One of the modern pastry chef’s greatest secrets is air. He captures air and whips it into his preparations with cream, chocolate, or butter. Temperature, texture, and beater speed all play a role in this delicate collection of microscopic bubbles that create so many of our favorite desserts.
Bergamot pairs deliciously with chocolate. You will find light and airy chocolate cream in each of these little dark chocolate caps. Some are topped off with homemade lemon sugar.
To make homemade truffles that stay pretty, you need to temper the chocolate. This simply involves heating, cooling, then heating again your dipping chocolate. Why would you bother with such a thing? For a number of reasons, one being that untempered chocolate develops an unsightly dull white sheen. You need a thermometer to do it right. Mine is broken at the moment, so I did without. The results were not bad, but not outstanding. You might notice in the photos that these truffles are not very shiny. This is because they were poorly tempered. For a very good explanation read David Lebovitz’s article, How to Temper Chocolate.
I found the recipe for the whipped milk chocolate ganache that fills these truffles on pastry chef Ron Mendoza’s blog, One Spoon Quenelle. After a few tweaks, it became whipped bergamot dark chocolate ganache that you can easily make at home.
Start 3 days in advance.
recipe for bergamot chocolate truffles on air:
- 225 g milk
- 50 g corn syrup
- 300 g dark chocolate
- 580 g heavy cream
- Zest of one bergamot
- Juice of half a bergamot
- Plus about 200 g dark chocolate
Bring milk, corn syrup, and zest of bergamot to a simmer.
Break 300 g chocolate into small pieces into a large bowl.
Pass the hot milk mixture through a fine mesh strainer (to take out the pieces of zest, unless you prefer to leave them) pouring over the chocolate and whisk by hand until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth and creamy. It helps to start whisking in the center of the bowl, slowly incorporating the edges.
Add the cream, blend well. Then add the bergamot juice a little at a time, blending well after each addition.
Cover, and refrigerate overnight.
The next day use an electric beater to whip the ganache to soft peaks. I would say that I whipped to good peaks, not soft ones. You should have a mixture that looks and tastes like a rich chocolate mousse. You could always stop here and serve in little bowls.
Use a pastry bag or teaspoon to make small rounds, kisses, or any form of chocolate onto the lid of a Tupperware, or in something that you can cover without smashing the ganache rounds. I used the lid of a Tupperware bowl and used the bowl to cover the chocolates. Here is the upside down Tupperware held up to the light.
Place in the freezer for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Temper the 200 g of dark chocolate. Take the frozen chocolates out of the freezer and quickly dip them into the melted chocolate. Place them on a sheet of waxed paper to dry. This can be done with forks or special chocolate making forks. They will harden very quickly.
Usually I don’t keep chocolate in the fridge, but I kept these refrigerated in a tin and we finished them within the week.
Flavored sugar is very easy to make. These lemon sugar disks were made with sugar, lemon zest, and just enough lemon juice to humidify the sugar. Once humid, you can roll the sugar out flat and use a cookie cutter or knife to cut shapes, or press into molds, then allow to dry for a day or two, or in a slightly warm oven.