For Chanukah last year, I made homemade truffles, and they were a hit with my guests: everyone one assumed they were gourmet chocolates bought at a trendy candy shop. Making your own gourmet chocolates is difficult work, and it takes time, but it also gives you the freedom to choose combinations and recipes that may not be so easy to find in the local candy store.
The Key to Gourmet Chocolates: The Ingredients
Choosing the makings of your gourmet chocolates is part of the fun. For example, I melted good quality dark chocolate over a double boiler. I then rolled small balls of marzipan and dipped them in the chocolate. Finally I rolled the chocolate-covered marzipan in ground almonds: I also rolled chocolate-covered peanut butter in chocolate and then covered them in ground peanuts.
Gourmet chocolates connote adulthood, and so when making your own gourmet chocolates, you can make not-so-sweet variations: chocolate-covered candied ginger; chocolate-covered citrus peels; even chocolate-covered chili peppers.
Hone Your Sculpting Skills When Making Gourmet Chocolates
Nigella Lawson had a recipe for a honey chocolate cake, which inspired me to make a honey-marzipan truffle. Melt some very good quality chocolate over the double boiler, and mix in a bit of honey, this will create a glaze. Take your marzipan and with a paring knife carve simple shapes such as flowers or hearts and dip the marzipan carefully in the chocolate carefully and let the chocolate set on the marzipan. Then dust with confectioner’s sugar. The glaze will remain rather sticky, so the sugar will stay. For Christmas, this is an especially good idea for gourmet chocolates, because you can make the marzipan into snowflake shapes, and dust them with the confectioner’s sugar.
A Great Gift to Show Someone You Care
Handmade gifts are an excellent way to show someone you care: though it’s important to remember when making your gourmet chocolates for that someone, you keep an eye an how it’ll all look – the conceit of a homemade gourmet chocolate is that it doesn’t look homemade. Gourmet chocolates are supposed to be sophisticated, so if you hand in something that looks quaint and endearing, it defeats the purpose. Also, you don’t want to embarrass yourself or your friend when presenting a plate of your homemade gourmet chocolates. If your chocolates look homemade (i.e. uneven, strange shapes, holes or cracks, bare spots, loose or spilled filling, etc) people won’t think you creative, they’ll think you’re strange.