2007 Holiday Chocolates Part 2

Homemade Chocolate Treats
(Photo courtesy of Sifu Renka)
Recipes adapted from Making Artisan Chocolates by Andrew Garrison Shotts
Lavender Vanilla ChocolatesLavender Vanilla: I adapted the vanilla recipe from the molded chocolates section for this variation. A tablespoon of Zeron's dried lavender infused the cream with an herbal-floral taste. To make the shells, I added a few drops of red and blue food colouring to a small quantity of tempered white chocolate, then used a chopstick to paint the insides. When it was almost set, I poured more white chocolate into the cavities to create the outside as usual. White chocolate is difficult to work with, and I made the shells twice as the first attempt resulted in a lot of air pockets.

Lemongrass Coconut ChocolatesLemongrass Coconut: I followed this recipe as written, with the exception of molding the truffles in milk chocolate instead of white. The centres have a nice, strong lemongrass taste, and not so much coconut; the mixture was very runny immediately after making it, so some refrigerator time was necessary to make it firm enough to scoop.

Peanut Butter Sizzle ChocolatesPeanut Butter Sizzle: The sizzle refers to the addition of cayenne pepper but a mere pinch was not enough for me to register any heat, so I added several. Natural peanut butter worked fine in this recipe. For coating, I used Ontario-grown Valencia peanuts purchased from Picard's Peanuts in Waterdown.

Banana ChocolatesBanana: The only disappointment in this batch of chocolates. I thought crushed banana chips might be a good substitute for the ground caramel called for in the Banana Caramel recipe, but they ended up softening and becoming chewy. There is a strong banana flavour in the milk and white chocolate ganache, but I realize I don't like banana and chocolate together (that's not quite true: I've made this easy dessert many times).

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