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Chocolate at Home
The Italians have been macerating strawberries in balsamic vinegar for years now. I like to think of this as a ‘harmonious contradiction’ in that it shouldn’t really work, but it definitely does! The freeze-dried strawberry pieces, which you can now buy from various supermarkets and online, add an extra burst of strawberry flavour when you bite through the crisp white chocolate shell.

Posted by Ryland Peters & Small Published See Ryland Peters & Small's 148 projects » © 2021 Will Torrent / Ryland Peters & Small · Reproduced with permission. · Chocolate at Home by Will Torrent, photography © Jonathan Gregson, published by Ryland, Peters and Small rrp: £19.99
  • Step 1

    Whizz the strawberries in a food processor with the lemon juice and icing sugar, until smooth. Pass the purée through a fine mesh sieve or strainer into a small saucepan or pot set over a low–medium heat. Cook the purée, stirring all the time, until it has reduced by half and weighs 100 g. Add the cream and salt, stir to combine and simmer for 1 minute.

  • Step 2

    Tip 300 g chopped chocolate into a bowl and pour over the hot cream mixture. Gently mix the ingredients together using a spatula in a tight circular motion in the centre of the bowl, until the chocolate starts to melt and emulsify with the cream. Gradually widen the circle until all the chocolate has melted and you have a shiny, smooth ganache.

  • Step 3

    Gradually add the balsamic vinegar. Taste the ganache after you have added 2 teaspoons and decide if you need to add more. Add a tiny amount of red food colouring paste, just enough to enhance the strawberry red colour, and stir until thoroughly combined. Set aside to cool at room temperature for 3–4 hours.

  • Step 4

    Scoop the cooled ganache into a disposable piping bag. Snip the end to create a nozzle, pipe ganache into each sphere and let set in a cool, dark place.

  • Step 5

    Temper the remaining white chocolate according to the instructions below. Add the freeze-dried strawberry pieces and mix well.

  • Step 6

    Roll each filled truffle sphere in tempered chocolate to coat completely. Then roll in your hand to alter the temperature of the chocolate and to achieve a textured finish. Transfer to a sheet of baking parchment to set firm before serving.

  • Step 7

    Tempering in the microwave

    For small batches of chocolate, tempering in the microwave is best as it’s so quick and doesn’t make as much mess. Just like how we melted the chocolate for the marble technique, warm the chocolate for 30-second bursts in the microwave on a low heat, stirring between bursts.

    It is important not to heat the chocolate too quickly as you want to crystallize the cocoa butter slowly, so reduce your microwave power to its lowest heat setting.

    Once the chocolate is three quarters melted, stop heating. Stir the chocolate instead until all the remaining lumps have melted. Just like the marble method be sure to check the chocolate is tempered by dipping a little bit of torn baking parchment into the chocolate and place on your work surface to set a little. It should set within a few minutes.

    The chocolate is now ready to use. Remember to work quickly and confidently with it.

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