Raniers

2009-04-07

I made a batch of chocolates from Peter Greweling's Chocolates and Confections to bring for Passover dinners. The name of these chocolates has a two-fold meaning (in my interpretation anyway): Mount Rainier is a mountain which these resemble, and Rainier is a type of cherry.

Raniers: Chocolate discs and cherry fillingDesign & Realisation sells a chablon (stencil) to make discs, but I felt it was too expensive for what it was. The book describes an alternate technique in which a thin layer of tempered chocolate is spread on a Silpat, letting it set up almost completely, cutting out the desired shape, then removing the excess chocolate. I didn't have too much trouble in making the discs, but it was time-consuming to remove the excess. I used a ganache cutter but it turned out to be too big. Next time, I'll just use the same round piping tip for the discs as when I pipe the filling. For the cherries, I rinsed them, cut them in half, patted them dry and placed them in the centre of the discs.
 
Raniers: Piped white chocolate fillingThe filling is made of glucose, butter, white chocolate, cherry jam and Kirsch. Knowing the right moment to pipe is the trickiest part. You want it to be fluid enough so you can easily make a tip, but not so soft that it won't hold its shape. To form this mountain shape, I just released pressure from the bag, and lifted the tip straight up.
 
Raniers: After dippingThe rest of the process is easy. After letting the piped filling set overnight, you temper some dark chocolate and then dip. However, I tried to temper in a glass measuring cup and was not careful in agitating and holding the mixture at the right temperature. As a result, the chocolates don't look very appetizing. A small offset spatula was very useful in loosening the chocolate discs from the Silpat. Another aesthetic issue is ensuring that the piped filling spreads out over the base slightly to ensure that the dipped chocolate doesn't have a gap between the filling and the disc. Using the right size disc is important here. I would cut the discs using the piping bag tip next time.
 
Raniers: Piping the decorationFor a final touch, a snow-capped peak is piped on top using a paper cone filled with white chocolate.
 
Raniers: CutawayThese chocolates were very tasty, even if they weren't very attractive. The shape is fun, and the filling contains cherry in several forms. I would make these again, especially as part of an assortment.