Classic Ganache Chocolate Truffles (Paul Young)
Yield: 50 chocolates
The two key elements of a truffle are the ganache - an emulsion of melted chocolate and cream- and the tempered chocolate, which is used for coating the truffle.
9 ounces dark chocolate
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
½ cup packed light brown sugar
First, chop the chocolate into small, even-sized pieces or use the small chocolate disks called pistols, which require no chopping, and place in a heat proof mixing bowl. Place the cream and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 minute. This will fully dissolve the sugar and kill any bacteria that may be present in the cream.
Turn off the heat and allow the cream to cool for 1 minute. (Pouring the cream onto the chocolate while boiling will scorch it and cause the cocoa butter in the chocolate to separate, resulting in a curdled ganache.) Now pour the rested cream over the chocolate pieces and mix well with a rubber spatula or whisk until smooth and very glossy.
Allow the ganache to cool to room temperature. Place it, covered, in the fridge for at least 2 hours or until firmly set.
Rolling the truffles
Remove set ganache from the fridge. Using a teaspoon, scoop even-sized pieces of the chocolate and place onto a sheet of parchment paper.
Powder your hands with cocoa powder, and then, using your fingers, begin to roll the ganache into evenly shaped spheres. Take care not to take too long over this as the ganache will begin to melt and become impossible to roll. Place the rolled truffles bake onto the parchment paper.
You can eat the truffles at this point, as they are dusted in cocoa powder, but I think a real truffle needs to have a crisp shell to protect it and to give a textural difference. To create this shell, you will need to coat your truffle in tempered chocolate. (If you are not eating the dusted truffles, place them in the fridge until needed.)
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Paul's Venezuelan Chocolate Chile Chicken
4 organic chicken thighs
4 organic chicken drumsticks
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 large shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Juice and zest of 3 oranges
14 ½ ounce can tomatoes, chopped
3 fresh red chiles, seeded and minced
2 teaspoons dried pure ground ancho chile (or any other mild chiles, ground in a spice grinder)
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon dark muscovado sugar
5 ½ ounces Venezuelan dark chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup coarsely torn cilantro leaves
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a casserole dish over medium high heat, brown the chicken pieces in batches, and put on a plate. Add the shallots and garlic and stir until softened, about 1 minute. Pour in the orange juice and zest and stir up the browned bits in the casserole. Add the tomatoes with their juices, fresh and dried chiles, coriander seeds, and sugar, bring to a boil, and then simmer for 5 minutes. Cover with the lid and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven, lift out the chicken and stir the chocolate into the remaining sauce. Return the chicken to the casserole, sprinkle with the cilantro and serve with the sauce smothered over the chicken
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