Well, usually I would be standing in my kitchen right about now, covered in chocolate, in the process of putting together my Easter-Eggstravaganza Chocolate Boxes for the upcoming Easter festivities. But, for the first time in many, many years, I will have to postpone the shindig. Postpone, not cancel~!
See, I had a “Cocktail Party” gone “Chocolate Box” planned for this year’s Spring gig, complete with all the Classics along the lines of Tequila Sunrise and Piña Colada in chocolatey disguise – but for obvious reasons, meeting in large numbers and/or distributing homemade goodies to friends or at the office are out of the question. However, Hubby and I decided that a cocktail party like that would be the perfect way to mark and celebrate the moment when the rough tides of our current times smooth over again and things go back to the “normal” crazy. So, that particular treat will be coming your way sometime (hopefully) soon, but for now, I have another little treat for you, last year’s crown-grabbing crowd pleaser. I thought I’d share this one with you right here, right now because, now more than ever, it can’t hurt to have a little stash of good mood encased in a thin, sweet chocolate shell in easy reach, zingy-fresh and lemony, perfect to light up the gloom that has settled all around us these days. So, if life gives you lemons… make lemon chocolate truffles~!
The Lemon Explosion Chocolate Truffles
100g Heavy Cream
300g White Chocolate – for the Ganache
30g Cocoa Butter or Regular Butter
4-5 Drops of Lemon Extract – for the Ganache
1 Unwaxed Lemon, Zest of ½, the rest of the skin peeled into thin strips with a veggie peeler
Opt: 10g Lemon Crispies – well-sorted pâtisserie shops and online stores usually have these in stock
1 Tray of ~63 Spherical/Egg-shaped White Cocolate Truffle Shells
200g White Chocolate – to close and coat the shells
½ Tsp Lemon Extract – for the Coat
Opt: Very thin Ribbons of candied Lemon peel to drape around the shells for decoration purposes – check out my Orange-Rosemary Marzipan Chocolates Recipe here and have a closer look at the “Candied Orange Peel” part of it in case you’re interested in making a lemon.variant batch of them yourself for the occasion. Come to think of it… maybe a sprig of Lemon Thyme would do nicely…
~60g Lemon Curd
Fleur de Sel
1) First off, prep the empty chocolate shells with the first layer of lemony goodness – fill a piping bag with the Lemon Curd and add a drop of it – about 1g per shell – into each truffle casing.
2) If you’re going with the crispies-option, add a sprinkle of them to each shell next.
3) Pop the tray of shells into the fridge for the time being.
4) Pick up the strips of lemon peel and finely chop them up – you should be aiming for bits a tad larger than the grated zest.
5) Finely grate the white chocolate designated for the ganache and pop it into a heatproof bowl along with the (cocoa) butter flakes.
6) Pour the cream into a small pot and set it onto medium-high heat.
7) Once it reaches a point just before bubbling up, tip the cream into the bowl holding the chocolate.
8) Give the lot a minute to get accustomed to eachother, then pick up a whisk and work them into a smooth and even mixture.
9) In case the cream cooled down too quickly, before the chocolate could melt evenly, pop the bowl onto a waterbath and continue the process.
10) Fold in the lemon peel and fine zest, then set the bowl aside and allow the chocolate-cream mixture to cool down to 28°C.
11) Stir in the limoncello and the lemon extract designated for the ganache.
12) Transfer the ganache to a clean piping bag and retrieve the tray.
13) Pipe enough of the ganache into each shell to fill them by half, then tap out the air bubbles inside.
14) In a second round, fill all of them to just below the rim of the opening.
15) Another hearty whack on your work surface should take care of the most stubborn air pockets.
16) Melt the white chocolate you’ve set aside for the coat in a hot waterbath.
17) Once it’s complete melted and glossy, take it off the heat and allow it to cool down to room temperature – keep the pot of hot water nearby though, in case the chocolate cools down too far too quickly while you’re still working.
18) Stir in the lemon extract.
19) Use drops of the lemony chocolate to close up the openings in the shells.
20) Once you’re done with lidding the shells that way, the ones you’ve started with should be already dry enough to finish the whole process – give the lids a prod to check if they’re dry and stable yet.
21) Once they are, dip each truffle into the liquefied chocolate to coat it all around, tap off any excess of chocolate, then place it on a tray lined with a fleur de sel-sprinkled sheet of baking parchment.
22) Stash the tray in a cool and dry spot of your kitchen until the chocolate has set completely, then transfer them into an airtight container and store them in the fridge until a lemony pick-me-up is needed.
Keep in mind that, just like any other type of chocolate, they’re best if taken out of the fridge 10 mins before munch-time~!
If stored correctly, they will keep their zing and creamyness for about 2-3 weeks.
I really hope they’ll bring a smile to your faces, lift your spirits even. Stay positive, stay strong and, most importantly, stay healthy~!