We amass our ingredients.

For approximately 30 truffles, we chop up about 250 grams of chocolate. Bring 3/4 cup of cream to a boil and immediately pour over the chocolate. While whisking to smoothen and thicken, add whatever ingredients strike your fancy.

I made two batches each of milk, dark, and white chocolate truffles. For this one, I reduced a half bottle of plum sake to a syrup-like consistency, then whisked it into the cream and chocolate mixture along with two tablespoons of yuzu (a Japanese lemon).

The mixture then goes into the fridge for three hours (or however long it takes to harden).

For the covering on the yuzu-plum sake white chocolate truffle, I decided to go with toasted coconut.

I used a mortar and pestle to grind down some of the toasted coconut flakes. Akemi, drawing on her years of chocolate-making experience at the Pierre Marcolini Cafe in Ginza, scooped, spooned and shaped. Then, I rolled the truffle in the coconut coating.

Yuzu and Plum Sake White Chocolate Truffle with Toasted Coconut. I'm usually not a white chocolate guy but this little creation was mouth-meltingly/astoundingly good. Each truffle packed an incredible amalgamation of flavors, part lemon meringue pie, part key lime pie, part coconut cream pie. I'm salivating at the mere memory.

Akemi mixes up a batch of the dark. We used Callebaut Chocolate.

One of the ingredients to a more daring flavor: blue cheese. I went with Cashel, an Irish Blue that is creamier, less salty than its counterparts.

I finally put that mortal and pestle to good use (or actual use). Pictured: ground hazelnuts, walnuts, and toasted coconut.

Akemi went with a Yunnan Tea Milk Chocolate Truffle, boiling the cream, steeping the tea in the simmering cream, then straining out the tea leaves before mixing the infused cream with the milk chocolate.

Akemi's Yunnan Tea-Infused Milk Chocolate Truffles. She prefers squares over rounds.

For my Almond-Butter Dark Chocolate Truffle, I opted for a half and half mix of almond meal and powdered sugar for the covering.

Akemi also made a Double Nut (hazelnut and walnut) and Corn Flake Milk Chocolate Truffle.

Blue Cheese Dark Chocolate Truffles with Honey and Ground Walnuts Dusted with Cacoa Powder.

Akemi also made caramels.

All individually wrapped.

And Matcha and White Chocolate Truffles.

Well, damn.  I delayed publishing today’s entry in the hopes that I could also include pics of my last three truffle creations but, presumably because of the booze content in each, they haven’t firmed up sufficiently enough for molding.  So, it looks like it’ll have to wait until tomorrow.  Or maybe Tuesday because tomorrow’s entry is looking crazy-busy, what with LDP dropping by and all.

50 thoughts on “August 29, 2010: Chocolate Day!

  1. So, which batch is for me??? 😀

    That all looks so lovely, but also like so much bother! Is it all worth it in the end? And, more importantly, why isn’t your butt the size of Jupiter by now??! Not fair! 😡

    ..

    .

    So, which batch is for me??? 😀

    das

  2. Hi Joe,

    Some juicy SGU questions…

    1. What are the chances of the characters in SGU coming across some way of translating alien languages and communicating with aliens?

    2. What are the chances of the characters in SGU coming across a planet with aliens that either have no extraterrestrial interactions or keep it a secret (like on Earth) and yet the humans showing up somehow ends up totally messing with that alien race?

    3. Are we ever going to see an alien race in SGU that is similar to humans?

    4. Have you had Yunnan tea (sans chocolate)? How is it?

    I’ve heard Yunnan (SW China (Kunming)) is one of the most beautiful parts of China. If Yunnan tea is available anywhere I’d definitely be up for trying it out.

    Sean D.

  3. I suddenly sense some truffle-making in my very near future: chili, coffee, honey, sesame – I have until the weekend to come up with some more.

    Have you heard of/read any of Gail Carriger’s ‘Alexia Tarabotti’ novels? If you haven’t I highly recommend them! I wasn’t looking to read anymore urban fantasy, but when a friend gave me the first book and told me to read it I listened. The books are set in Queen Victoria’s England, but not England as it happened in our timeline: ghosts, vampires and werewolves are out in the open, as is another kind of race, called the ‘preternatural’, which serves as nature’s counterbalance to the others, the lead character is one of these. A delightful combination of Victorian snobbery, intense scientific curiosity and a preternatural ‘gift’ make Alexia a very fun character to follow. So much for my pitch of the story. If you have read any of the books, what did you think?

  4. Joe,

    “Recipes” – Col. Young

    No, seriously speaking, can you tell us what recipes you used to make the truffles? Or did you have a basic recipe that you modified appropriately for the particular truffle you were making?

    Jim

  5. You truly are a food maniac. But they look delicious. But I am curious to know. How long does one need to stick around to get one’s questions answered? 2 months? 6 months? Gazillion years?

  6. Hi Joe

    They look great, I’ll send my address via email

    What? You mean they weren’t all for your loyal blog readers ? 🙂

    Rich

  7. I’ve got a few Ancient related questions. (I know how you love them)

    So much of the time when we saw abandoned Ancient cities on other planets looked to be composed of stone vs the sleek metal appearance of Atlantis. And Atlantis remained intact within the active shield for 10,000 years.
    Why weren’t Ancient cities elsewhere likewise preserved?

    Also, with Ancient cities strewn all over the Milky Way Galaxy, why didnt there seem to be just as many scattered throughout Pegasus? Its hard to imagine that most of the Ancients who lived in Pegasus were confined to just Atlantis.

    And finally, I always wondered where the Ancients got their ZPMs from. Obviously they didnt have the problems keeping the city powered that the Atlantis Expedition was always running into. Did the Ancients have a means of recharging their ZPMs that Mckay was never able to replicate?

  8. Joe, those truffles look amazing. Every one of them looks delicious. Now the question is, who’s going to eat them all? 🙂

    I was just listening to CBC radio and they were discussing whether there is a “Canadian” cuisine, in the same sense as we talk about “Italian” food or “Indian” food. I mean other than poutine and donuts. What are your thoughts on that?

  9. Well damn, I’m too jealous and I want to try some of your great chocolate ideas.

    Where did you ever find the love to cook all these great looking meals?

  10. Hey Joe:

    I was just wondering if you had been keeping up with persons unknown still? The finale was on last night, and it was just done so poorly, very scattered and seemed to fall flat. A real WTF moment for me….”All will be revealed” my a$$! Lol!

  11. Is the project arcturus had been totally abandoned by the ancients ?
    Have they taken their ressearch during their exile of pégase to resume this one of the beginning and finish it ?

  12. I’m French, so I’m asking my questions in French and English:

    1) If we read our blog, we can see that you like French language and french food. When will we see a French character in Stargate, or a scene which take place in France ?
    I know that there were Jean Lapierre, the french ambassador in the six season, and some French characters on Atlantis (with a French flag on their uniform) but there weren’t any important character…like Chekov for Russian people or Zelenka for Czech Republic people.
    2) I live in Dijon, do you know this town (mustard, … )?

    1) En lisant votre blog, on peut s’apercevoir de votre amour pour la langue et la cuisine Françaises. Quand verra -ton un personnage Français dans Stargate, ou une scene qui se déroule en france ?
    Je sais qu’il y a eu Jean Lapierre, l’ambassadeur français de la saison 6 et quelques personnages avec un écusson Français (sur leur uniforme dans Atlantis), mais il n’y a pas eu de personnage importants comme Chekov pour les russes, Zelenka pour la republique tcheque,…
    2) Je vis à Dijon, connaissez vous cette ville (moutarde…)

  13. WOO! I just discovered how to get rid of telemarketers in such a way that THEY end the phone call, WITH a smile on their face! WOO!

    Tell ’em the truth. Just as easy as that. tell ’em the truth.

    See…he’s doing his thing when I interrupt him and say, ‘Look, I’m standing here naked, and my husband just walked in the door.’ I could actually see him blush, right through the phone. With a naughtly little chuckle he said ‘have fun!’, and quickly dismissed himself.

    Of course, I didn’t tell him the whole truth, which went something like this, ‘I’m running around trying to get dressed and do chores at the same time, I have a comb stuck in my hair, I smudged my mascara so bad I look like that emo ‘leave Britney aloooone!’ guy, and I just put my bra on inside out…so I’m kinda in a rush here trying to get ready to go to the hand doctor with my husband as soon as he comes back from running errands.’ Doesn’t sound very sexy, does it? So I gave him the cliffsnotes version. 🙂 If HE wanted to hear, ‘I’m naked, my husband just got home, and we’re 30 seconds from knocking the breakfast dishes to the floor and doing the wild thang right here on the kitchen table’…well, that’s on him.

    ..

    .

    Doesn’t sound like a bad idea, though. 😛 😳

    😉

    das

  14. Amazing, I wish I could whip up treats as good as this but sadly I am more of a dinner cooker than sweets maker. Looks fabulous; did you take some in to share at work?

  15. This is my NFL Fantasy Team

    STARTING

    Drew Brees
    Michael Bush
    Frank Gore
    Donald Driver
    Dwayne Bowe
    Robert Meachem
    Vernon Davis
    Matt Prater
    Philadephia Eagles

    BENCH

    Joe Flacco
    Devin Hester
    Dez Bryant
    Steve Slating
    Eli Manning
    Alex Smith

    I’m gonna be kicking A this year.

    Cheers, Chev

  16. Looks yummy!! it really sucks that I get migraines from chocolate but I’d still hit those and suffer ’cause they look damn good.

    On a sad note I wanted to let you know that my 20 year old cat Bubbles passed away this weekend. I was in Toronto when I got the call. It wasn’t unexpected but I’m still mourning her passing she was a great companion.

    I was catching up on your blog (a week of vacation) and I saw your entry that states Jelly is doing better and I’m so thrilled for Jelly and you!!

    Have a great monday!!

  17. @ Penny So sorry about Bubbles sweetie. I’m sure those 20 years together were precious and wonderful. She’ll be okay as will you, just give it time. Best remedy for mourning a passed pet is to go to the animal shelter and bring home another sweet soul. When you’re ready, of course.

    Hang in there,

    2cats

  18. If Callebaut has gone into receivership and whatever chocolate still available at the supermarket is no longer available, what kind of chocolcate would you suggest using? I’d like to try making truffles, and prefer dark chocolate.

    Re: gforce’s question regarding Canadian cuisine. Whenever I hear any discussions about Canadian cuisine, it usually pertains to ingredients, as opposed to any particular dish. There are exceptions, such as poutine and butter tarts, of course, but Canadian cuisine is often described as any dish made from Canadian ingredients, such as Digby scallops (from Digby, Nova Scotia), Arctic char, MacIntosh apples (which originated in Ontario), or Quebec artisanal cheeses.

  19. Oh, and I forgot about the wines, too, such as those from the Niagara region or BC. Ice wines are a particular Canadian specialty.

  20. Had a chance to watch any new anime shows Joe? Loving Kurokami, not worth buying on Blu Ray as its dub only, but the DVD boxset is Japanese/English, decent enough series.

  21. Hello Joe.

    I’m so jealous!!! 😉 Those truffles look great. I looked at the pictures, and was suddenly lost in a private moment. 🙂

    Any chance you could send us leftovers? I know both Das and myself would love a care package. How much does it cost to ship from Vancouver to New Jersey? Das? 😉

    Best wishes to you, Akemi, and the rest of the gang, w/ extra hugs for Jelly.

    Sincerely,

    Bryan

  22. Ok Joe – I booked my flight, I’m coming over if you ain’t sending any out to us LOYAL fans. Got plenty of Imitrex and Treximet – I don’t care, those look way to good to care about a migraine.

  23. “If Callebaut has gone into receivership and whatever chocolate still available at the supermarket is no longer available….”

    Uh, that was an awkward sentence. I meant, once the supermarkets run out of the existing Callebaut chocolate currently in stock, and presuming that they will not be replenished if Callebaut has gone into receivership, what would you recommend using for making dark chocolate truffles?

  24. yum, truffles, thanks for the pictures and descriptions..

    and LDP yum, thanks, hope there are pictures…I can make up my own descriptions,(well maybe).

  25. I’ve got to say that your truffle pictures make me think seriously about making truffles of my own. They all look delicious!

    I have a friend interested in the tv script writing business, and she is considering submitting to this competition: http://www.scriptapaloozatv.com/index.html. Do you have any idea if this outfit is legitimate? And if they actually pass scripts they give awards to on to production companies and literary agencies?

  26. @ Bryan M. White – Ya know, there’s quite a few Mallozzi fans here in Jersey. I say he just comes here with the packages (of chocolate, of course), and in return we all take him out to dinner at some fancy schmancy place that he can write about on his blog. Sounds like a fair trade-off. We should get him to pick the restaurant, though…that way he can’t blame us if the food sucks. 😉

    das

  27. @2cats: Thanks so much for your kind words!! Those 20 years we had together went by too fast. I have a younger cat at home named Yami and 2 dogs so house is still full of critter fun so it’s made it a bit easier as I now hold them a bit tighter.

  28. Wow, just wowwwww…… Must be nice to have an in-house chocolatier …. I’m sooo jealous…

    I would love to try the blue cheese one and the cornflake milk chocolate.

    I tried a yuzu macaron when I was in Toronto and I didn’t know what it was. I tasted it and said “oh yum, it’s citrusy.” So when I got back to the hotel I Goggled yuzu and yup, my palate was correct. Although it was one of my favourite macaron flavours, I don’t like white chocolate. However, I would make the supreme sacrifice and give it a taste.

    That’s’ a LOT of truffles, enough for sharing, I would say….

    Those caramels also look really good, and I think they would ship well, in any weather….

    Joe – I have a food question, if you would be so kind – speaking of Matcha. I had a Matcha Opera Cake and it tasted …er … fishy… was it supposed to taste like that? Or did something go horribly wrong at the bakery that day. It was a little unexpected (to say the least). So my question is this… Are Matcha desserts supposed to have a fishy taste?

    @ IggyMing – From what I understand it’s the Bernard Callebaut Company that’s in receivership, not the Callebaut Company. Callebaut is a European company that has been producing chocolate for over 150 years. Bernard is one of the sons/brothers (not totally sure of the whole family dynamics), who broke away from the family company, moved to Calgary in the early 80’s. He has carried on in the family tradition and has opened chocolate stores all across Canada (and I think a couple of States). They are two separate entities. It’s kinda like a parent company with a rebel child, I guess, you could say.
    So your Callebaut chocolate is safe, mine isn’t…. Although Bernard Callebaut is doing business as usual, so it may just be a matter of a debt re-org. or something *simple* like that. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, it’s nice to have access to world class just down the street… maybe a little TOO nice… *smiles*

    Have a Good One!!
    Kymm

    P.S. what did DP win for guessing correctly in the What the Hell Ashleigh Was Doing Contest?

  29. @ Penny – I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your cat. You’ve had her for twenty years, which is long for a cat, isn’t it? Although it’s just really hard, no matter how long you’ve had the pet. I would just think that the longer you have a pet, the harder it would be. I’m a mess when my sister loses a pet, so I can’t imagine…

    You have my sincere condolences…
    Kymm

  30. …er.. I missed a word (in the long post) make that last sentence….”it’s nice to have access to world class CHOCOLATE just down the street…”

    K

  31. @Don
    I have wondered the same thing about the ZPM’s.. I mean obviously they were able to create them, but if this is so then they would have to have a lab that contains all of their research and how to create them. I understand why they never followed up on their creation though, because if they knew how to create ZPM’s the show wouldn’t be all that great. I mean think about it.. The wraith show up and shoot the shield and they can just sit there and do nothing because the shield basically has unlimited power.. That wouldn’t be too fun now would it? Lol.

    Also we know that the Ancients were some what spread out. In “The Tower” we learned there are two Atlantis’s and the only reason that wasn’t preserved very well was because 1. it was on solid ground and 2. It wasn’t protected under the shield from vegetation and what not.

    And then in “Trinity” it looked to me like the city was built with that sleek metal.. It had been taken over somewhat by vegetation, but what do you expect after 10,000 years or more..

    My point is that over 10,000 years or more that things are going to be taken over by plant life and or fall apart. The only reason Atlantis didn’t do so was that they were underwater with a shield.

    @ Penny
    Sorry about your cat.. That’s too bad, but at least you have more animals to comfort you through it. It really sucks when animals die, but at least we can take comfort in the fact that the time that they spent with us they had a good life and at the end of the day that’s worth the pain we have to go through when they die.. 🙂

  32. Penny: so sorry for your loss.

    I’m a little bummed tonight as well. Our humane society is closing due to lack of funds 🙁 . I think the dogs will be ok but I’m worried about all the cats/kittens I’ve been working with. I’m hoping this will be a good thing when it all shakes out but…..

  33. @Das – no not the same person – thanks Tammy Dixon for answering. I rarely comment and previously commented under my blogger non de plum of “Gracey”

    Yup, I’m Tam or Tammy – hey Tammy Dixon – are you a Tammy Lynn too????? There are many of us!

    Oh and BTW, have never liked my name, as I am always Tammy and sounds childish. My brother is a Michael, he was Mikey as a kid, but grew up to be Mike or Michael (Joey becomes Joe or Joseph)- bah – I’m always gonna be Tammy, but I hear it’s a sought after name in the South, especially after The Potato Queen books were published – shrugs…

    oh and screen caps – couldn’t find any – he is on for less than a minute – recognized the voice first and seeing him was quite startling…Kinda reminded me of Durka from Farscape…
    In an interview, he said if the show is renewed, he may be reaccuring…so there may be caps then….

    and I agree about the long hair, but also have a hubby with long hair..Only thing he is vain about, as it is a very pretty red…Used to be to his waist, now a bit past his shoulders…

  34. @ Penny – So sorry about your kitty, Bubbles. Love her name! It sounds like she brought you much happiness. My first kitty, Prissy (the first that was all *mine*) lived to be 21 – I got her as a child, and she lived to see me married. When they’re with you that long there is quite a void left when they’re gone. Cherish your memories, and my thoughts will be with you. {{{hugs}}}

    das

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