2 hours.

3.  Using a mellon baller or small spoon, roll the mixture into 1 inch balls.  Roll each ball in the coconut or almonds.  Enjoy immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

And voila!  That's it - straight from the Ghirardelli company.

Your final batch of chocolate words:

certifié équitablefair trade certified
chocolats fourrésfilled chocolates
poudre de cacaococoa powder
graine de cacao décortiquéecocoa nib
mise en moulespanning
pralineburnt almond
pressurage de la pâtepressing

I wasn't sure what gianduja meant so I looked it up.  It's a European style chocolate that's made of chocolate and nut paste.  Many use hazelnut paste, but almond paste is also popular.

chocolate filling What about ganache?  Think of icing, filling or glaze - the one that"crowns" pastries and cakes.  It may have started in France or Switzerland.  It is made by heating heavy cream (35% and higher) and then pouring it over semi-sweet chocolate pieces which together are blended until smooth.  Sometimes, people add liqueurs or a variety of extracts.  Chocolate experts say that to make ganache, the usual ratio is 2 parts chocolate to 1 part cream (that will of course depend on the kind of texture you want to obtain).

If your supermarket does not sell Ghirardelli chocolates, I don't see why you can't use any other white chocolate.  In fact, those white chocolate chips sold in supermarkets might be good substitutes.  Remember, though, that to make excellent chocolate, you have to spend a few extra dollars for good quality ingredients.