Chocolate Truffles with Coffee Baileys Caramel Ganache Filling

Or how sous vide established itself as THE superior chocolate tempering technique.

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Check out that MacGyvered set-up. INNOVATION.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

Ingredients

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)

Chocolate shells

  • 200g chocolate (I list the temperatures for milk and dark below)

Method

Coffee Baileys Caramel Ganache

  1. Add the chopped chocolate and butter into a bowl and set aside.
  2. Dissolve the coffee into heavy cream in a saucepan and warm up until just steaming (but don’t boil).
  3. 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).
  4. Once dark brown and aromatic add heavy cream and mix well.
  5. 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).
  6. Add Baileys and mix well.
  7. Transfer to a piping bag, and let cool to room temperature.

Tempering chocolate

  1. Finely chop the chocolate and place into a sous vide bag/plastic bag.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Chocolate shells

  1. 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.
  2. Fill each cavity with the ganache, making sure that you don’t fill the truffle past the tops.
  3. Cover the truffles with a layer of chocolate, scrapping off the excess.
  4. Leave the truffles at room temperature for about 30 mins so they set up.
  5. Unmould the truffles by turning the moulds over and tapping it sharply onto a surface.
  6. Store truffles in airtight container at room temperature.

Notes

  • 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.
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Éclairs with Earl Grey Milk Chocolate Namelaka

A quick post! I had excess Earl Grey milk chocolate namelaka from when I made chocolate truffles with them, so I whipped up a quick choux since I always have the ingredients for choux around the house!

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If you haven’t heard me gush enough about namelaka, it’s the creamiest most silkiest filling ever (its name means silky in Japanese!) originally developed by Valrhona which still manages to hold its structure due to the incorporation of gelatine (sorry vegetarians).

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I used the same choux recipe as my Choux au Craquelin recipe (Dorie Greenspan’s recipe) and the recipe for the namelaka is the same as I used for my truffle recipe.

Ingredients (makes about 12 éclairs)

Earl Grey milk chocolate namelaka

  • 150g whole milk
  • 8g corn syrup
  • 4g gelatine (I used Knox)
  • 32g water
  • 260g milk chocolate (~38%)
  • 300g whipping cream
  • 6 Earl Grey tea bags

Choux pastry (Pâte à Choux if you want to be fancy)

  • 90g whole milk
  • 90g water
  • 85g butter (3/4 sticks)
  • 3/4 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 103g all purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 30g large egg whites (slightly less than 1 egg white)

Chocolate topping

  • 200g tempered dark chocolate (see notes)

Method

Earl Grey milk chocolate namelaka (the night before)

  1. Bloom the gelatine by adding the gelatine to 32g of cold water in a bowl and leaving it aside.
  2. Break the chocolate into small pieces and melt in a microwave in 10s bursts, stirring well between each burst. When the chocolate starts to melt, decrease the length of each burst. Alternatively you could melt the chocolate over a double boiler but I always found microwaving chocolate to be way easier.
  3. Add the corn syrup to the melted chocolate and stir to combine.
  4. Heat the milk and 4 of the tea bags in a saucepan until it just starts to bubble. Turn off the heat and let the tea bags sit in the milk for 3 mins.
  5. Meanwhile, heat up the whipping cream in a microwave together with 2 tea bags until the cream is steaming. Let the cream sit for about 5 mins, then remove the tea bags.
  6. Remove the saucepan from the heat and remove the tea bags. Add in the bloomed gelatine to the milk and swirl the pan until the gelatine is fully incorporated.
  7. Pour the milk mixture over the melted chocolate in small additions, stirring to combine well after each addition. Combining the milk with the chocolate slowly and well is essential in making sure the texture is right.
  8. Add the cream into the chocolate/milk mixture in two additions, stirring to fully incorporate after each addition.
  9. Using a stick blender, process the mixture until the mixture is smooth.
  10. Pour the mixture into a shallow container, cover, and refrigerate overnight to let set.
  11. The next day, take the namelaka out of the fridge and stir well to homogenise. If it seems chunky, place in a food processor and pulse briefly to soften up (I didn’t need to do this).
  12. Place the namelaka into a piping bag.

Choux pastry

  1. Bring the milk, water, butter, sugar, and salt to a boil in a saucepan.
  2. Reduce the heat to low, and then add all the flour at once.
  3. Beat the mixture very well with a wooden spoon until it leaves a film at the bottom of the pan. Keep cooking and stirring nonstop for another 3 minutes to dry but not colour the dough. At this point the ball should start picking up the dough from the bottom of the pan so there is less of the film.
  4. Take the saucepan off the heat and continue to stir the mixture until it has cooled down enough that you can touch the saucepan with your hands/it’s not hot enough to scramble eggs.
  5. Beat the eggs and egg whites together in a bowl and add the egg mixture to the dough in 3 additions, beating the dough well between each addition. The mixture might look wrong at first but just keep beating until a smooth, satiny dough forms. You know the dough has hit the right hydration when you drop the dough from the spoon and it forms a triangle shape.
  6. Scoop the choux dough into a piping bag and pipe medium-sized éclairs (I aimed for 2-3 biters), leaving some space between each éclair.
  7. Bake in a preheated 180°C/350°F oven for about 30-35 mins, rotating the baking sheets after 20-25 mins if one side starts to brown faster than the other. The choux is done when you tap the bottom and it sounds hollow, and it looks golden brown.
  8. Transfer the choux to cooling racks, and place back in the switched off oven with the oven door ajar to dry the choux out further. Cool to room temperature.

Chocolate topping

  1. Temper the chocolate and spread out in a thin sheet over baking paper. Allow to solidify.
  2. When the chocolate is setting up but not yet fully solidified, use a knife to cut out rectangles of chocolate.
  3. When the chocolate has fully solidified peel the rectangles of chocolate off the baking paper and set aside.
  4. Leave some melted chocolate aside to stick the chocolate rectangles to the choux.

Assembly

  1. Take an éclair and make two small holes in the bottom with a chopstick.
  2. Place the tip of the piping bag into the hole and fill each choux well with namelaka, making sure to rotate the choux so you fill all sides of the choux.
  3. (Optional) Cut out a small piece of baking paper and place at the bottom of the choux, covering the hole you used to pipe the namelaka, so the cream doesn’t come back out/smear all over the place.
  4. Add some melted chocolate onto the rectangles of tempered chocolate and stick the chocolate rectangles to the éclair using the melted chocolate as a glue.

Notes

Namelaka

  • It is best to chill the namelaka in a shallow container as apparently the middle doesn’t set properly if the mixture is too thick.
  • If you’re planning on using a different type of chocolate (other than milk) , you’re going to want to add less chocolate with higher cocoa solid content. So add less if you using dark chocolate, add more if using white chocolate. This was a table in the comments section for another namelaka recipe, but I can’t for the life of me figure out the number pattern to adjust it to the recipe I’m using, so use it as a general guide. If you’re using white chocolate you can refer to a previous recipe that I used.

70% 250g
65% 265g
55% 285g
40% 350g
33% 390g

Éclairs/choux

  • This is best served immediately for optimal crispness of the choux, but I refrigerated the choux and they still tasted good the next day.
  • Some alternative ways to fill éclairs is to cut each éclair lengthwise and then pipe the filling in. This would look especially pretty if you pipe the filling with a patterned tip and you’d probably squeeze more filling into each éclair as well. But I’ve always liked the aesthetic of an uncut éclair better (and it’s also easier to transport without smushing the filling all over the container).
  • A more common method to coat the éclair with chocolate is just to dip the éclair into some melted chocolate but again I like the aesthetic of the chocolate rectangles – it’s just an easy way to make the éclairs look a bit neater.
  • A hack to pipe out éclairs is to use a large star-shaped nozzle to direct a circular and even expansion of the éclair while avoiding large cracks in the choux, but I couldn’t find my tip lol.
  • Also a light dusting of icing sugar over the éclairs before baking is supposed to help with improving the colour of the éclairs but I’ve honestly never noticed a difference with or without the icing sugar.
  • Sprinkling your baking tray with drops of water before baking is also supposed to help with crisping the choux but I think the choux is pretty crispy even without this hack.

Chocolate

  • You need to temper the chocolate so it solidifies at room temperature and it stays shiny and pretty. I talk about the methods for tempering chocolate in my chocolate truffles blog post.

Portugese Egg Tarts (Pasteis de Nata)

I’m living out my lamination dreams with Minnesota’s cold winters.

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These tarts are really popular in Singapore, but I never knew what I was missing out on until I actually went to Macau and had the Portugese egg tarts there. These tarts basically have a soft, creamy egg custard with a caramelised top, together with a buttery crunchy tart.

It seems like the Portugese egg tarts in Portugal, or Pasteis de Nata, are kind of different from the ones in Macau though. For one thing, many recipes for pasteis de nata call for cinnamon and lemon to be added as flavourings, which I have not seen in Asia. The filling for Pasteis de Nata are also generally sweeter. Furthermore, in many Asian stores that I’ve been to, the Macau-style Portugese egg tarts use more of a Hong Kong-style egg tart crust which has smaller flakes and is less croissant-like (but I think this is a store to store variation).

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I’m doing more of the Portugal-style rather than the Macau-style tarts here (or trying to at least). The tart pastry for these egg tarts is kind of similar to a croissant dough, but with no yeast. I know some blogs say that using pre-made puff pastry for the tarts can be a substitute, but my recipe source tried that and said it tasted very different and not in a good way.

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Unfortunately, you will need a candy thermometer for this recipe. Someone in the comment section of some recipe somewhere said that she tried to guess when the syrup would be done and her custard did not set properly.

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Ignore the unfilled tart.

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I’ll probably use a broiler next time though to achieve the characteristic shiny top with large patches of caramalisation (see notes).

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Look at that lamination!!

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I really liked how thin and crisp the tart turned out. I know in most commercial pasteis de nata the crust is thicker but I think this thin crust tastes really good and wouldn’t change it.

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I got the recipe from the one constant in my life, Chef John, here.

Ingredients (makes 10, each of my muffin cavity is 8cm wide and 4cm deep)

Dough

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (125g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 1 stick (113g) very soft European-style butter, room-temperature

Syrup

  • 3/4 cup white sugar (150g)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cinnamon stick (or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
  • Peel from 1 unwaxed lemon, peeled in large strips avoiding the white pith

Custard

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (42g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

Dough (make the night before preferably, or at least 2h before)

  1. Add the dough ingredients in a large bowl. Mix until it just pulls away from the bowl.
  2. Transfer to well-floured surface,  and add some flour on top. Knead the dough for a bit until it looks a bit smoother (low-moderate gluten development, I think if you knead too much it makes the dough harder to work with).
  3. Dust some more flour over the dough ball, cover, and rest for 30 mins.
  4. Transfer the dough ball to a well-floured surface, and roll it out to a rectangle shape about 1/8 inch thick.
  5. Spread 1/3 of your butter to 2/3 of the rectangle, leaving a 1/2 inch unbuttered border.
  6. Do a letter fold (fold the unbuttered 1/3 over the buttered surface, and then the buttered 1/3 from the other end over that, I have a gif in my croissant post).
  7. Turn the dough 90° (seam side up), and flour the surface a bit more.
  8. Roll it out to a rectangle shape about 1/8 inch thick.
  9. Add half of the remaining butter to 2/3 of the rectangle, leaving a 1/2 inch unbuttered border.
  10. Do a letter fold.
  11. Chill the dough for 10 mins.
  12. Roll the dough out to a square about 1/8 inch thick.
  13. Spread the remaining butter over the whole square, leaving a 1/2 inch unbuttered surface at the top edge.
  14. Moisten unbuttered edge with a wet finger.
  15. Roll from the bottom (buttered) edge, ending with the seam side down.
  16. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Syrup

  1. Add the ingredients for the sugar syrup in a saucepan and stir well.
  2. Heat over medium heat and don’t stir from this point on to avoid crystallisation.
  3. Wait for the syrup to start boiling and reach 210-215°F (100°C) on a candy thermometer.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Custard

  1. In a separate saucepan, add flour, salt, and milk.
  2. Heat over medium heat, stirring well, until thickened.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly (until it’s a temperature that won’t scramble the egg yolks).
  4. Add the egg yolks and mix well.
  5. Add the sugar syrup from earlier and vanilla.
  6. Strain into measuring cup (so it’s easier to pour into the cases later).

Assembly

  1. Take your rolled-out dough out of the fridge. Cut the edges off (but don’t throw it away…just in case).
  2. Cut the log out into 10 equal pieces.
  3. Butter your muffin tin slightly (I think this step is optional but I’m paranoid).
  4. Moisten your fingers in ice water.
  5. Slowly press a dough piece out into the tin, starting with one big press into the center, and trying to press it out at least 1/8 inch past the top. It may seem like it won’t spread out that much, and that you’re destroying your layers, but keep calm and carry on.
  6. If you’re unskilled, like me, carefully inspect your dough cups for holes and plug them with pieces from the cut-off edges. It’s important that there are no holes in the dough or your custard will leak through and burn to the sides.
  7. Fill each cup ¾ full with custard, making sure you don’t drip any custard down the sides outside the tart.
  8. Bake at a preheheated 550°F/290°C/your oven’s highest setting for 12-14 mins, until the butter starts to bubble around the tart, the edges are very brown, and the tops start to brown.
  9. If your oven can only reach 500°F/260°C like me, finish off the tops with a blowtorch. Or you could put the tarts under a broiler until the tops are very brown.
  10. Cool a little before pulling the tarts out to cool over a wire rack.

Notes

  • European-style butter has a higher fat content/lower water content than normal American butter so your croissants are flakier. Although I guess if you’re not in America this is just butter. Basically American butter is about 80% milk fat and European-style butter is like 82-84% or higher.
  • I think I’ll try broiling the tops over using a blowtorch to brown the tops next time because the browning pattern with a blowtorch did not look like how I wanted it to look.
  • Don’t overfill your cups because the pastry shrinks a bit and the custard rises a lot.
  • Unwaxed lemons usually means organic lemons. If you can’t find unwaxed lemons you could try lightly scrubbing a lemon under warm water.

Chocolate Truffles with Earl Grey Milk Chocolate Namelaka Filling

Valentine’s day = chocolate and I thought this year would be the year that I finally dabble in tempering chocolate.

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Basically you need to temper chocolate so you can get the fat crystals in the chocolate to be in the right conformation to achieve snappy chocolate with a smooth finish.

Chocolate-Polymorphs-2016
https://www.compoundchem.com/2014/04/19/the-polymorphs-of-chocolate/

You’re aiming for form V here. There are many ways you can achieve this from what I’ve gathered here and here. Keep in mind that the exact temperature may differ based on your cocoa butter percentages of the chocolate.

  1. The Classical Method. Melt 2/3 of your chocolate until it reaches 43°C-46°C/110°F-115°F, until liquid and smooth. Add the remaining chocolate, finely chopped, and stir well until it reaches 26°C-28°C/80°–82°F. Heat again until it reaches 30°C-33°C/87°-91°F.
    I did not like this method as it requires a lot of temperature monitoring.
  2. The Seeding Method. Melt 2/3 of your chocolate until it reaches 43°C-46°C/110°F-115°F. Cool the chocolate to 35°C-37°C/95°F-100°F. Then add the remaining chocolate, finely chopped, stirring vigorously until all the remaining chocolate has melted.
    The idea here is that when you add the remaining chocolate, the fat crystal structure is already in the right form so you’re encouraging the fat crystals in the melted chocolate to also settle in the right form. Similar to the classical method, this method requires a lot of temperature monitoring.
  3. The Lazy Method. Melt your chocolate (finely chopped) in the microwave in very short bursts, stirring very well between each burst, until the chocolate is barely melted. Then stir the chocolate vigorously until the whole thing is melted.
    The idea here is that you keep your chocolate in temper the entire process, so you don’t have to bring it back to temper. I used this method but found out that this meant the chocolate remains at a very thick, difficult-to-work-with consistency. Which made my shells of chocolate very thick and left a lot of air bubbles in many of my truffles.
  4. The Sous Vide Method. Vacuum seal the chocolate in a bag and heat the chocolate to 46°C/115°F. Then lower the temperature to 27°C/81°F. Then heat the chocolate up to 32°C/90°F and hold it at this temperature until ready to use.
    The advantage of this method is that clean up is really easy and you don’t have to worry about working fast, as the chocolate is held at the optimum working temperature. The disadvantage is that you need a sous vide machine…but I just found a friend who has one that I can borrow!!

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To test if your chocolate has been tempered, dip a butter knife into the chocolate and leave it at room temperature. The chocolate should solidify within 5 mins. Also the chocolate will not release from their moulds unless they have been tempered correctly.

But also, after all this talk about tempering chocolate, have I mentioned the creamy decadent filling I used known as namelaka?? I’ve extolled its virtues at length in a previous blog post and this time I’m using milk chocolate instead of white chocolate and infusing it with the aromatic flavour of Earl Grey tea. Still as silky and rich. The love affair never ends.

And I do think I managed to incorporate the flavour of Earl Grey pretty well without resorting to opening a tea bag which I was worried would ruin the silkiness of the namelaka.

Ingredients (for 24 truffles, this is the mould I used)

Earl Grey Milk Chocolate Namelaka (makes an excess but this is the smallest batch I was comfortable with making)

  • 75g whole milk
  • 4g corn syrup
  • 2g gelatine (I used Knox)
  • 16g water
  • 130g milk chocolate (~38%)
  • 150g whipping cream
  • 3 Earl Grey tea bags

Chocolate

  • 400g tempered dark chocolate (there will be excess chocolate, I used 56%)
  • 20g tempered white chocolate, coloured with a gel-based food colouring (optional)

Method

Earl Grey Milk Chocolate Namelaka (the night before)

  1. Bloom the gelatine by adding the gelatine to 16g of cold water in a bowl and leaving it aside.
  2. Break the chocolate into small pieces and melt in a microwave in 10s bursts, stirring well between each burst. When the chocolate starts to melt, decrease the length of each burst. Alternatively you could melt the chocolate over a double boiler but I always found microwaving chocolate to be way easier.
  3. Add the corn syrup to the melted chocolate and stir to combine.
  4. Heat the milk and 2 of the tea bags in a saucepan until it just starts to bubble. Turn off the heat and let the tea bags sit in the milk for 3 mins.
  5. Meanwhile, heat up the whipping cream in a microwave together with a tea bag until the cream is steaming. Let sit for about 5 mins, then remove the tea bag.
  6. Remove the saucepan from the heat and remove the tea bags. Add in the bloomed gelatine to the milk and swirl the pan until the gelatine is fully incorporated.
  7. Pour the milk mixture over the melted chocolate in small additions, stirring to combine well after each addition. Combining the milk with the chocolate slowly and well is essential in making sure the texture is right.
  8. Add the cream into the chocolate/milk mixture in two additions, stirring to fully incorporate after each addition.
  9. Using a stick blender, process the mixture until the mixture is smooth.
  10. Pour the mixture into a shallow container, cover, and refrigerate overnight to let set.
  11. The next day, take the namelaka out of the fridge and stir well to homogenise. If it seems chunky, place in a food processor and pulse briefly to soften up (I didn’t need to do this).
  12. Place the namelaka into a piping bag.

Assembly

  1. Coat each truffle cavity with a smear of coloured white chocolate. Allow to solidify.
  2. Coat each cavity with a layer of dark chocolate, tapping well to release air bubbles. Then leave the mould upside down, allowing the excess chocolate to drip out. I followed this video.
  3. Fill each cavity with the namelaka, making sure that you don’t fill the truffle past the tops.
  4. Cover the truffles with a layer of dark chocolate, scrapping off the excess.
  5. Leave the truffles at room temperature for about 30 mins so they set up.
  6. Unmould the truffles by turning the moulds over and tapping it sharply onto a surface.

Notes

  • It is best to chill the namelaka in a shallow container as apparently the middle doesn’t set properly if the mixture is too thick.
  • If you’re planning on using a different type of chocolate (other than milk) , you’re going to want to add less chocolate with higher cocoa solid content. So add less if you using dark chocolate, add more if using white chocolate. This was a table in the comments section for another namelaka recipe, but I can’t for the life of me figure out the number pattern to adjust it to the recipe I’m using, so use it as a general guide. If you’re using white chocolate you can refer to a previous recipe that I used.

70% 250g
65% 265g
55% 285g
40% 350g
33% 390g

  • The amount of gelatine you need might differ based on the bloom of the gelatine. Knox gelatine, which is what I used, is about 225 bloom.
  • This recipe makes an excess of namelaka, which I used to fill eclairs! Recipe upcoming (EDIT: here it is!).

Croissants (revisited)

Polar vortex = laminated dough season.

croissant-folding

You’re going to want to break your ruler out for this recipe.

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Can you tell I’m getting a little gif-crazy?

This is my third time trying to make croissants, and I think it’s the attempt with the best lamination! The first time I tried in Singapore was a disaster since my air-conditioning could not keep up and the butter just straight-up melted in my hands as I was rolling the dough out. The second time was in London and although it was colder I was still having trouble with the lamination steps.

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I kind of like the sweeter edge of the London croissants though so I might try to fuse the two recipes the next time I try. This croissant tastes more like the normal croissant you can find in the stores. But butter++ and flakiness+++.

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I think a key to success here is to really try to be precise with this recipe and get your edges as neat as possible and your dough to the exact measurements stated in the recipe. Or try to at least.

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I didn’t quite get the honeycomb cross-section that I wanted, and I think that was due to underproofing (more in the notes section).

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I got the recipe from here.

Ingredients (makes 15)

Dough

  • 500g all purpose flour
  • 140g water
  • 140g full-fat milk
  • 55g sugar
  • 40g softened unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 11g instant yeast
  • 12g salt

Others

  • 280g cold unsalted European-style butter (for laminating, see notes)
  • 1 egg + 1 tsp water for egg wash

Method

Dough (night before)

  1. Combine dough ingredients and knead until the dough comes together and forms a smooth ball. Don’t knead too much like you would for a soft bread or there’ll be too much gluten development and it’d be difficult to laminate (the lamination steps kind of help develop the gluten anyway).
  2. Shape the dough into a flat disc (so it’ll be easier to roll out), cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Lamination

  1. Cut the cold butter into 1.25cm thick slabs, and arrange the butter on baking paper to form a square of about 15cm x 15cm.
  2. Cover the butter with another layer of baking paper and pound the butter until it’s about 19cm x 19cm (it’s easier to roll it out by pounding instead of actually rolling since the butter is so cold).
  3. Trim the edges of the butter until the square is 17cm x 17cm and place the trimmings on top of the square. Pound slightly to even the butter square out. Put the butter back in the fridge.
  4. Take the dough out of the fridge and place on a lightly floured surface.
  5. Pound out the dough into a disc 26cm x 26cm square. Getting the square as perfect and as even as possible will help in getting the perfect, even cross-section, which is why I didn’t have a perfect, even cross-section.
  6. Take the butter out of the fridge and put the butter on top of the dough square but rotated by 45° (so if the dough square is a square the butter should be a diamond on top).
  7. Fold the flaps of dough over the butter so they meet in the center of the butter. The edges should overlap so they fully enclose the butter. Press on the edges to seal the seams so the butter is fully enclosed.
  8. Roll out the dough with a lightly floured rolling pin to a rectangle about 20 x 60cm long, rolling from the center of the dough to the edges and rotating the dough 180° every once in a while. This helps keep the dough at an even thickness. Try to keep the edges as straight as possible.
  9. Fold the dough letter style (fold 1/3 of the dough over, and then 1/3 from the other end over so you should end up with a 20cm x 20cm square again, see the second gif).
  10. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 mins.
  11. Repeat steps 4-9 again two more times, turning the dough 90° each time before rolling out again (so the open end is towards you and the smooth edges are at the sides).
  12. At this point you could put the dough in the fridge overnight to roll out the next day, or you could go straight to proofing after an hour in the fridge if you’re impatient like me (this might affect your proofing time though, see notes).

Shaping

  1. Take the dough out of the fridge and place on a lightly floured surface, with the open end towards you. Roll out the dough to 20 cm x 110 cm.
  2. Carefully lift it a few centimeters to allow it to naturally shrink back from both sides and roll it out again if needed to get to the right length.
  3. Trim the edges off so your dough is about 100cm long.
  4. Make marks every 12.5cm along the length of the top edge.
  5. For the bottom edge, start at 6.25cm and then make marks at every 12.5cm (so each cut at the bottom edge is in the middle of each cut at the top edge).
  6. Make diagonal cuts from the top corner down to the bottom mark to create triangles.
  7. For each triangle, place on a lightly floured surface and make a short 1.5cm notch at the base of each triangle. Roll out each triangle gently to about 25cm in length.
  8. Roll up the triangle from the base by rolling the dough away from the center using both hands, trying to make the ends a little narrower. Try to roll tightly so the layers stick together (but not tight enough to destroy the layers).
  9. Arrange the shaped croissants on a baking sheet lined with baking paper, leaving enough space between the croissants for proofing and baking.
  10. Make an egg wash by whisking the egg with a teaspoon of water.
  11. Lightly egg wash the croissants.
  12. Cover, and allow the croissants to prove until the croissants are visibly larger and they wiggle when you shake the baking sheet (about 2 hours). The layers of dough should be visible when your croissants are viewed from the side (see notes).
  13. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  14. When the croissants have finished proofing, give the croissants a second egg wash and bake in the preheated oven. After the croissants go in, immediately lower the temperature of the oven to 200°C and bake for 10 mins. Then lower the temperature to 170°C and bake for another 6 minutes.
  15. Leave for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.

Notes

  • As I alluded to earlier, my house was really cold that day (Minnesota, yo) and they were taking forever to proof. This could also be because I skipped the second overnight proof. I think if I were more patient and let the croissants proof to the right visual cues I would’ve gotten the honeycomb structure that I wanted.
  • Ideally, you should proof your croissants at 24ºC-26.5ºC/76ºF-79ºF as above that temperature the butter may leak out and any lower it’d take forever to proof like mine did.
  • My baking temperatures are about 20ºC higher than the recipe source’s because they used a powerful fan-assisted oven and I just have a measly normal oven. Feel free to use the original temperatures if your oven is fan-assisted.
  • If you’re using active dry yeast instead of instant yeast, you might have to activate the yeast first. Warm up the milk that was supposed to go into the bread till it’s about body temperature, and then add the yeast into the milk. When the mixture is foamy (about 5-10 mins later), add the yeast-milk back into the bread at the step where the milk is supposed to be added.
  • European-style butter has a higher fat content/lower water content than normal American butter so your croissants are flakier. Although I guess if you’re not in America this is just butter. Basically American butter is about 80% milk fat and European-style butter is like 82-84% or higher.
  • These croissants freeze well! Just allow to cool fully and when reheating put in a preheated 180ºC oven for 8 mins straight from the freezer.
  • My previous attempt was here!