Making chocolates by hand doesn’t fill me with dread: I don’t mind that success depends on being exacting and patient because I have those qualities. I’ve made dozens of varieties of chocolate in the past decade and a half, and almost every time, they were for a special occasion. This week, we’re hosting a belated housewarming party, so I naturally wanted to make some chocolates.
I turned to one of the chocolate books I refer to most often: Chocolates and Confections by Peter Greweling. I bought this a long time ago, and have managed to produce some amazing results, despite its targeted audience of professionals. The Passion Fruit Honey Butter Ganache recipe sounded good, and was one I hadn’t made before.
The filling only has four ingredients: butter, honey, milk chocolate, and reduced passion fruit juice concentrate. I only had frozen regular strength passion fruit puree, so I followed the guideline in the book to reduce it by three-quarters, then measured out the required amount. Boy, is it ever tart! Do take note of the temperatures of the ingredients, to ensure that the filling will be smooth and not have any lumps of chocolate or butter. I don’t have a ¼” frame, so I used ½” steel square rods that I own, and arranged them on a Silpat. It was tricky to spread the mixture into an even layer with an offset spatula, so some parts were definitely thinner or thicker than I wanted.
The next day, I applied the dark chocolate foot (also known as a precoat), measured and then cut the filling into squares.
Dr. S helped by cutting transfer sheets into squares, then creasing them along the diagonal, with the coated surface on the outside . After each chocolate was dipped, she placed the folded squares from corner to corner, forming a groove in the still-melted chocolate. The effect was very dramatic: a sharp indentation highlighted by a pattern.
This flavour was the highlight of the party: everyone loved the perfect tart-sweet balance these chocolates achieved. I would highly recommend making them.