Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Cooking is one of my favorite pastimes. Two Christmases ago, my wife and I made a bunch of chocolate truffles to give as gifts. They turned out well, but ended up being much more labor intensive than I had expected. After that experience, I cast aside the idea of making truffles again without the help of a chocolate tempering machine. Somehow, completely unbidden, an idea popped into my head of how to make some really unique truffles and I couldn't seem to let it go. I am a sucker for a good concept and even though it would entail an elaborate process, eventually, I just had to make them. Walnuts have always reminded me of tiny little brains, so coated with candy and set inside of miniature chocolate skulls, they would make an irresistible Halloween treat.

To pull this idea off, required quite a bit of preparation. First, I sculpted little skulls out of polymer clay and molded them in food grade silicon. Then, I made bittersweet chocolate ganache, froze it and rolled it into little balls. Finally, I molded the white chocolate skull truffles, fitted each one with a bittersweet center and topped it off with a candy coated walnut "brain". They looked appropriately macabre, packaged in black tins lined with red velvet. No one expects a Halloween gift, so the recipients were amused and delighted.

Now that I know the process, I have quite a few other ideas for unique truffle shapes. If anyone wants to try making their own food molds, I described the process in detail here.
It was a lot of work, but fun and I now have a mold I can use for years to come.