One of the best and worst things about working in a professional kitchen is that there is always something to nibble on but hardly ever anything to eat.
This might sound like an odd comment but all the delicious food is being prepped for someone else. As outside caterers we prepare food as far as we can, but only cook it once it is on site, fresh for the client.
This means that the kitchen is full of half cooked, under cooked, mid prepared, portioned, sealed grub and is definitely not for our lunch.
On the other hand containers of sweet morsels are left over from events, so we might have eight brownies, sesame seed brittle covered in dark chocolate, the edges of a white chocolate cheese cake, the crust of a carrot and orange cakes all waiting temptingly on little saucers or tupperwares. Often by midday I can have drunk so much coffee and nibbled so many sweets that it will take me until the 10pm news to calm down!
Bethan is making chocolate ganache truffle which will be set and cut into hearts and doused in organic cocoa powder for our Valentine diners’ petit fours at Pencoed House Estate. Luckily I am not in on Monday so will not be tempted by the truffle off cuts but if you are tempted by our Valentine dinner please visit our website.
If your dining at home this Tuesday or just want to spoil your partner with homemade chocolates do give these a try, they are simple, can be easily personalised with different flavours and are far more romantic than bought chocolates.
Makes about 12-16 truffles – depending on size, shape and how many off cuts you nibble on the way!
- 8 oz 70% cocoa solids dark chocolate
- 4oz double cream
- 1 oz unsalted butter
1 teaspoon cognac, Cointreau, cherry brandy, dark strong coffee, stem ginger syrup – plus a nugget of chopped stem ginger, zest of an orange, half a finely chopped red chilli – to taste
Grate or thinly chop the dark chocolate.
Heat the cream in a pan and when boiling turn off the heat and add the chocolate and butter, beat until smooth, rich and glossy.
You can add optional flavours at this stage when is all glossy.
Line a thin tray with cling film and pour the ganache into this to set overnight in a cool place but not the fridge.
The next day either cut the ganache with a small heart pastry cutter and cover in cocoa or cut into squares and place a sliver of stem ginger on the top.
It can also be rolled into balls and covered in chopped nuts. Rolling is probably the hardest as the ganache will melt in your warm hands.
Be creative and keep an eye out for a small pretty box to put them in, tie with a ribbon and seal with a kiss