Makes 12 to 18 truffles
Harold McGee, the author of On Food and Cooking, is my guru for all kinds of food chemistry questions. He tells me that a few years ago he heard that a celebrated Parisian chocolatier was making cheese-filled chocolates. Harold was intrigued by the combination because chocolate and cheese both go through fermentation stages that produce a number of flavor notes in common—a potential bridge between two otherwise highly contrasting foods. When he eventually got to sample the chocolates in question, he was less than enchanted by the way the idea had been realized. However, his disappointment only spurred him to experiment and create the following new twist on truffles.
McGee finds that of the three suggested chocolate-cheese pairings, the Camembert provides "a buttery richness, the goat cheese a creamy piquancy, the blue cheese a savory saltiness." (Do not try Roquefort instead of the Stilton or Gorgonzola; it will be too salty and sharp.) Serve the truffles at the end of a meal with a complex red wine like a Banyuls or late-harvest Zinfandel.
4 ounces (weight without rind) ripe Camembert,
fresh goat's milk cheese, or
Stilton or Gorgonzola, at room temperature
1 tablespoon superfine sugar
1 to 2 ounces Scharffen Berger dark chocolate
(70% cacao), finely chopped
6 ounces Scharffen Berger dark chocolate
(70% cacao), finely chopped
Trim any rind from the cheese and bring it to room temperature. In a mixing bowl, combine the cheese and sugar and mix until the sugar has dissolved.
Melt the filling chocolate in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Use 1 ounce chocolate for Camembert and goat cheese fillings; use 2 ounces for blue cheese fillings. Make sure the cheese you use is at room temperature and very soft. If it is too firm, microwave it very briefly to soften it.
Combine the melted chocolate, superfine sugar, and cheese and work together with a wooden spoon or flexible spatula until the mixture is homogeneous. (This may be easier if you add a few drops of water or a little butter.) If the mixture is too soft to shape, refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes.
Roll portions of the mixture into 1/2-inch balls and refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes. Melt and temper the coating chocolate (see book for information on tempering). Dip the cheese balls in the tempered chocolate, letting the excess drain off. Allow to set at room temperature. Keep in a cool place and serve on the same day.
Note: Cheese will resume fermentation if left at room temperature, so this is one case where truffles should be refrigerated if kept for more than a day. Place on a sheet or tray and wrap snugly in waxed paper, then plastic wrap, before refrigerating. Allow to warm to room temperature before unwrapping.
The New Taste of Chocolate
A Cultural & Natural History of Cacao with Recipes
by Maricel E. Presilla
$29.95 hardcover * 208 pages * full color
Publication Date: November 2001
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created January 2002
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