January 10, 2011

Chocolate Truffles with Lemon and Lavender

I'm on a bit of a truffle kick lately... These are delicious, the lemon and lavender is not overwhelming, in fact, you might not be able to figure out what was in them. The lemon and lavender just make these taste very fresh and slightly floral! I also must tell you that I am a convert to the mechanical pastry bag. I have always been ambivalent to resentful of pastry bags, they are such a pain to use and they are a nightmare to clean... But then I saw this wondrous item:

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/mechanical-pastry-bag/?pkey=e%7Cpastry%2Bbag%7C1%7Cbest%7C0%7C1%7C24%7C%7C1&cm_src=PRODUCTSEARCHNoFacet-_-NoFacet-_-NoMerchRules-_-

While it is still a bit messy to use, (it can be hard to get the ganache into the tube neatly), the depressing mechanism is so much easier than trying to wrestle with a bag. Hooray! And because it is metal and plastic and comes apart, it is easier to clean than a bag.

Chocolate Truffles with Lemon and Lavender
8.5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (>50% cacao)
1 Tbsp. honey
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp. lavender flowers
pinch fleur de sel
1 tsp. lemon zest

Coating:
1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. lavender flowers

In a metal bowl, place the honey, chocolate (chopped coarsely), salt and the lemon zest. Here's the type of tool I use to zest the lemon:

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/microplane-rasp-grater/?pkey=e%7Cmicroplane%7C7%7Cbest%7C0%7C1%7C24%7C%7C5&cm_src=PRODUCTSEARCHNoFacet-_-NoFacet-_-NoMerchRules-_-


In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream and lavender flowers at a medium low heat, slowly bringing to a simmer. Once simmering, remove from the heat. Place a strainer over the chocolate, and pour the lavender cream through the strainer, catching the lavender. Discard the lavender. Allow the chocolate and hot cream mixture to sit for one minute. Using a whisk, combine until the mixture is smooth and shiny and no pieces of chocolate remain solid.

Whisk often, allowing to cool down to room temperature for 5-10 minutes. Place the ganache either in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or in an ice bath, stirring often, to cause the ganache to become more solid. When it is the consistency of pudding, using a spatula, fill the canister of your mechanical pastry bag. (You may also use a traditional pastry bag, a zip lock bag, or a squeeze bottle).

On a baking sheet lined with parchment, pipe small mounds of ganache about 1/2" in size. Chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. In a small dish, combine the coating ingredients. Using clean fingers, roll each truffle in the coating until fully covered.

Keep these in the refrigerator, when you'd like to eat them let them warm up a little out of the fridge. Enjoy!

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