These elegant onion flowers are sitting in my living room now, and I can't resist taking a photo or two to capture their beauty. They last well too, I've gotten them 3 days ago and they look just as fresh as they were on day 1.
Very happy to find a florist near my place. It's run by a cheery chatty old gentleman. Somehow in Hong Kong, people manage well with small spaces. He runs his shop in a meter-wide lane between 2 buildings. It's feels like treasure hunting during flower shopping. ^__^
Monday, December 22, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
I have to thank Cee for the start of my home chocolate making venture. It's been months since I left off. After moving to a new city and bad bouts of morning sickness the past few months, I'm finally ready to hit the kitchen again.
She brought me 3kg of Manjari all the way from Singapore! I've never worked with this dark chocolate from Valrhona before, and it's a going to be lots of experimentation with this new flavor. Manjari has a very light and refreshing taste with sourish notes.
The first batch of chocolates from this bagful is coffee truffles. Cee has something for her coffee, be it a wake-me-up in the morning, caffeine-high in the office at 2 pm, or an after-dinner dessert. Just pure addiction for her. I think she would have love them if she could try some. Till we meet again in January, I can only dedicate these truffles to her for now!
For this batch, I used:
- 350g of Manjari
- 250 ml of heavy/whipping cream
- 40g of butter (cubed)
- 40g of sugar
- 4g of instant coffee
1) Half melt the chocolate in a double boiler. (Some work with unmelted chocolate pieces. I use buttons too, but I find that many times, I cannot emulsify properly and get lumps or a grainy texture when I work with unmelted chocolate. Some chefs work with melted chocolate. I wonder what works for you?)
2) Heat cream in a saucepan over medium heat, add sugar and coffee. Stir till sugar and coffee granules are melted, and cream comes to a boil.
3) Pour cream over chocolate.
4) Stir mixture slowly. (A chocolate chef once told me to stir from in to out, meaning you work the chocolate from the center of the bowl and then outwards, in small and widening circular motions.
5) Add butter cubes slowly, a few cubes at a time.
6) Continue to stir till mixture is well emulsified.
7) Pour into a 8" square tray.
8) Let mixture cool till room temperature before putting the tray into the refrigerator. (Please be sure to wrap with plastic wrap, as chocolate takes on odors very easily.)
9) Leave overnight (or enough time to ensure a hard ganache to be cut into pieces.)
10) Cut into desired dimensions.
11) Coat or dust with cocoa powder.
12) Keep refrigerated! These truffles are not coated with tempered chocolate and do not keep well w/o refrigeration!
- I like it a lot, but would have liked it more if it were to be more milky. The acidity and aromatic "roastiness" of coffee complemented with the sourish, refreshing notes of Manjari but it left too strong an aftertaste for me. But it's just me. It's just like how some people would add milk to their coffee, and some would never have anything else but black.