White Chocolate Stuff and Contest Announcement
INGREDIENTS FOR WHITE CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES
3 lbs white chocolate (I use Guittard buttons)
3/4 lb sweet butter
4 pods Tahitian Vanilla, halved and split lengthwise
(this stuff makes something that was merely good astonishing)
6 egg yolks
1/3 cup of water
You'll need a heavy duty stand mixer for this. I have a big, burly white Kitchenaid that I treasure. It comes with me much like my two favorite guitars. (OK, I don't take it on vacations and stuff but you get the idea)
In the bowl of the stand mixer put the white chocolate, the butter, and the vanilla pods. Place this into a larger pot, containing simmering water, over a medium flame. Stirring occaisionally, until all the butter and chocolate bits are melted and smooth. Transfer to the stand mixer using the paddle attachment and begin to stir on lowest speed. Add in the egg yolks one at a time. Keep a very close watch, because once the egg yolks are in there will be a separation of the butter as the egg yolks bind to the white chocolate, it will take on a curdled look. Do not be alarmed, alchemy will commence shortly. Just watch the mixture closely and keep your hand on the speed control to avoid any slopping over. While the mixture is at the curd stage is the best time to remove the vanilla pods and scrape out any residual little flecks of vanilla caviar. The pod husks can then be discarded. They have too much butter fat in them to be dried and used for vanilla sugar. When that is done add in the 1/3 cup of water. This will tighten and smooth out the mixture, when there is no further danger of sloppage (if that's not a word it should be) increase the speed to the highest setting and whip for at least ten minutes. Transfer to a pan lined with plastic wrap (I use Press 'n' Seal® that stuff rocks) and cover closely. Refrigerate overnight.
Next day, roll the ganache into balls that are slightly larger than the balls used for the dark chocolate truffles.
To melt white chocolate I use the microwave method. A good amount of white chocolate chips into a big mixing bowl and in the microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir, 30 seconds more, stir, then increments of 20 seconds three times stirring in between, then 10 seconds at a time until smooth. You want it melted and smooth but not hot. Dip the ganache balls.
Variations can be made by substituting any favorite liqueur for the water or adding in such flavors as move you like this time I made
Raspberry Cremes: Substitute 1/3 cup Chambord liqueur for the water and add 1 cup of frozen raspberries.
Crystallized Ginger Whites: Add in 1 cup of diced crystallized ginger.
That's the white chocolate recipe. Since it doesn't require any tempering it is something anybody with a stand mixer can accomplish.
IMPORTANT NOTICE ON THE TRUFFLE CONTEST
Because of his deep and abiding love for the white chocolate truffles, and also because of this little gem, the winner with a vote here and there and a vigorous, if somewhat tawdry defense of his life and lifestyle, the winner of the dozen truffles is
The Dark Wraith.
There are some who might figure that since he publishes the Big Brass Blog where I am a contributor that there was some collusion going on. Not so, says I. I have no problem at all exposing corruption and collusion when it occurs. Christ I am a jingle whore and have no illusions about my reputation. I've already been bought and sold more times than cheap beads at a swap meet. Really, and truly, if there had been any decent attempts at bribery, if there had been any offers of corruption I would have taken them and gleefully succumbed.
I will be packing what truffles I can get off today. As soon as the replacement parts come in I will remake what needs to be made and get truffles off to everybody who so graciously ordered them.
Thank you for your indulgence and understanding. I guess my lesson is that this particular holiday is going to be about a beautiful little girl who has found her way into our family, to the exclusion of other, more trivial subjects. Everything else was a sideshow and a distraction. People and the message of the season, which ever season you celebrate, are what is important.
Enjoy your holidays. Enjoy your families, the ones you were born into, and the ones you created around you.
Big Brass Blog