I was thinking yesterday, that if you ask people around you what their favourite colour is, you’re likely to get lots of blues and greens, a few purples and pinks, maybe an orange or red here and there – but you’re highly unlikely to hear people say brown. Yet, if you ask people what their favourite treat is, the most popular answer (I’m sure!) would be chocolate. So why don’t people choose chocolate brown as their favourite colour? We all seem to be a bit against the humble, earthy colour – yet that is the colour of one of the most enduring and delicious tastes in the world. We all know that this food was highly prized by ancient civilisations, that people have sailed across oceans to get it… yet if we see the colour anywhere other than on our (chocolate-flavoured) food, we turn up our noses at it, going instead for its flashier, more colourful colleagues. Every time it hears those magic words “what is your favourite colour?” it waits, hoping desperately that this time, this time, it would hear it’s name pass someone’s lips. “Surely this time,” it thinks, “After all, there’s a bar of chocolate right in front of her (or him – no gender discrimination here!) – surely they’ll say brown. Or even better – chocolate brown.” But no, yet another blue or green will be praised and adored as the best colour ever.
Anyway, now that I’ve made you feel sorry for a colour, I’m going to give you a reason to claim chocolate brown as your favourite colour and not just your favourite food. Because if you eat these, I promise you’ll be so happy you’ll give the humble brown a great big ego boost.
In case you’re wondering – this was the pudding to my epic in-law feast. And yes – it was greatly enjoyed. No left-overs, just the way I like it!
450g dark chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
Flavouring – liqueur of your choice – I used Amarula, Cherry Liqueur, and coconut rum
Toppings of your choice – as you can see, I used maraschino cherries and coconut.
Chocolate cups to put the filling in – I used milk chocolate
Something to roll the truffles in – cocoa and chopped nuts are both traditional options.
Extra melted dark chocolate to dip the truffles in. This is the most complicated and annoying procedure – personally I far prefer the other options.
Heat up the cream in a saucepan. Grate or finely chop the chocolate and put it into a heat-safe bowl. When the cream is about to boil (don’t stress if it does boil – it just needs to be nice and hot) pour it over the chopped dark chocolate.
Stir the chocolate around – it should melt beautifully. if it just doesn’t melt completely, put it over a bot of boiling water just to finish melting the chocolate – it should go nice and smooth.Once it’s smooth, add your flavouring of choice. At this point I separated the chocolate into three equal amounts so that I could have three different flavours. Add about 4 tablespoons of the liqueur into your chocolate – and taste. If you’re happy, you can move on. If you’re not happy, play with the flavours. Just remember that if you put too much alcohol into your ganache (mixture of chocolate and cream) you might have problems with it setting later. Now, if you’re like me and have found awesome little empty chocolate cups which aren’t expensive (should be available at specialty chocolatiers) then put your ganache into a plastic bag, snip the corner off and squirt it straight into your cups. No mess, no fuss, no dishes. Otherwise, put the ganache into the fridge. Once it has firmed up a bit, scoop out little balls with a melon baller/cookie scoop/teaspoon. If you don’t like the shape, (with clean hands) roll them into little balls. You can then roll them straight into the cocoa or coconut or chopped nuts – but if you’re dipping them in melted chocolate you’ll need to put the balls back into the fridge to re-firm. Once they’re cold again, dip them into the melted chocolate, then back into the fridge for the chocolate to firm again.
The last step is the decoration. For the cherry flavoured chocolates I put a cherry on top of some of them, but in others I put a cherry into the chocolate cup before I put the filling in, and just left the stalk sticking out. With the coconut ones I just put coconut on top, while the Amarula ones I left as they were. But it’s up to you – play with what you have and have fun!
G O A S-S B