Last weekend, I made a chocolate layer cake using Alice Medrich’s whipped chocolate ganache as filling. Ganache, of course, requires cream, and making ganache from high-test chocolate requires more cream to balance out the cocoa butter and keep the result from hardening beyond the point of whippability. The chocolate that I used last week was Valrhona Manjari 64%, which required 2¼ cups, or just more than a pint. (In retrospect, it was so stiff before whipping that it could probably have used more than that!) Since cream comes in pints(*), that meant that I had 1¾ cups of cream left over, and that meant that this weekend would involve making truffles, there being few other useful and simple things to do with leftover cream.
I followed Alice Medrich’s recipe for “Classic Ganache Truffles” (Seriously Bitter Sweet, Artisan, 2013; p. 109), and made two separate batches. This recipe calls for 7 fluid ounces of cream for every 10 ounces of chocolate, so I had to use two different chocolates (and also had to scale the recipe slightly for the second batch, as I was 50 ml short on cream after making up the difference when my first batch of scalding cream boiled over). The first batch (full size) was done with more Valrhona Manjari, of which I had about a pound remaining, and the second batch (scaled down) was done with Madécasse 63% baking discs — which are tasty enough but may have too high a proportion of cocoa butter for this recipe. I also added a tablespoon of Grand Marnier to the second batch (which I wouldn’t have done with the Manjari), and increased the chocolate by an ounce (before scaling) as directed in the recipe. The process is otherwise the same as described in my September, 2015, post, including the use of the #100 disher to portion the ganache. I rolled the Manjari truffles in chopped, toasted hazelnuts, and the Grand Marnier truffles in black cocoa powder.
A small handful of these would make an ideal lovers’ dessert for Valentine’s Day, except of course that I have no lover to share them with. So like most of my sweet baking, they came into the office with me on Monday, but I wasn’t able to give them away because the Institute was officially closed due to a snowstorm that didn’t really storm. I put them in the refrigerator at work for another overnight, and I’ll take them out Tuesday to warm up an hour or two before I hand them out.
(*) For readers from outside the U.S.: a U.S. pint is 16 fluid ounces, not 20 as in Imperial measure, or 473 ml. For culinary purposes, we now use a “metric pint” of 480 ml (32 tablespoons at 15 ml per). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration defines a cup, for nutritional labeling purposes, as exactly 240 ml.