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Friday, January 23, 2015

Culinary School - Session 64: Chocolate Orange Truffles and Chocolate Boxes (cont.)

Culinary School: Session 64 (01.21.15)

Chocolate Orange Truffles and Chocolate Boxes (cont.)

Bit by bit, putting it together...

Rarely have projects (intentionally) spanned multiple sessions. Welcome to the new world of technically complex showpieces!

Having molded and cut the main components of the Chocolate Box last week, this session was all about assembly. In the end, it was more or less Arts & Crafts with tempered chocolate as the glue.

But things really got interesting when it was time for some of the finer, decorative elements. True, on prior occasions I've spoken rather disparagingly about showpiece work. But, come on... am I really being unreasonable? Pastry is made to be eaten!

Nevertheless, I will confess that learning how to make items like this chocolate bow is pretty cool.

... and together and together and together.

This Chocolate Box was just part one... cocoa training wheels for things to come. Next week we begin our first design project - a completely open-ended candy stand made entirely of dark, milk or white chocolate.

The requirements are simple. The piece must include a base, a vertical element and a vessel to hold candy. No more than 1,000g of chocolate may be used. We have two days.

Chocolate Truffle Box

- Ingredients Running Tally -

Ingredients used to date (01.21.15):
  • Flour: 23,900g
  • Eggs: 14,050g (281x)
  • Sugar: 16,875g
  • Butter: 15,090g
  • Milk/Cream: 13,070g
  • Chocolate: 2,675g (since 01.12.15)

    - The Recipes -


    Chocolate Orange Truffles (cont.)

    Orange chocolate ganache filled truffles with a cocoa powder finish.

    Focus Techniques:
    - Prior Techniques: Creating a Cream Infusion; Creating a Juice Reduction; Piping Portions of Ganache.
    - Enrobing ganache in tempered chocolate: To finish the truffles, each piece of ganache is sealed with tempered chocolate. While a perfectly smooth finish requires the use of specially designed dipping tools, the most time-efficient method is to coat the ganache by hand (or rather, by glove-covered hand). Only a thin layer of tempered chocolate is applied. Coating the ganache with too much chocolate in a single pass results in a "foot": excess chocolate pooled at the base of the truffle as it sets. The chocolate coating is made sufficiently thick by applying a second layer of tempered chocolate once the first has set. 
    - Finishing truffles with cocoa powder: To create the dusty exterior finish, the truffles are rolled in cocoa powder. Timing is important. If the tempered chocolate has already set, the cocoa powder will not stick. However, if the chocolate is too liquid, too much cocoa powder will stick and the truffle will be bitter. The truffles should be completed in small batches, rolled in cocoa powder as the tempered chocolate is in the process of setting.

    First Layer Enrobing of Chocolate Truffle

    Dredging Truffles in Cocoa Powder

    Cocoa Powder Dredged Truffles

    Cocoa Powder Dredged Truffles


    Chocolate Boxes (cont.)

    As the first of many Chocolate Showpieces to come, this is a simple 6"x4" box construction.

    The box is made of six pieces in total: two equally sized top and bottom pieces, two long sides and two short sides. 

    The project is an opportunity to practice tempering, creating decorative layers, cutting chocolate as it sets, cleaning edges and attaching chocolate pieces.

    Focus Techniques:
    Prior Techniques: Forming, molding, cutting and storing chocolate pieces.
    - "Gluing" chocolate: There are two primary methods for gluing pieces of chocolate together. The first is to fill a cornet with tempered chocolate and use it like a bottle of Elmer's Glue. This method creates a solid bond between pieces, but excess chocolate may be visible and can detract from the appearance. The second method is to heat the edge of one of the pieces of chocolate by rubbing it on a flat, warm surface (e.g. frying pan, sheet tray, etc). If the temperature of the surface is not too hot, then the chocolate will just begin to melt, will remain tempered, and will create a strong bond when pressed to another chocolate surface. 
    - Molding decorative elements with parchment paper: By cutting parchment into various shapes and either dipping them in chocolate or by spreading a layer of chocolate upon them, it is possible to mold almost any shape. The pieces of parchment can even be manipulated as the chocolate begins to set to create more complex items (e.g. the chocolate bow featured on top of the chocolate box).

    Cooling Strips of Chocolate for Chocolate Bow

    Assembling the Chocolate Bow

    Assembling the Chocolate Box

    Assembling the Chocolate Box - Interior

    Placing the Lid for the Chocolate Box

    Final Chocolate Box with Chocolate Bow

    Next - Session 65: Chocolate Carres, Rochers and Chocolate Covered Almonds

    Previous - Session 63: Chocolate Orange Truffles and Chocolate Boxes

    Take a look at the full syllabus

    Questions? Comments? Send me an email or leave a comment.
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