Saturday, November 2, 2013

Ideas We Love - A Gift from the Heart

Welcome to
Ideas We Love
Our idea- with the help of Chef Larry- 
is to create personalized gifts for the holidays!

Chef Larry Barrett - Simply Gourmet Catering

Creating personalized gifts for your friends and family 
during the holidays is a great way to share some happiness.  
For years now, Chef Larry has been rolling and sending
hand made chocolate truffles to my loved ones. 
Truffles are the tastiest of all confections! Luckily for Chef, 
they are also the easiest to prepare. Let’s get rolling!
Stop texting, put down the smart phone and let’s get
back to a simpler time. We promise these truffles will 
taste a lot better than a gift card. 

Think of the truffle as a blank canvas. Your sister like
amaretto and toasted almonds, now you know what
kind of truffle she loves. A best friend can’t live
without Grand Marnier, then a liqueur infused truffle
is coming his way. The canvas gets full quickly. 
That’s the nice thing about the simple but elegant
truffle, you can combine everybody’s favorite
ingredients to create a gift unique to them. Prepare
a few favorites, put them in one box and you’ve 
got a fantastic assortment. Chef's favorite medley
has truffles three ways~cocoa dusted, almond crusted
and with a hint of salt. Sea salt with chocolate is the
hottest trend, it’s like a chocolate covered pretzel
without the pretzel. These little sophisticated rounds
pack big flavor, so you will be remembered long
after the chocolates are gone. 

Use your favorite chocolate as a starting point
Some love the intensity of bitter-sweet, but the average
palate prefers something in the middle. A semi-sweet
from Belgium is the way to go. Look for the Callebaut
brand with 60% cocoa solids, it’s the best chocolate for
the price Chef has have found. Everything you need to create
these little beauties is available on line; the chocolate,
the boxes to nestle them in, you’ll be amazed. Always use
the best quality ingredients and wrap the truffles in upscale
candy boxes bedecked with a ribbon and a gift card.

Praised for it’s many health benefits, chocolate is
loaded with antioxidants, it helps lower blood pressure
and is a mood booster, so enjoy in moderation
(whatever that is). Having your kids help scoop the
chocolate and lick the spoon is a great way to get in
the holiday spirit. If the kids are away, turn up the music,
pour a glass of wine and get rolling. We hope you enjoy
Chef's recipe; it’s been with him for over 30 years. 


    Chocolate Truffles
2 3/4 Pounds Semi-Sweet Chocolate
2 cups Heavy Cream
4 oz. Grand Marnier
1Teaspoon Vanilla
6 Ounces Unsalted Butter
Cocoa Powder or Chopped Toasted Almonds

Cut chocolate into small pieces using a serrated knife. 
Heat cream, add Grand Marnier and vanilla. Heat 
cream to 185 degrees. Remove from heat add the 
chocolate and stir until smooth. Mix gently, you don’t want
to incorporate air into the chocolate. You now have a 
ganache~chocolate and cream combined.

When the temperature has cooled below 90 degrees and
feels slightly cool to the touch, cut the butter into small pieces
and drop them one at a time into the ganache stirring.
Do not add the butter until the ganache is below 90 degrees.
Allow to cool and firm up slightly.

Scoop into rounds and roll in cocoa. The cocoa is slightly
bitter and will set off the chocolate flavor in a big way.
For a mellower truffle, roll the truffles in the chopped 
almonds. The almonds bring out the fruitiness of the chocolate 
and give a good crunch.

Have fun preparing these sweet treats!


Confetti Girls + Chef Larry

No comments: