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Our Blog: Chocolate Talk

An Intern's Perspective: Espresso, Marzipan, Figs, Oh My!

Espresso Truffles Espresso Truffles

Had a busy day enrobing truffles today, and one thing I learned was that not all truffles are created equally. By “created,” I mean that some ganaches a dream to enrobe, while others (that’s right, I’m looking at you, Fig) can prove much more difficult.

I started the morning with espresso truffles, which are pretty ordinary in terms of texture and consistency. Once I got my rhythm down, the tray of truffles turned out pretty well, and I figured out how to better use the side of the bowl to remove excess chocolate. I pocketed one to take home to my wife to show her that I’m getting better.

The marzipan that followed was about as easy as the enrobing process can be, with perfect, identical squares sporting tight, sharp edges and corners before they were enrobed. That’s a very rare treat when enrobing truffles by hand. The only difficulty with the marzipan, which was also true for the espresso, was actually placing the almond (or espresso bean) on the top of the truffle, since they have a tendency to stick just a little bit to our gloves, but I’m not complaining.

Finishing up with the figs proved really tough going though. The ganache is  very lumpy, and each warrants considerably more individual attention before immersing it in the chocolate, because the fruit isn’t nearly as smooth as the other ingredients we often use. What were supposed to be smooth, square truffles had some very obvious markings of what I’ll call “handmade craftsmanship,” that I’m certain a more skilled chocolatier could better disguise. I wasn’t able to keep most of the planes on the surface of the truffles as even as we strive for, and was left scheming a new gameplan for the next time a lumpy ganache finds its way to me. The figs that we put on the top of these truffles are beautiful, but very sticky and even harder to place near the center of each truffle than the espresso beans and almonds. If ever one was to doubt that artisan truffles are minted by mortals, they should go take a look at my figgies.

I also neglected to mention the lemon pepper molded truffles I made. This was no accident. It’s a long process to created molded truffles. I made the shells on Friday, and after they set, they were filled with ganache that was ready on Saturday and filled over the weekend. On Monday, to my delight, I got to put the foot on. It was a real treat to return to the molds that I first poured chocolate into last week to put the final, finishing touch on them. That touch, however, is yet to be refined. There’s a certain finesse to making the smooth bottom for molded truffles, and my two firm passes with the wide metal tool we use clearly was not it. Two passes… three… aw, so long as they look good, who’s counting? The chocolate is thin, and sets quickly, both on our tool and on the mold, so a few quick and graceful passes will does the trick. My bad. I was painfully slow and much too forceful.

If you decide to try one of our spice collections, look for my signature craftsmanship on these shiny square truffles. They’ve clearly got the most character on the foot.

Pleasure, handcrafted. Hedonist Artisan Chocolates are handmade with fresh ingredients to give as gifts or indulge yourself.
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