Some things are too darn good not to share.
Some things include these.
I wasn’t going to post about these. I wasn’t going to admit that aged 23 we are totally back into themed birthday parties. That I am 95% child 5% adult. But there we go. I have.
This time it was Harry Potter.
I was a golden snitch and here are my mini snitches.
Salted caramel chocolate ganache in a milk chocolate shell golden snitches to be precise (popped in a chest so that they couldn’t fly away…).
I just can’t emphasise enough just how good they were.
So darn good!
The original idea came from Pierre Hermes’ Macaron and I used it in my salted caramel macarons here. I wanted to make something a little more than just plain ganache but didn’t have too much time and very few exciting ingredients in the cupboard. These fit the bill- caramel ganache takes only a little longer than normal, everything should be in your cupboard and they taste infinitely better.
So that they were uniform and had a smooth surface to spray paint gold I used a silicon ice
cube hemisphere tray as a mould and lined it with tempered chocolate.
I used tempered, rather than normal melted, chocolate to make the shells for three reasons; 1) tempered chocolate shrinks slightly as it cools making it easier to pop them out of the moulds without snapping the delicate cases keeping their snitch shape 2) I wanted the outside to have a snap so there was a clear difference in texture between shell and filling which tempered chocolate gives you and 3) it is more stable in warmer temperatures meaning they don’t have to be kept in the fridge which can give chocolate a funny appearance when brought back to room temperate.
A quick aside about chocolate: the structure chocolate molecules form when they set are categorised as 1-6 all with different characteristics. 1 has a low melting point, will be matt and definitely won’t snap. 6 has a very high melting point but has breakouts of white spots- which I am sure you’ll have seen on old chocolate. We want no.5 – shiny chocolate which when set which doesn’t melt on a warm day and snaps with an audible crack. It’s easiest to think of it like pick up sticks – no.1 is when you’ve just thrown them on to the floor and they are all higgeldy piggeldy and roll everywhere and no.5 is when decided to make them into a organised and strong tower. To temper chocolate it is heated, cooled (often by spreading over a marble slab) and reheated slightly – with those high and low temperatures determining the end structure.
But do not dispair! I don’t have a marble slab to temper my chocolate on and even if I did I am far to messy to be allowed to attempt it in a kitchen I share with other people. Instead (thankfully) I have cheat- I use pre-tempered chocolate couverture. I buy it online from sous chef and as long as you melt it very gently it will set quickly with a very shiny surface and snap well. If however you get carried away and melt your chocolate fast (and to above 31°C) you can just add an extra couple of handfuls of chocolate- the hot chocolate molecules copy their newly added chocolate friends and return to the desired structure. Easy peasy!
But it is the caramel chocolate ganache that is the standout winner here. It will definitely be made again soon… But in what form I wonder…? Any suggestions?
Makes 12 snitches or 24 chocolates
For the chocolate shells
200g pre-tempered milk chocolate couverture
- Melt the chocolate very slowly over barely simmering water. It must not go above 31°C- if the bowl feels hot so too will the chocolate- be patient! If you do over heat the chocolate remove it from the heat and add more chocolate a small handful at a time until you are struggling to melt the additions with the warmth of the already melted chocolate
- Pour melted chocolate into each mould. Swirl and push the chocolate around with a teaspoon until it is evenly coated. Make sure there is enough at the tops of the mould as this will be needed to stick two together. Any leftover chocolate can be used for the ganache
- Leave to set (these can go in the fridge for 15mins or so but don’t leave them in there for too long).
For the salted caramel chocolate ganache
Adapted from Macaron by Pierre Herme
120g milk chocolate (40% cocoa solids) in small pieces
35g granulated sugar
7g salted butter, at room temperature, cut into small cubes
80g double cream, warmed
Generous pinch of salt
- Put a third of the sugar in a little saucepan with a couple of tablespoons of water (the more you add the easier it will be to melt the sugar evenly but the longer it will take to form caramel as it has to boil off first). Heat gently, stirring the mixture, until all the sugar has dissolved. When it has add the next third, melt, add the final third and melt again (always melt the sugar slowly and gently so it doesn’t start to boil with sugar crystals still present)
- Once all the sugar has dissolved turn up the heat to bring the mixture to the boil. Boil until it reaches a deep caramel colour (but be careful not to go to far and burn it) then remove from the heat
- Drop the butter into the caramel and swirl around to melt
- Pour in the cream and stir to mix it all together. The chances are some caramel will already have solidified in the corners- don’t worry- just bring the mixture back to the boil stirring constantly until smooth
- Allow this to cool for a few moments and then add the caramel to the chocolate, little by little, stirring each addition in thoroughly before adding the next. Do not add it too quickly when it is boiling hot- you will burn the chocolate and have to start again
- Once all the chocolate and caramel is combined leave the ganache to cool and then refrigerate until needed.
Edible gold spray
- Pipe ganache into shells to just below the brim
- Pop them in the fridge for 15mins
- Remove from the fridge and turn them out of the shells (If the chocolate is tempered well they should fall out so hold the mould just above the table)
- Boil the kettle and fill a bowl with hot water to warm a kitchen knife. Heat the kitchen knife in the warm water, dry and use it to melt one edge. Stick it to another half to make a ball.
- Spray gold
Alternatively fill chocolate moulds leaving a little room at the top. Temper 150g more chocolate and pour this over cooled ganache filled moulds. Level off the chocolate shapes, allow to set and cool in the fridge for 15mins before turning out.