Or how sous vide established itself as THE superior chocolate tempering technique.
Check out that MacGyvered set-up. INNOVATION.
So in my previous chocolate truffle recipe, I talked about the different chocolate tempering techniques out there. And how although my previously used technique was easy to accomplish it left me with chocolate that was a little too viscous to work with so the truffle shells were really thick.
Now that I’ve located A Friend with a Sous Vide (TM), times have changed. The chocolate can now be held at the perfect working temperature so filling the moulds with chocolate is a breeze. And there is very little chocolate wastage at the end since you can just squeeze whatever’s left in the sous vide bag into a storage receptacle (or if you have a sous vide bag sealer, you can just store the leftover chocolate in the bag itself).
Unfortunately this recipe was also when I learnt that cheap Ikea chocolate is – surprise, surprise – really crappy chocolate. The chocolate was not snappy at all fresh out of the packaging, and even when tempered did not set properly and didn’t have a good shine.
In fact the Ikea chocolate tasted exactly like Kinder chocolate which, y’know, isn’t exactly famed for their snappiness.
Here’s a comparison of cheap Ikea chocolate on the left and good chocolate on the right. The difference in shininess and texture is NIGHT AND DAY.
Let’s not forget about the filling – a luscious coffee-flavoured ganache with a hint of caramel flavour.
I got the recipe for the ganache filling from here, and decided to splash a bit of Baileys in it because why not.
Coffee Baileys Caramel Ganache
- 100g dark chocolate (finely chopped)
- 25g unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)
- 3g instant coffee
- 75ml heavy cream (subtract 1tbsp if using Baileys)
- 25g sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp Baileys (optional)
- 200g chocolate (I list the temperatures for milk and dark below)
Coffee Baileys Caramel Ganache
- Add the chopped chocolate and butter into a bowl and set aside.
- Dissolve the coffee into heavy cream in a saucepan and warm up until just steaming (but don’t boil).
- Add the sugar into another dry saucepan at medium heat until it starts melting. Swirl the pan occasionally to ensure the caramel evenly browns (but don’t stir or it may crystallise out).
- Once dark brown and aromatic add heavy cream and mix well.
- Add the mixture to the bowl containing chocolate and butter and leave for a minute. Then mix well until fully dissolved (if not fully dissolved microwave the chocolate in short bursts).
- Add Baileys and mix well.
- Transfer to a piping bag, and let cool to room temperature.
- Finely chop the chocolate and place into a sous vide bag/plastic bag.
- Set the sous vide to 115°F/46°C (if using dark chocolate) or 107°F/42°C (if using milk chocolate) until the chocolate is completely melted. Massage the plastic bag regularly to ensure even heating (and apparently if you don’t massage your bag your chocolate will have weird white spots at the end).
- When the chocolate has melted, pour out 3/4 of the water in your sous vide and replace with room temperature water. Set the sous vide to 81°F/27°C and put the plastic bags containing chocolate back into the sous vide. Add some ice cubes if the water temperature doesn’t go back down fast enough. Continue to massage the plastic bags regularly.
- After 3 mins at this temperature, set the sous vide to 90°F/32°C (dark) or 84°F/29°C (milk). Continue to massage the plastic bags. After 5 mins at this temperature the chocolate is ready to use.
- Coat each cavity of your chocolate mould with a layer of chocolate, tapping well to release air bubbles. Then leave the mould upside down, allowing the excess chocolate to drip out. I followed this video. Let the chocolate set.
- Fill each cavity with the ganache, making sure that you don’t fill the truffle past the tops.
- Cover the truffles with a layer of chocolate, scrapping off the excess.
- Leave the truffles at room temperature for about 30 mins so they set up.
- Unmould the truffles by turning the moulds over and tapping it sharply onto a surface.
- Store truffles in airtight container at room temperature.
- See my previous chocolate truffle post on why you need to temper chocolate.
- If you want to speed up the rate at which your chocolate sets, you can put the moulds in the fridge in short 5 mins bursts.