Tag Archives: Lindt Chocolate

Earl Grey Truffles

Earl Grey Truffles
So rich and delicious

So rich and delicious

Oh my, I can’t believe it’s been twelve months since I last made these beautiful truffles. Last year I made the classic Honey Truffles instead of giving traditional Easter Eggs, and they were a huge hit.

Inspired by last year’s success, I decided to make the Earl Grey Truffles AND the Honey Truffles this year. I’ll use them for gifts for neighbours, family, kinder teachers and various other people. I’ve also change the presentation slightly, and although I wish the bags I bought were just a smidgeon larger, I’ve still managed to fit 6 truffles into each bag, and I’ve put a bag of each variety in the gorgeous little Easter Bags I found at the local bargain shop. I also managed to find some lovely little patty pans with an Easter theme, so I have put each individual truffle in one of them. I think I’d be happy receiving something like this!

This recipe is from Kirsten Tibballs – who you might have seen on Australian Masterchef.  She runs Savour Chocolate and Patisserie School right here in Melbourne.  I might have to see if there are any classes for home cooks like me that I wouldn’t feel hopelessly inadequate in!

Logic would tell you that I had re-read my original blog on the Honey Truffles before I embarked upon the Earl Grey Truffles, but in typical fashion I did not. I did use the same chocolate, the Yarra Valley one, but I have got to say I wasn’t as impressed with it as I was last time. It did look a little cloudy in the box, and had a bit of a white bloom on it, but I thought it was just a bit battle scarred. I think somehow that it had been heated up a little and cooled down, resulting in the tell-tale white bits – perfectly possible in this recent weather here in Melbourne – or maybe there was something wrong with the sugar balance – I’m not sure. Regardless, they still taste absolutely divine, although I’m a little disappointed in the whitey bloom on some of them.

For my second lot of the standard Honey Truffles, I decided not to risk it and bought the Lindt Callebaut Couverture Milk Callettes for both the ganache and the coating, and I am pleased to say they look and taste beautiful, with no bloom in sight. They come in plastic jars of 500 grams at my local supermarket, and although they are a little pricey ($18 I think) you do value for money in terms of the number of truffles you can coat with one quantity of the melted chocolate. When you think about how much individual chocolates are at the high end chocolatiers, these actually work out quite reasonably.

The Earl Grey infusion works just beautifully and you get a really distinctive Earl Grey flavour with these truffles. Use good quality tea – I did toy with the idea of breaking open a couple of old Earl Grey tea bags but decided against it. I’m a self-confessed tea snob so it’s very rare that a tea bag even makes it past the threshold at my house, so I couldn’t even guesstimate how old those tea bags were, plus I think that generally tea bags use a lesser quality of tea. I was actually quite surprised as to how much 15 grams of Earl Grey was – and the amount of cream it managed to suck up during the infusing process. I was left with exactly the required 120 grams of cream, which I took to be serendipity and a sign from the Gods that I was on the right track!

I refrigerated the ganache this time as it has been unseasonably warm here in Melbourne, and I didn’t think to take it out of the fridge for a while before I put the chocolate on to melt, which was a mistake. Although the ganache was really firm, it was almost a little too firm to get into nice regular shaped balls, so my Earl Grey truffles are ugly little things 😦 If I were to do it again, I’d give the ganache half an hour or so to warm up a bit, and I’m sure the resulting truffles would be much nicer to look at.

With my second batch, I erred on the side of caution and didn’t refrigerate the ganache, but let it set overnight. It was a bit gooey to work with, but made for easier moulding. I put the prepared balls on some baking paper and put them in the fridge for fifteen minutes before I dipped them in chocolate. It makes life just a little easier as they are less inclined to stick to the fork that your dipping them in the chocolate with.

Dani recommends that if the dipping chocolate starts setting while you’re still dipping to warm it up with a hair dryer… and guess what – it works a treat!!  I must admit our cleaner looked at me like I’d completely lost it when she saw me plug the hair dryer in while I was standing at the kitchen bench though!!

Happy Easter!


Posted by on March 28, 2013 in Recipes, Sweet Things


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Chocolate Crumble with Lemon Butterscotch Sauce and Hazelnut Parfait

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Well, this recipe is well worth the time and the trouble – it is absolutely beautiful.  I’m not sure what possessed me, but I made this for dinner last night, although I started it on Saturday afternoon.  And I thought Mothers’ Day was a day for resting and being waited upon!

This recipe is by Benoit Blin.  He is one of Europe’s leading patissiers, and if this recipe is anything to go by – it’s little wonder.  It was worth the trip to South Melbourne to find the tart rings – I’d do it again in a flash.  I felt like a bit of a food fraud asking for tart rings, as I had no idea what I was looking for – as it turns out, they are like big egg rings – and I’d never seen or heard of them before in my life.  So, in theory you need one 18cm tart ring and one 20cm tart ring, but they only had the 18cm ones in stock, so I had to improvise and use a cake tin for the 20cm part – which actually worked quite well. I’ll keep my eye out for a 20cm ring though, as I think it would make life a little easier next time I make it – and there will be a next time!

Want the recipe?  Check my recipe tab!

The recipe is in a few different elements – which you don’t necessarily have to do in the order that is in the recipe.  I did the crumble first, the caramel hazelnuts second, the chocolate cream third, the parfait fourth, and the butterscotch sauce last.

The crumble is a cinch to make.  Butter (make sure you cube it first or at least chop it into smallish bits), demerara sugar, almond meal (I used some left over blitzed almonds from a slice I had made a while ago and while it could have been much finer, I really liked the almondy crunch!) , flour, cocoa powder (I used some of the cocoa powder I had used for the kirsch ganache – it’s a Dutch cocoa), and a pinch of salt. It makes a rough breadcrumby kind of dough, that you then put in a dish and chill for half an hour before pressing it into a 20 cm tart ring – if you have one.  As I couldn’t get a 20cm tart ring, I bought a gadget called a Profiline Push Pan that happened to be on special at one of the kitchen shops at my local shopping centre.  It’s quite nifty.  What I didn’t do was read the recipe properly and I should have lined the tray or ring, but all things considered it worked pretty well and came out pretty cleanly.  The demerara sugar makes a difference in the taste of the base, so it’s worth buying a bag at your supermarket to have on hand.

The base ended up being about a centimetre thick, and it’s important to have it that thick as you have to press down the 18cm tart ring into the fresh-out-of-the-oven base.  I did, and left the imprint, but then took the ring out, which in retrospect was the wrong thing to do.  I let the base cool for a few hours, and then put the ring back in, which I think was the cause of my chocolate cream leaking out a little.  It wasn’t the worst thing in the world to happen, but it didn’t look as pretty as the one in the picture 😦

I made the base and the chocolate cream on Saturday for serving on the Sunday evening.  I didn’t want to run the risk of a runny chocolate cream, and it set beautifully.

The chocolate cream is very easy to make – I used Lindt 70% cocoa and it worked really well.  The mixture does get a little frothy and I was concerned about the little bubbles in the mix, until I looked closely at the picture in the book, and there was some on that one too – so I didn’t stress!!

The caramel hazelnuts are so easy to make.  Don’t get over enthusiastic when you blitz the nuts – it really is a one second job.  Use a sieve and shake through the powder and set it aside.  In a pan on the stove top, you bring some water and sugar to a rolling boil to make the caramel, then tip in the hazelnuts and coat them with the caramel.  I did find this made loads more hazelnut that I needed for the recipe, so if you’re a bit short on hazelnut, don’t despair.  I’m pleased to report I now have a candy thermometer, which I didn’t get till after I’d made the caramel, so next time there will be no excuses for poor caramel quality!

Making the paste just requires half of the caramel hazelnuts and the hazelnut dust to be blitzed up, which is a quick and easy job.  You use the paste as the basis for the hazelnut parfait.  While I was cooking the parfait (well, while the thermomix was cooking the parfait), I got another bowl, filled it with ice cubes and cold water, and put another bowl on top to pour the parfait mixture in.  Doing it early meant the bowl was nice and cool before I poured the parfait mix in, and chilled it down pretty quickly.  It cooled down within a short period of time, and I then poured it into a sealable tray to freeze.

The recipe calls for you to stir the parfait every couple of hours, and I made this on Saturday night.  I wasn’t prepared to wake up every few hours to stir it, and I’d left my ice cream maker down at the beach, so I was a bit lazy and only stirred it once the next morning, when it was well and truly frozen.  When I went to serve it, it was pretty hard, and I should have taken it out of the freezer 10 minutes or so before I needed to use it, but I microwaved it for 20 seconds, then put into the TM bowl and blitzed for a few seconds until it was beautifully smooth.

The butterscotch sauce was my downfall. but I managed to resurrect it!  I still can’t believe I completely left out an ingredient!!  I wasn’t concentrating – clearly – and put everything in put everything that was supposed to be in the bowl in the bowl, and the set about the toffee-ish part – the glucose and water.  Hmmm, forgot to add the sugar, but of course I didn’t realise that till much later.  So, I added the hot glucose syrup into the hot lemon and cream mix in the thermomix bowl, and did what I was supposed to do – put it in a container to cool in the fridge.  It just looked wrong, and on tasting it was really, really lemony and quite yellow – not the amber colour Dani had written about.  What had I done wrong?  So, I read the recipe again – and realised – to my horror – that I hadn’t put the sugar in.  Epic Fail!!  I did think about starting the whole thing again, but thought I’d try and salvage my disaster first, and then if that didn’t work, make it again.  So, I need up heating the mixture up to 100 again in the thermomix, and as that was happening, just melted down some sugar to near toffee – and then poured it in to the hot lemon mixture… and it worked!!!

The plating up is the challenge – and it was hard to get the 18cm ring out, especially as my chocolate cream had leaked a little.  I ended up leaving it to warm up a little, and then ran a hot knife around both edges, and then pulled up the ring.  Dani mentions you can use a blowtorch, which would have been perfect, but alas the one I received as a gift didn’t come with the butane, and the shop that sells it was closed on Sunday!

I’ll definitely make this again, especially next time I want a dessert to impress!!


Posted by on May 14, 2012 in Recipes, Sweet Things


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Kirsch Ganache

So rich, so delicious!

Perfect as a sweet little bite with coffee, the kirsch ganache is great!  And, what’s more, I didn’t even need to go and buy kirsch – we had an ancient bottle in the liquor cabinet so I used that.  Be warned – it’s a fair slug of kirsch – but the result is not too overpowering. It makes about 100 small little chocolates, and while I would have liked to eat it all, I ended up giving some of it to my son’s kinder teachers. They loved it!

It’s also really easy to make…always a bonus.

My tips:

Use really good cocoa.  This is not the place for the Cadbury Bourneville of the world –  I bought the Van Houten Dutch Cocao at the local supermarket.  It’s ok – but I’m sure I could find better.  Another project!

Don’t be tempted to put it in the fridge until it’s mostly set at room temperature.  Once you do put it in the fridge, I’d leave it there for a few hours before you start cutting.

I used a lamington tin lined with glad wrap to pour the ganache in to.  I also tapped it on the bench a few times to get rid of any air bubbles that might have been in there – I did see a few on the top once I poured it in, which was what prompted me to do it in the first place.

If I had my time again, I’d wait until I was just about to serve it before cutting the squares off and covering them with cocoa.  I did the whole lot at once, and the cocoa absorbs over time.

I used the Lindt 70% cocoa chocolate.  It tastes great.  I also bought (but didn’t use) the special Lindt Speciality Cooking Chocolate.  I’ll get around to making it again one day as it was pretty good – so I’ll try it with that next time.   I know our supermarket often has the regular 70% Lindt on sale, so I’ll keep my eye out and stock up when they’re on sale next.

The UHT cream was only available in 200ml packs at my supermarket.  I used just under three packs for this recipe.

When I was thermomixing the cream, glucose syrup, kirsch and salt, it didn’t actually reach 80 degrees before the recommended time had elapsed – it still worked and produced a pretty good result.

When measuring out the glucose syrup, I found it easier to put the lid on the thermomix, invert the MC, and then use the scales function.  It would be even easier if next time I ran the MC under some very hot water, to make sure than when I went to add the glucose syrup to the mix, it would come out of the MC a little quicker!!  As they say in North America – watching it drip out was really as slow as molasses in January!


Posted by on March 13, 2012 in Sweet Things


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