Notes: Ingredient surplus is a common theme in our kitchen. I like getting a good deal, but limited space and appetite prevent me from consuming as quickly as I purchase. Case in point: while buying some unrelated product at Costco.ca, I spotted the Food & Gift Baskets section, and was delighted to discover that Callebaut chocolate in bulk sells for $9/kg. The catch? You have to buy 10kg (that's 22 lbs) in two giant slabs. No problem for a slightly crazy baker like me! When they arrived a few days later, heaving the massive blocks validated my decision to never pay upwards of $20/kg for chocolate ever again! (Unfortunately, as of today, it's not currently in stock. But these blocks will last me a while.) Now, what to make?
We also get a biweekly coffee delivery and the beans were starting to pile up, so I decided to make some sort of coffee chocolate. Using the Kona coffee chocolate recipe from Recchiuti's book, I made a double batch of the ganache using ground, decaf coffee beans. To add the "crunch" factor, I decided to stir in about a cup of feuilletine, purchased from La Guilde Culinaire in Montreal on a trip there this year. No one knew where to buy it in Toronto, and the few chocolate shops in town using it in their products (e.g. SOMA), wouldn't divulge their source to me.
The ganache mixture went into the freezer to firm up. On Day 1 of dipping, I cut one pan of the filling into squares just shy of an inch on a side. I don't think I've made dipped chocolates since I bought a new theromometer so I was eager to see if my tempering and dipping technique had gotten rusty. Anyway, the superficial appearance of the chocolates were almost perfect, no fat or sugar bloom. The shells were quite thick and hard though, I think, because I must have over-seeded the chocolate while tempering it, making it extremely viscous. I also had to be quick to sprinkle additional feuilletine on top, otherwise, it wouldn't adhere. For the second batch a few days later, I made sure not to over-seed and the shells were much thinner.
There were a bunch of things I tried this time while dipping, with some success. Tilting the bowl of melted chocolate so that the chocolate is almost level with the side makes it easier to keep the fork level when removing the dipped chocolate. And tilting the fork backwards towards you helps it stay on the fork when tapping or scraping to remove the excess chocolate.
And how did the finished product taste? Sadly, the "crunch" factor was missing. I read on eGullet Forums that feuilletine goes soggy very easily in the presence of moisture; in this case, it came from the cream in the ganache. I suppose I could have added cocoa nibs to the filling, which would have stayed crunchy. The coffee flavour was present though, although it could have been stronger.
I want to experiment more with feuilletine, and figure out how to keep a nice crunch in the chocolate filling. But it's good to know that I can still make a nice looking product.