Finally… we get to the last and my favorite of the truffles. I was inspired by a recent pomegranate oolong panna cotta at Goblin Market in New York. And, I happened to have a pomegranate and some oolong at home as I was truffling. (Is truffling even a word? If it isn’t, it certainly should be.)
With the Dagoba chocolate I was using, I think any berry or red fruit would be a good match, but the pomegranate seemed to be ideal. The chocolate was already strong in the red berry camp… the pom juice simply pushed it over the edge into the divine. The oolong was a bit of an extra in the scene… important for the atmosphere, but you wouldn’t have noticed its presence otherwise. The kicker though is the little juicy pom seed perched on the top… a slight crunch, the tang of juice and the velvet of the dark chocolate. Heaven.
Thanks again to Johanna for hosting such a great theme for Sugar High Friday!
In case you missed them, the other 4 truffles are here:
Pomegranate Oolong and Dark Chocolate Truffle
(roughly adapted from The Sweet Life by Kate Zukerman)
Makes 8 to 10 truffles
2oz dark chocolate (~70% cacao)
1/8 cup heavy cream
1/8 cup freshly squeezed pomegranate juice
1 T of loose leaf oolong tea (or more, if you want a more predominant oolong flavor)
1/2 t butter (at room temperature)
pomegranate seeds (to top)
You’ll start by making the ganache. In a heavy bottom pan, heat the cream, tea and pomegranate juice on medium heat, stirring the whole time. Remove from heat just before it boils. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes. Strain into a small cup to remove any tea leaves. Set aside.
Heat water to about 150F and place in a metal bowl, about 1/2 way up. Place another, smaller, metal bowl on top to act as a double boiler. Check the temperature… you should be able to touch the bottom of the top metal bowl. If it’s too hot to touch, add some cold water to the bottom bowl. You want the top bowl to be about 120F when you add the chocolate.
Coursely chop the chocolate. Add 1oz to the top metal bowl. Set the other chocolate aside for the coating. Stir the chocolate with a rubber spatula until it’s completely melted. Remove it from the heat, and slowly pour in the cream mixture, and whisk until it’s smooth and you can see the whisk lines in the chocolate. Don’t over stir! Whisk in the butter, then spoon into a small cup, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
When the ganache is cooled, remove it from the fridge. Have a plate ready as well as a bowl of hot water and a melon baller. Dip the melon baller in the hot water, then quickly dry with a dish towel, and press it into the ganache. Turn the baller 360 degrees to form a ball, then tap the baller to force the ganache ball out. I found that hitting it against the side of the bowl worked best. Then, very carefully, move the ball to the plate. Repeat with the rest of the ganache. Cover the balls, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
To make the chocolate coating, heat the double boiler as you did with the ganache (make sure you wash it out and dry it very well first!). Add 2/3rds of the remaining chocolate and stir with the spatula until it’s well melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and add the remaining 1/3 of chocolate, and stir until it has melted. This should start quickly dropping the temperature of the chocolate, and give it a “seed” to help it temper properly. It will probably take about 15 minutes for the chocolate to cooled to the right temperature to proceed. According to the books I’ve ready, you want it to be about 87F, although I’m not exactly sure what temperature mine was when I started dipping. Again, I went by the touch method. Make sure your room isn’t too hot… ideally it will be 72F or less.
Once the chocolate has cooled, you can start the dipping. Remove the ganache balls from the fridge and have the pomegranate seeds close by. Pick up a ganache ball, and roll it in the melted chocolate and place it onto a plate. Quickly, top with a pomegranate seed. If the chocolate has cooled, dab on a little bit more chocolate before placing the seed on top. Then proceed with the remaining ganache balls. They should firm up almost immediately and be ready to eat.