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Monday, February 11, 2008

Sweet Success - My First Event Hosting - Art You Eat #1 - Chocolate

So almost a month ago, really late one night, or morning, or whatever it was, while I was sitting up with the baby, I was thinking about chocolate and all the cool things I've seen others do with it. I first tried to do something with chocolate a few months ago (actually right before the baby was born) for a wedding cake for some friends. The attempts turned out fairly well and I was left with the hankering to do more. Thus was born the idea for "Art You Eat." This would be an event that combined making great edible creations that were also artfully done.

Now, here we are and it is time for the Art You Eat #1 - Chocolate Round-Up. I decided, because I wanted this event to continue and grow, that the round-up's would actually be archived on a separate site so please be sure to check the round-up out.

For my own contribution to this, funny enough, I procrastinated. I couldn't decide what I wanted to try to do. I did know that I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone and try something else. The results are what you see here.

I've actually never made truffles before. I've always intended to, but then I always end up using the chocolate to make brownies or cookies or something and never seem to get around to it. I have to say that after this little experiment I will definately make more truffles. I got more chocolate satisfaction fix out of eating less than with the other options. I'm not saying I'll stop eating cookies and brownies, but at least maybe this will help me keep under control a little better.

Anyway, I also wanted a pretty way to present the truffles. The other night while I was watching Food Network there was a Chocolate Throw-Down with Bobby Flay. I watched while Bobby piped different colored chocolate over parchment over a picture of an Aztec God and then covered the picture in melted white chocolate to "set" the picture into a tile. I thought, now that is cool.

Here's the thing. I don't have a steady hand. I don't have a working printer. I don't have any cool picture books lying around. So. Hmmm. Now what? What I did have was the will to try, a huge bag of white chocolate and some red gel food coloring left over from a Transformers cake I had to make for Aidan's 4th birthday. OK.

So, what you see here is my somewhat pathetic attempt that I think still looks cute. Not spectacular like I wanted it to in my head, but cute nonetheless. Oh, and did I mention that while I was trying to make all of this I had a 13 lb baby sleeping in a sling on the front of me. In other words, close work wasn't really an option. You'll have to stay tuned, because once I get some free time and some pictures, I am still going to play around with this idea because it was still fun. Anyway, on to the directions and pictures.

Chocolate Truffles on a White Chocolate Plate
(Makes 15 1-inch truffles)

8 oz chopped bittersweet chocolate
1/2 C whipping cream
1 T butter
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Place the chopped chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan until a rolling boil just starts. Pour over the chocolate and let it sit for a few minutes to melt the chocolate. Stir together with a whisk until all combined. Add the vanilla and stir in.

Prepare a shallow bowl or baking dish with parchment lining. Pour the chocolate mixture into the pan. Allow to rest, uncovered in a cool place (not refridgerator) until set, up to 24-hours.

Lift the parchment with the chocolate from the pan and pull off pieces the size you want to make the truffles (I made about 1-inch sized balls). Have little bowls with whatever you want to roll the truffles in ready (I just used dutch process cocoa powder this time, but I think nuts, coconut, powdered sugar, raw sugar, cookie crumbs, pralines, etc. would be good - seriously, it is chocolate and cream. What wouldn't be good?!)

Prepare all of the chocolate balls and roll them in the toppings. Place them on parchment paper or your serving dish. Store the truffles in the refridgerator between layers of parchment paper.

To make the chocolate plate I simply melted about 16 oz of white chocolate. I took a little bit of the white chocolate while it was still hot and transfered it to another bowl and added gel food coloring to the color I wanted, in this case a mauvey-pink.

Put this into a small round tipped piping bag and pipe the desired shape onto a piece of parchment.
I used a 9-inch tart pan lined with parchment for my model and free-handed some little starburst designs onto the paper. I also sprinkled some pink and red sanding sugar over the paper, just for fun.

Allow this to set for about 5 minutes. then pour the rest of the white chocolate over the design. Spread it out to cover if needed. Set aside and allow to set uncovered. When ready to use you can lift the tart bottom out of the pan, slide the parchment off and gently remove the parchment from the chocolate. Try not to handle the design and sides too much (especially if your hands are hot!).

That's it. Please don't be fooled by my sad little attempt. I wish I could find a picture of Bobby's tile so you could see how cool something like this could be. Since I can't, I will just keep trying. Maybe this will resurface in the future, in a better incarnation.

Thanks again to all the participants in this first challenge. Remember to go to the Round-Up and vote for your favorite out of the top three. The voting will go through the 16th and will decide the winner who will "host" the next event and decide on the theme.


Anonymous said...

What a mouth watering blog entry? And you do all that with a toddler and a baby? My hat's off to you! I'm going to try the Chocolate Truffles recipe as a dessert for my Valentine's Day supper. The baby can't eat it because of the diary, but I'll eat her share.
Jan from Great Homemade Baby Gifts and Decorations

Angel said...

Oh i think your chocolates look absolutely darling!

Shayne said...

great kidos in the kitchen photos. I love playing with food with the kids.

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