Chef Olivier Mahut, Chef Instructor at Cordon Bleu, shows you how to make the perfect chocolate truffles
Good quality chocolate is missing from the kitchens of India,” remarked Chef Olivier Mahut during our breakfast meeting in September. The Cordon Bleu instructor was in the middle of visiting restaurants across the city during a short trip. He also hosted a demo on making bonbons au chocolat (chocolate candies), where he stressed on using quality ingredients.
Dark chocolate truffles
“In Europe, we use only the very highest quality of chocolate. The texture is very refined, which reflects the choice of cocoa beans used and the balance of sugar,” he elaborated. In his opinion, it is the Swiss and French who do it best. It is equally important to use good butter and sugar, he added.
Chef Olivier Mahut
“Focus on the texture, flavour and the quality of the milk. It might be difficult to find unsalted butter here, but that’s important to use,” he asserted. “I would love to experiment with the multitude of spices available here. But that requires a lot of experience,” he adds. He however, did give spices a shot with the truffles he made during the demo, adding tea to the bonbons.
Although the chef was thrilled at the enthusiasm the home chefs he met at the demo showed towards world cuisine and gourmet, Mahut warned about the importance of a strong foundation. “Without proper training you cannot learn to tell the difference between what is good and bad,” he says.
He encouraged experimenting with the ganache. “Make sure no extra air enters the ganache, it should be creamy with no lumps at all. Extra air could lead to crystallisation,” he says. Insisting that only French whipping cream be used, he suggests placing the bowlful of the cream and glucose mixture on ice to cool after it has been brought to a boil. “It needs to be cool before you whip it,” he says, placing three teabags in the mixture for about 30 seconds. “You could replace this with coffee or spices like cinnamon or ginger, too,” he concludes.
>> 220 gm dark chocolate couverture
>> 25 gm butter (softened, not melted)
>> 125 ml whipping cream
>> ½ vanilla bean (pod)
>> 25 gm glucose (or honey or high fructose corn syrup)
>> Unsweetened cocoa powder
>> Spices of your choice (optional)
>> Melt the chocolate and butter over a bain-marie heated to 40°C. Keep warm
>> Bring the cream, vanilla bean, glucose and spices to a boil. Chill the mixture to 10 degrees and pour into the 40 degree chocolate and butter mixture. Whisk until smooth
>> Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 10mm tip and pipe balls onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet
>> When cold, dip the chocolate balls in tempered chocolate and roll immediately in sifted cocoa powder. Lift the truffles from the cocoa powder with a fork