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White chocolate

The Ultimate Chunky Chewy Triple Chocolate Caramel Cookies

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The Ultimate Chunky Chewy Triple Chocolate Caramel Cookies

In my dictionary definition of cookie, I’m going to be demanding. It needs to be thic(ccc)k so that each mouthful contains some of the promised flavours, be they chocolate, nut, or candy. I want it crisp on the outside so that when broken, it gives way to a chewy cookie-dough goo. If there’s chocolate or caramel, they need to be molten. They also need to have enough salt to balance the sweetness and add depth of flavour. 

And, after years of trials, the quest to create the perfect cookie becoming increasingly Sisyphean, I’ve done it. And you need to make them ASAP.

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Passion Fruit & Coconut Truffles

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Passion Fruit & Coconut Truffles

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My household has recently been beset by a typical problem. My mom rather enjoys pressing the "+”button when ordering from Ocado.  Whereas last week this resulted in a glut of cherries, this week it was passion fruit.   Even after days of bisecting the plum-coloured orbs and slurping up the tangy yellow spawn (sans spoon, and only in the most ladylike way, obviously), the supply remained steady.

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IMG_4237Clearly, truffles were the solution.  Most truffle recipes create a molten ganache centre by simply combining melted chocolate with the flavour/ingredient of choice and a dribble of cream.  Easy?  Perhaps.  Zero depth of flavour? Indeed.  I make a caramel base to add a darker, nuttier complexity.

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This is poured over the dark chocolate to melt it, and the golden toasted coconut is then swirled in with the fresh and tangy passion fruit juice.

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I recommend using good quality dark chocolate – the results are worth it.  The tangy molten ganache is then frozen, later to be formed into spheres.  These are encased in a crisp white chocolate and coconut shell to add a touch of sweetness and contrast of textures.

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The name “passion fruit” does not, as you might assume, come from any aphrodisiac qualities of the fruit.  Rather, it comes from the shape of flower which resembles a crown like that that of thorns around Jesus’ head – thus, passion derives from the "passion of Christ”.  Indeed, these truffles are rather ambrosial – you could even say that eating them is a religious experience.

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Ingredients (makes 50 - halve if strapped for time)

For the Ganache

150g 70% dark chocolate (good quality)

150g caster sugar

150g double cream

10g unsalted butter

10g light brown muscovado sugar

½ tsp salt

70g desiccated coconut

8 passion fruits, sieved to extract about 90ml of juice.

100g icing sugar, sifted

 

Large tray lined with baking parchment

 

For the shell

500g white chocolate

200g desiccated coconut

Pair of surgical gloves (optional)

  1. Chop the dark chocolate roughly, and set it aside in a large heatproof mixing bowl.
  2. To toast the coconut (70g), place a medium frying pan over a medium-high heat, pour the coconut in and stir continuously for 5 -8 minutes until the coconut turns a light golden colour. Add this to the dark chocolate.
  3. Place the caster sugar in saucepan over medium high heat, and when it starts to melt, stir gently with a spatula to avoid the sugar burning around the edges. Push unmelted sugar into the already caramelised sugar to aid the caramelising process.
  4. Once the sugar has turned a rich, dark gold colour, while still on the heat, pour in the cream, whisking all the time. If clumps form, don’t panic: keep whisking over medium low heat, and they will eventually melt.
  5. Once the lumps have dissolved, whisk in the muscovado sugar, butter, vanilla and salt and stir the bubbling mixture on a medium heat for another 2 minutes.
  6. Pour the hot mixture into the bowl of chopped dark chocolate and coconut and stir immediately until all the chocolate has melted and the caramel and chocolate are fully combined. Pour the passion fruit juice into the mixture, and stir to combine fully. Pour this into a shallow tray, and place in the freezer for an hour to set slightly.
  7. Once it has become slightly more solid, remove the tray of mixture from the freezer. Use a teaspoon to scoop out dollops, and roll each between the palms of your hands to form 2cm diameter spheres. Roll the spheres in the icing sugar to coat them finely, and then place them on a baking tray with space around each sphere to avoid their sticking together. Once all the mixture has been rolled into spheres, place the baking tray in the freezer for half an hour or until the spheres are firm and cold to touch. You may need to do this in batches as the ganache mixture melts very quickly.
  8. Break half the white chocolate (250g) into pieces and place in a bone-dry, heatproof bowl (any drop of water will make the chocolate seize). Place the bowl over a pot of boiling water (without the boiling water touching the base of the heatproof bowl), and stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted.
  9. Remove the dark chocolate spheres from the freezer, and one at a time, skewer with a toothpick and coat by spooning the melted white chocolate over each frozen chocolate sphere. Remove the skewer, replace the coated truffle on the baking tray, and replace in the freezer for 10 minutes for the first layer to set.

Melt the rest of the white chocolate (using the same method as before), and place the desiccated coconut (200g) in a bowl. Remove the truffles from the freezer. If you don’t want to get too messy, wear surgical gloves to do this stage. With one hand, roll the truffle in the melted white chocolate. Then, drop it into the coconut and with your other hand roll it to coat it. Once the batch is complete, place back in the freezer for a minimum 10 minutes to set.

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Raspberry dusted white chocolate coated salted caramel truffles

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Raspberry dusted white chocolate coated salted caramel truffles

truffles5 Last weekend Culina was trumpeted into existence…literally, with an evening of jazz, ever-flowing champagne, canapés, desserts & petit fours. It was a wonderful evening of abundance and great company.

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I had dedicated every evening of the previous week to “truffling” yet all 300 of the white chocolate coated salted caramel truffles disappeared without a trace. Salting caramel has become almost a cliché but there is definitely a reason for that combo: the salt balances the sickly sweetness of the caramel, making the truffles even more moreish.

 

If you’re short of time, you need not dip the truffles into the white chocolate. Instead, after rolling them into spheres, roll them in cocoa powder, chill in the fridge and serve.

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Ingredients 300g 70% good quality dark chocolate

300g caster sugar

300ml double cream

20g light brown muscovado sugar

20g butter

1tspn vanilla extract

1 tspn salt

450g good quality white chocolate

5 g freeze dried raspberries, crushed or powdered (optional)

100g icing sugar (or 100g cocoa powder if not coating with white chocolate)

toothpicks

 

(Makes approx. 60)

 

Method

 

1. Chop the dark chocolate roughly, and set aside in heatproof mixing bowl. Or if you’re feeling aggressive, smash it against a surface (when still in its wrapper).

2. Place caster sugar in saucepan over medium high heat, and when it starts to melt stir gently with spatula to avoid burning around the edges. Push unmelted sugar into the already caramelised sugar to aid the caramelising process. 3. Once the sugar has turned a rich, dark gold colour, while still on the heat, pour in 150g of the cream whisking all the time. If clumps form, don’t panic: keep whisking over medium low heat, and they will eventually melt. 4. Once the lumps have dissolved, pour in the rest of the cream, the muscovado sugar, butter, vanilla and salt and stir the bubbling mixture on a medium heat for another 2 minutes. 5. Pour the mixture into the bowl of chopped dark chocolate and stir immediately until all the chocolate has melted and the caramel and chocolate are fully combined. 6. To chill more quickly, pour the mixture into a baking tray and place in the freezer for about an hour, or until solidified. 7. Cover a clean baking tray with tinfoil. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the mixture, and roll between palms of hands to form 2cm diameter spheres. Roll the spheres in the icing sugar to finely coat, and then place them on baking tray with space around each sphere to avoid their sticking together. Once all the mixture has been rolled into spheres, place baking tray in freezer for half an hour or until the spheres are firm and cold to touch. 8. Break white chocolate into pieces and place in bone-dry heatproof bowl (any drop of water will make the chocolate seize). Place heatproof bowl over pot of boiling water without the boiling water touching the base of the heatproof bowl. Stir occasionally. Remove pan from heat when the chocolate has melted. 9. Remove dark chocolate spheres from freezer, and one at a time, skewer with a toothpick and coat by spooning over the melted white chocolate. Remove the skewer, replace the coated truffle on the tin foil lined baking tray. Drip enough white chocolate over the truffle to disguise any blemishes the toothpick has made. 10. While the white chocolate is still liquid, sprinkle with the freeze-dried raspberry, if using. 11. Replace the tray in the freezer for half an hour until the white chocolate coating has hardened. The truffles may be kept in the fridge until you wish to serve them. Alternatively, the truffles may be kept in a sealed box in the freezer for a couple of weeks.

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