Friday, February 26, 2010

Chocolate Bliss and Caramel Bonbons

Don't you sometimes love chocolate so much you could practically soak in it? Well enter Chocolate Bliss: Sensuous recipes, Spa Treatments, and other Divine Indulgences. This sweet little book not only teaches you how to host a chocolate tasting while dishing out great recipes along the way, but how to make skin care products as well. Chocolate massage oil, anyone?

The book is small but mighty, packed with cool facts about "the third largest commodity on the global exchange" (behind sugar and coffee) and everything else you ever wanted to know about chocolate. For example, did you know that white chocolate is not really chocolate at all? It's made with cocoa butter, sugar, milk powder and a few flavorings, but because the butter comes from cocoa beans, it has that slight taste of chocolate. Go on, tell your friends. I guarantee* you'll be a hit at the next party. (*No, not really.)

Now, if you're salivating over those yummy delights featured on the cover, here's how to make them:

Artisan Caramel Bonbons

Handmade caramel is sophisticated and soothingly sweet, especially when combined with the bold flavors of artisan chocolate. You can also dip these bonbons in tempered chocolate before you dust them to create chocolate caramel truffles. Makes about 30 truffles.

Chocolate Choices: Green & Black's or Michel Cluizel dark chocolate, Scharffen Berger milk chocolate

2 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup light corn syrup
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons kosher salt
8 ounces dark chocolate (70% cacao or higher), finely chopped
4 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
2 ounces unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting

Prepare a bowl of ice water and set aside. Combine the sugar, water and corn syrup in a heavy pan. Stir gently until all the sugar is wet and make sure no sugar crystals are on the sides of the pan. Place over medium heat - no stirring - and allow the mixture to boil for about 10 minutes. You can cover the pan for a few minutes as it boils, which will wash away any unwanted sugar crystals on the sides. You'll start to see a light amber color form around the edges of the sugar. Continue boiling until the mixture is the color of honey or maple syrup. This is now caramel, so be careful because it is very hot!

Turn off the heat and plunge the saucepan into the ice water to "shock" the sugar and stop it from cooking. Place the pot on a heatproof surface, add the butter, then the cream, vanilla and salt. It will steam and bubble up. Stir it together and once the mixture has cooled off (about 10 minutes), add the dark and milk chocolates and stir until mixed. If the caramel sticks to the bottom of the pan, return the pot to the burner and stir over very low heat.

Transfer this mixture to a bowl and allow it to cool and firm up in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. With a melon baller or sturdy spoon, scoop out as many balls as you need (any unused portion can be reheated and used as a sauce over ice cream). Roll them between your palms to achieve a round shape. Refrigerate them for about 30 minutes, then dust them with cocoa powder and serve.

Reprinted with permission from Chocolate Bliss: Sensuous Recipes, Spa Treatments, and other Diving Indulgences. Copyright © 2009 by Susie Norris, Celestial Arts, an imprint of Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA. Photo credit: Jennifer MartinĂ©.

3 comments :

  1. Thank you! I love truffles. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. im going to have to try this! thanks for sharing! by the way, i just stumbled on your blog, and i love it! im a new follower!

    ReplyDelete

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