Yes, that’s right! The mad chocolate dash has begun!
I left work a little early today, and dove straight into chocolatiering. First I started a batch of milk chocolate tempering, so I could have tempered chocolate to mix into the ganaches I was creating. Then I did four separate infusions, bringing cream to a boil and mixing it in batches with various herbs and spices: cinnamon-anise-ginger, mint-lime zest, chestnut-honey-cinnamon-rum, lavender. I set all the infusions aside to cool, then started work on the passionfruit-caramel centers. First I caramelized some sugar with a little glucose, then I quenched it with hot cream and added the passionfruit puree.
At this point, the infusions were all ready, but they needed to cool before I could add them to the chocolates. So I stuck them in the fridge, and ran to tend the milk chocolate, which had gotten badly over-tempered, becoming a gooey mess. I reheated some of the chocolate and added it back to thin out the chocolate.
Then I made the apricot-honey-lavender-milk chocolate centers, first pureeing a homemade apricot jam, then mixing it with orange blossom honey and 2.5 sticks of butter. Then I added the tempered milk chocolate, stirred it together, and added 50 grams of the lavender-infused cream. Delicious! I could have eaten the whole thing in one sitting, but I restrained myself to just sampling the last bits out of the bowl. (One down, four to go!)
At this point, the mint-lime infusion was just about cool enough to work, so I mixed it with the tempered chocolate. It started to curdle, so I rushed it over to my new food processor (purchased expressly for chocolatiering), whirled it around, and magically got it to a smooth emulsion again. In the process, however, I think I whipped some air into it, as it became beautifully creamy and light – more like a mousse than a traditional ganache. It had marvelous mouthfeel, but I’m hoping it works well as a bonbon.
Now, the chocolate was becoming a gooey mess again, so I quickly reheated part of it, then scurried off to tackle the next infusion. I mixed up the chestnut-honey-rum and the passion-fruit caramel without incident, and poured them into frames. My taste buds were starting to overload at this point, but I decided that the chestnut-honey-rum had too much cinnamon in it; the chestnut was too subtle to really show, so it mostly tasted like cinnamon and honey. The passionfruit stood clearly through the milk chocolate, but I should perhaps have had the sugar caramelize a bit more. Still, it’s quite tasty.
So now I have four types of chocolate centers cooling in the frames. I’m out of frames, so until they thicken enough that I can remove the frame, I can’t make any more centers. So the cinnamon-anise-ginger, the red currant, and the hazelnut-coffee will have to wait a little longer. I’m debating the honey-cinnamon; given that the chestnut tastes mostly of cinnamon and honey, I may strike that flavor from the list. (I have 22 flavors on the list when only 18 will fit, so losing a flavor or two will be just fine.)
So now I have a little time to blog, as the dishwasher does its best to clean chocolate off the various mixing bowls, strainers, etc. I think I’m going to eat dinner (cold leftover pizza) and then start some dark chocolate tempering. Before going to bed, I”ll cast the dark chocolate into molds, and mix up and pour the three remaining types of milk chocolate centers. And tomorrow, I’ll start dipping the seven varieties of chocolate I’ve put together today!
I leave you with a nice photo of the four types of centers cooling in their frames: