Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Brandy & Raisin Ganache Squares

I'm back home in China with my parents now, and they don't really bake at home, so it's just me that buys all the baking ingredients.  I had bought dark chocolate the last time I was here, which was exactly a year ago.  A ton of dark chocolate.  I didn't use it all, and the other day I wanted to make some truffles, opened them up, and sweet mother of Jesus they were filled with worms. Urgh just the mental image of those little things crawling around makes me gag. 

Terrifying.  I remember my grandparents had an orchard, and my grandmother would make freshly squeezed orange juice for us with their own oranges.  Own organic, pesticide-free oranges -- filled with worms.  We'd get these clear glasses of bright-colored juice with little white worms just swimming around.  "It's okay, they don't do any harm."  Yea but no, Grandma..

So I bought more chocolate to make these truffles.  With excellent brandy, courtesy of my parents' liquor cabinet.
Here's a trick.  In China, as everything I like is imported, I couldn't find excellent quality chocolate without my bank account having a heart attack.  So I had mediocre chocolate, added a ton of spice and brandy to it to cover its mediocreness and then the truffles tasted fantastic.

Obviously these are better done with great chocolate, but this is just what you can do if you end up in the same position as me.  No other excuse to buy horrible chocolate though.

Merry Christmas.

recipe adapted from Patisserie 
makes 25 1" squares

80g raisins
70ml brandy
200g milk chocolate
200g dark chocolate
1/2 cup double cream
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Soak the raisins in the coffee liqueur for at least 30 minutes.

Line a large tin with cling film.

Finely chop the milk chocolate and put it in a bowl.  Boil the cream over medium heat then gradually pour over the milk chocolate.  Stir until smooth.  If it doesn't become smooth, do not worry, stir and melt over a double boiler. 

Finely chop the raisins and mix it with the melted chocolate along with the cinnamon and the soaking coffee liqueur.  Mix well and pour into the lined tin.  Put it in the fridge to set, at least 1 hour.

Put the cocoa powder in a deep dish bowl.  Take the chocolate ganache out from the fridge and take it out of the tin.  Cut into small squares and toss individually in the the cocoa powder.  Put in fridge again to set slightly. 

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