Yes, yes, I know, it’s way too hot for chocolate. Or so the occasional not-so-chocoholics like me might say. Especially since last week’s Raspberry-Chocolate Cheesecake Brownie had enough chocolatey oomph to shut my inner chocolate-craving sweets-demons up for the next couple of months…
There are, as recent requests for chocolatey bites have proven to me, those amongst us that are having a hard time resisting the temptation even during the hottest days of the year – and those that feel the need to steer the madness into a direction that doesn’t entirely go against the grain in order to keep the morbidly fascinated stares in the general direction of someone digging into a bar of chocolate at bay. They could be considered to be rude… or so I’ve been told~ What better to summer-up plain chocolate than to turn it into chocolates with a twist befitting the weather outside~? So, this fruity and refreshing summery little bite is for all of you guys with a sweet tooth tuned in on chocolate!
Just a little word in advance~ this is a double-layered chocolate, but both fillings are quite delicious on their own, in case this arrangement seems to be too fiddly for you. If you plan on using the fillings as stand-alones, I’d suggest using white chocolate casings for the Yoghurt-Lemon filling and going with a simple roll in a bowl of cocoa or blueberry powder for the Blueberry Truffle filling.
The Blueberry Truffle – Yoghurt Chocolates
60 Milk Chocolate Shells
60 Dried Blueberries
I’m lucky enough to have a small chocolate manufactory as well as a store specialized in all things dessert close by, so my supply of high-quality empty chocolate casings for things like this is secured and in easy walking distance. They are, admittedly, a bit cheaper to come by if you order them online, but I’ve had several clashes with chocolate of a quality that left something to be desired… and a nasty, soapy ick on my tongue, when I had ordered large quantities for one of my Box-of-Chocolates Marathons a few years back. In case you have to rely on an online store for these, I’d advise you to plan ahead and order a small test-amount first – if the shells aren’t tasty and melt-in-your-mouth enough to eat them as they are, try another brand or ask around at a Pâtisserie where they’re getting their supplies from – that’s how I found out about the dessert’y shop that had, evidently, been around for years without me knowing about it.
As for the blueberries, make sure to grab a bag of… well, juicy… dried berries – juicy in the way dried cranberries are. Freeze-dried blueberries don’t work in this kind of scenario whatsoever.
The Blueberry Truffle Layer
110g Dark Chocolate, at least 70% cocoa solids, finely grated
75g Double Cream
45g Dried Blueberries, very finely chopped
10g Blueberry Jam
Alt: If you can’t get your hands on a good-quality, intense blueberry jam, use 50g dried blueberries and 1 Tsp of honey instead.
15g soft butter, cut into small cubes
Fleur de Sel
1) Pour the cream into a small pot set onto medium heat.
2) Add the blueberries, give them a good stir to un-clump the sticky bits and leave the cream to work up a gentle simmer.
3) Once soft bubbles are rising, take the pot off the heat and add the chocolate in an even layer.
4) Give the chocolate about 1 min to adjust to the temperature of the cream, then gently fold it into the liquid with a rubber spatula until it’s dissolved and well blended into the mixture.
5) Pick up a whisk and add the butter, one cube at a time, and whisk them into the ganache until they, too, are completely dissolved and your ganache turns thick and glossy.
6) Set the pot aside and allow the mixture to cool down to room temperature.
7) Move the ganache into a piping bag, seal it and place it in the fridge for 30 mins. It should have set just enough by then to make piping the ganache into the shells an easier task than if it were too runny to control. Just in case you’re not sure about your skills or patience with a piping bag – I’m right there with you! – you could slowly, carefully spoon the ganache into the shells instead. My short fuse with piping bags and chocolate is one of the reasons I prefer these open chocolate casings over the round ones with a small opening, by the way…
8) Anyways, whichever method you pick, once the ganache is cooled and manageble, get your casings ready. They should be snugly sitting in a thick’ish plastic foil acting as some sort of tray. Place that tray on a large cutting board and set it down on a flat and stable surface.
9) Pipe the blueberry ganache into the shells until they’re filled up by half.
10) Grab your cutting board and lightly tap it onto your work surface to make the occasional air bubble trapped inside the ganache rise to the surface and pop.
11) Once that’s done, sprinkle a few grains of fleur de sel onto each half-filled bite, place the tray in the fridge to allow the chocolates to chill through and set for 2-3 hours.
The Yoghurt-Lemon Layer
½ Lemon, Zest
150g White Chocolate
5g Powdered Yoghurt
20g soft Butter, cut into small cubes
1) Once stage one of the chocolates had about 2 hours of quality time in the fridge, get another waterbath-setup going and add your white chocolate to the bowl to melt. Once the chocolate drips off your rubber spatula in smooth and glossy ribbons, take the bowl off the pot and set it aside to cool down a bit while you’re preparing the cream.
2) Meanwhile, pour the cream into a small pot set onto medium heat and stir in the lemon zest and salt.
3) As soon as the cream has worked up a gentle simmer, soft bubbles rising to the top, take the pot off the heat and pick up a whisk.
4) Sprinkle the surface of the cream with a pinch of the yoghurt powder and whisk it in until it’s well incorporated into the liquid before adding and working in the next pinch.
5) The mixture might try to sour your mood by clumping up while you’re doing this, but don’t worry, that’s merely the yoghurt powder overdoing its job – I’ve discovered that this behavior seems to vary between brands rather than levels of quality. If that happens, pop in a cube of butter and whisk the lot until the mixture is smooth and even again.
6) If you’ve come out of the yoghurt business without using the butter to un-goop the ganache, whisk it in now, one cube at a time.
7) Now it’s time to bring chocolate and cream together. Add the cream mixture to the melted chocolate in thirds and fold in every addition with a rubber spatula until it’s completely incorporated into the ganache before adding the next load.
8) Leave the ganache to cool down to slightly above room temperature and move it into a piping bag.
9) Retrieve your half-filled chocolate casings and pipe the yoghurt ganache on top of the blueberry ganache inside the shells, filling them up to the rims. With a little luck, your yoghurt ganache will have exactly the right temperature and consistency to finish them off with a cupcake-frosting-style flourish. I have to admit, since I’m not exactly a pro with a piping-bag, I usually forget to pop a fancy funnel on top of mine until I’m like 5 mins into the gig already… When I managed to remind myself of it with an annoyingly neon-pink post-it note one time, it worked out beautifully – and, thanks to a convenient lightbulb-moment, I stuck little storebought zebra-chocolate curls into them as if they were drinking straws, completing the mini-cream-topped-sundaes look.
10) Decorate the tops with the dried blueberries – curls of candied lemon zest or dark chocolate would be other decorative options, depending on which component you’d like to highlight.
11) Leave the chocolates to cool down to room temperature, then move them out of their tray, into an airtight container and pop them into the fridge. Keep them refrigerated until around 10 mins before serving them.
12) Like all homemade chocolates containing fresh cream, these don’t have a long shelf- , or rather fridge- life, they only keep for about a week.