Waggs Walkabout

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Candy

Being my mother’s daughter, I just can’t let Christmas happen without chocolate. In the past several years I’ve focused on truffles. Those luscious chocolate morsels melt in your hand so you have to quickly put them in our mouth only to let melt slowly across your tongue. This sort of oral euphoria is heightened by the elicit knowledge that any truffle comes out of Paula’s kitchen has been flavored by alcohol.

A summer Christmas hasn’t damped my chocolatier tendencies, but it certainly adds some challenges. When the weather looks like this outside, chocolate gets soft and squishy is a big hurry.

This picture has almost nothing to do with making chocolates but I went to the chiropractor before I started playing in the chocolate that morning and thought you might enjoy palm trees and bougainvillea that provide the red and green of our Christmas season.

Since I’m off topic, I may as well share these random thoughts:

Just when you thing you’re half a world away from Texas, you see something like this and realize you just can escape the Aggies!

The local sushi stand has added a new choice! They are very tasty and I was half-way home before it dawned on me to think there was anything unusual about kangaroo sushi rolls. (Maybe I have been here too long?)

OK - back to today’s topic – CHOCOLATE

This year’s truffle flavors are:

Dark chocolate, Grand Marnier and espresso rolled in cocoa

Dark chocolate, candied ginger and ginger wine centers dipped in dark chocolate.

Milk chocolate and port wine centers dipped in dark chocolate.

I also whipped up chocolate covered cherries made maraschino cherries that spent 2 months soaking in brandy along with cubes of Christmas pudding (made with rum soaked fruit) dipped in dark chocolate.

While the chocolate ganach cooled in the fridge, I roasted 12 heads of garlic for the potato salad dressing. Here are the before and after photos:

And since I was pretending it winter outside and tossed a roast in the crockpot.

As an alternative of candy, I also whipped up gourmet cupcakes – Spice cake with fruit mince filling and chocolate ginger mud cake topped with chocolate ganache. The spice cake was OK but nothing special. The ginger mud cake was quite decadent and a big hit. If the idea of rich moist chocolate with the subtle zing of candied ginger appeals to you this recipe is a must try. (The recipe calls for green ginger wine. It can be found in liquor stores in the states and isn’t expensive.)

Chocolate Ginger Mud Cake
From the Australian Women’s Weekly Christmas & Holiday Entertaining issue

165 g butter
100 g dark eating chocolate, chopped
1 1/3 C sugar
2/3 C green ginger wine
¼ C water
1 C plain flour
2 Tbls. self-raising flour
2 Tbls. cocoa powder
1 egg
1/3 C finely chopped glace or candied ginger

Dark Chocolate Ganache
½ C heavy cream
200g dark eating chocolate, chopped

Makes 12 regular or 6 large cupcakes

Preheat oven to 325. Line muffin pan with papers.

Combine butter, sugar, chocolate, wine and water in small sauce pan; stir over low heat until smooth. Transfer to medium bowl cool for 15 minutes.

Whisk into chocolate mixture – sifted flour and cocoa, then egg. Stir in candied ginger. Divide mixture among muffin papers.
Bake about 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on size of cup cakes; turn cakes onto wire rack to cool.

Make chocolate ganache
Bring cream to a boil in small sauce pan. Remove from heat; add chocolate, stir until smooth. Allow to stand at room temperature until ganach is a thick pouring consistency.

Pour ganache over cakes; allow to set at room temp.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Those look just like the ones my mom bought from Harry & David and I indulged in. Thanks for the palm trees.