Cherry Almond Cupcake

Monday, January 12, 2009

Chocolate Truffles--Tempting Treasures

There is nothing quite like the taste and texture of rich, luscious Chocolate Truffles. And although they are luxury to the palate, these tempting treasures are easy to make. Here are the recipes of my own favorite combinations. Enjoy!
Rich Grand Marnier and Chambord Chocolate Truffles

Ganache Ingredients
24 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Generous 2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 Tablespoon White Corn Syrup
2 Tablespoons Chilled butter
2 Tablespoons Grand Marnier
2 Tablespoons Chambord

For Coating the Truffles:
24 ounces tempered bittersweet chocolate

Over double boiler, melt chocolate, stirring until smooth.

Scald heavy cream with the corn syrup in a 2-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan just until bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan. Remove from heat. Do not boil.
Gradually pour the cream into the melted chocolate . Then slowly whisk until smooth and homogenous.
The ganache should be thick, shiny, and smooth.
Divide the chocolate into two separate bowls. and add 1 tablespoon of chilled butter and Grand Marnier (2T) in one bowl, 1 T of chilled butter and Chambord(2T) to the other. Mix until fully incorporated.
Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to chill until ganache holds its shape. Or you can make the ganache at the end of the day and let it cool overnight. As it cools, it will thicken and set.

Using a melon baller, drop small mounds of ganache onto the baking sheet covered with wax paper. Let the truffles harden at room temperature for several hours (or in the refrigerator for 30 minutes), until they are hard enough to roll with your hands. Roll quickly between the palms of clean hands and set on wax paper. Chill until time to coat in chocolate.

Amaretto/Ginger White Chocolate Truffles
Ganache Ingredients
20 oz white chocolate, chopped
 1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tablespoon Preserved Ginger Syrup
2 Tablespoons Chilled butter
1-1/2 Teaspoons Pear Brandy
1 Tablespoon Amaretto
2 Tablespoons minced Preserved Ginger
For Coating the Truffles:
18 ounces tempered milk chocolate
Garnish with chopped candied ginger

Follow same procedure by melting the white chocolate over hot ( not boiling ) water. Mix the cream a with the ginger syrup in a small pan and scald ( do not boil ).
Gradually add to the melted white chocolate.
Whisk mixture slowly until smooth and homogenous. Stir in the butter, pear brandy and amaretto until fully incorporated; then stir in minced preserved ginger.

Pour into bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill until the ganache holds its shape, then scoop out balls with melon baller, placing on wax paper, then chill.

When cold, roll quickly between the palms of clean hands to form into perfect balls of ganache.
Chill until ready to coat with chocolate.

To Coat with Chocolate

You can use either a dipping fork or a table fork to dip the truffles in chocolate.
Drop the truffle into the bowl of tempered chocolate and then retrieve it quickly with the fork.

Hold the fork over the bowl for several seconds to allow the excess chocolate to drip back into the pan, then place the truffle on wax paper swirling the extra chocolate over the top of the truffle to finish off.

Garnish the top of the Amaretto Ginger Truffles with small pieces of candied ginger.
The truffles will keep for up to 2 weeks at room temperature, when stored in an airtight container.

But I doubt they will last that long!

Jacque Benson
All rights reserved.

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Year, New Life, New Beginnings

The New Year is always the time to reflect,
to renew and begin again!


Isn't the new year just like
the preparation for a new baby?
Just like the frantic holiday season,
Each day is so busy with preparations
for the new life awaiting arrival.

Then that brief moment comes, as they lay that precious charge in your arms, a time for quiet reflection, for renewal.
But time speeds ahead, and
the days become twice as busy taking
care of the demands of the precious arrival.

The chores at hand seem endless,
with so much to do and so little time.
And the equal demand that each decision
made effects the life of a little one so dear....

But, each day, hour and minute is precious.
Those of us who are now grandparents
can certainly attest to how time flies by.

It seems that our babies were just born yesterday,
and were tucked into bed with a kiss
and a favorite stuffed animal.

Yet now they are independent with their lives-
having children of their own.

In keeping with the thought of new beginnings,
I thought it appropriate to post a few baby cakes
to celebrate new life and a new year!


This was my grandson, Peyton's, first baby shower cake.
He entered the world on the first week of the new year...
Two Years ago...
How time flies!

Happy New Year to one and all!

May your year sparkle with laughter and be filled with the magic of children's smiles!


Jacque Benson 2009...all rights reserved

"God gave us our memories so that we might have roses in December." ~J M Barrie