February 2013 is such a festive month. With people here in Taiwan still enjoying their lunar new year's break, Valentine's Day is gradually approaching. Let's see what we can make to treat our valentines. (Yes, plural)
Pear infused chocolate truffles -
Ingredients (for about 18 to 20 truffles)?
200 grams of 70% dark chocolate
200 grams of heavy whipping cream
Some chocolate powder
Peel and chop the pear into small cubes. Pour the heavy whipping cream into a pot and turn to medium low heat. Add 1/2 of the pear cubes into that same pot.
Bring to a slight boil till the cream almost reach the bubbling state then lower the heat to keep it simmer gently for about 15 to 20 minutes. Make sure not to bring the mixture to a full boil, otherwise the texture of the cream will be changed and will not mix nicely with melted chocolate later on.
Once done, drain well and set aside. Don't waste the pear bits, I actually blend it with other fruits and some more milk, turned out to be another delicious juice creation.
Take a double broiler, or simply add some water into a pot and top it with a big bowl or plate. Make sure the upper container does not touch the water on the bottom. We want to create a steaming mechanism instead of cooking the chocolate directly.
Break the chocolate bars into smaller pieces and transfer onto the top container. Pour in the pear infused cream. Turn to medium low heat to gradually melt the chocolate.
Stir the mixture constantly and make sure the cream is fully incorporated into the chocolate. Turn off the heat and transfer this "ganache" mixture into a smaller container. Let it cool for a little bit then cover with foil. Into the fridge for about 2 hours, or till the texture hardens.
Meanwhile, sift some chocolate powder.
Can you tell I'm trying to use any tools I can find in my mom's kitchen here in Taiwan to make western dessert? Chopsticks instead of a whisk, tea leaf filter instead of a sifter.
When the ganache is ready, use a small spoon or a melon baller to scoop out the chocolate. Gently roll it into round shape if using a spoon. Dip the chocolate balls with the choco powder and set onto another container.
I prefer to transfer these just finished chocolate truffles back to the fridge for another 15 minutes before serving. Of course you can dig in right away.
The truffles should melt fairly quickly. You'll get that silky and smooth sensation once the melted truffles flow all over your mouth. You can also substitute pear with other fruits such as cherries or passion fruits. You can even jazz it up a bit adding a few drops of flavored liquor into the mixture. However, it's totally up to you how you would like to surprise your valentines. (**plural**)
Happy Valentine's Day!