Tuesday, 30 March 2010


Normally, I would not venture into the kitchen under my own steam. I am very lucky to have found a man that not only cooks, but cooks well. Owing to the fact that I literally cannot fry an egg (no honestly - I do not have to exaggerate my culinary ineptitude to amuse my readers, I really am that bad) Hubby has always done all of the cooking. Yesterday evening, however, I was lured into that tiled den of strange stainless steel instruments, steam and surface cleaner by two of my favourite things - Gin and Chocolate! I'll start at the beginning - take a look at this:

For his birthday last week, Nathan was given a copy of the book 'Adventure's With Chocolate' by Paul. A. Young. I'm (clearly!) no expert, but he assures me that the book is fantastic and he has very much been looking forward to trying out some of the recipes. Yesterday he came home with a massive bag of goodies and announced that we were going to make flavoured truffles! Nathan chose to make an orange and chilli flavoured ganache and I, predictably for those that know me, chose Gin and Lime.

Here's what we did:

Break 250g of chocolate into small pieces and leave to one side in a bowl.

Next, mix 250g of double cream with 100g of sugar in a saucepan and heat. Stir constantly while you bring the mixture to the boil. As the yummy, oozy, syrupy liquid warms up, you can add your non-alcoholic flavourings. I threw in my chunky lime zest and Nathan his chopped chillies and chunky orange zest. Nathan tells me that you cannot use actual fruit juices but, for an explanation of why this is the case, you will have to refer to a proper cookery resource I'm afraid! Once the mixture reaches boiling point, gently simmer for one minute.

Remove from heat and stand to cool for one minute. (at this point I added one LARGE shot of Gin)

Sieve the mixture to remove the lime zest and pour warm mixture onto the chocolate that you prepared earlier.

Whisk/stir until the mixture achieves a glorious, smooth, glossy texture, like this...

And then? Well, I have no idea at this stage! Hubby told me to cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight. I will be finishing the chocolates this evening when I get home from work! I'm very excited and cannot wait to see how they turn out. It is a very close friends' birthday on Wednesday and I intend to gift some of these handmade chocolates in some divine packaging.

Usually when Hubby spends time in the kitchen, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to knit or sew, uninterrupted, for a few hours. I think the moral of this story is not to get so wrapped up in any one form of creativity that it has a detrimental effect on your opportunity to try new things. I never cook but these are grrrrrreat fun and so easy! I love anything that gives maximum results with minimum effort!

I'll be back tomorrow to show you how I finished the choccies!

N.B - I would like to mention that there is no intention of infringing any copyright legislation with the above. My information about making truffles is not exactly detailed and making a ganache is, I imagine, no different to making a sponge cake and I'm pretty certain that nobody has rights over that! It should be noted though that Paul's bok was the inspiration behind flavouring the ganache with unlikely ingredients.

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