Looking at this blog (and now restaurant) is what has whipped me back into posting. Whodda thunkit? Pictures of British cuisine inspiring me on the food front? But they are beautiful, mouth-watering photos. I am a bit surprised, because true or not, the English are not known for their brilliant, delectable food (case in point: jellied eels). Or at least they haven't been in the past. Although I know plenty people, one man in particular, who might rough me up for saying so. But looks like they’re learning. The British Larder sure has.
So, to start off I’ve just got to tell you about pink peppercorn truffles. I’ve done truffles on here before, I think just the pesto ones, which need to be repeated, but it’s hard with so many other flavors out there to play with. But these deserve a try, and according to an English friend, they were the best thing I’d made that he’s ever tried. I take that as a compliment, for sure, but I’m not gonna lie: they’re pretty simple.
The key is good chocolate, good olive oil, Maldon salt (in an ode to the Brits, I guess, since I’ve just bashed them a bit), and of course, pink peppercorns. If you’ve never tried them before, have a go. They’re slightly sweet, and oh-so-pretty floating in a bowl of golden olive oil accompanied by bread.
Pink Peppercorn truffles
from ME! not the British Larder...although I still love her pictures
400 ml cream
400 g dark chocolate (the better the chocolate, the tastier they’ll be. It is a fact)
¼ c olive oil (give or take…you can go up to 1/3)
3-4 Tbsp pink peppercorns
another 250 g dark chocolate (I might have used less percentage as this is for the coating and I like it to melt quickly in your mouth)
Heat up the cream until almost boiling (I just do it in the microwave, although a double boiler will work). Take about 3 tablespoons of the pink peppercorns and crush them between your fingers, dropping them into the cream. I let it sit for a few hours, heating it up occasionally to help it infuse better. Every now and then I would taste the cream to see if I could get a hint of the pink peppercorns. I suggest doing this so you know if you should add more peppercorns (or potentially cream), or infuse more, etc. When you’re satisfied with it, after you heat it to almost a boil for the last time, have the darker, larger quantity of chocolate broken up into little pieces in a bowl. Pour the hot cream through a strainer over the chocolate and stir together until it’s all melted. Then stir in the olive oil (this is of course optional, I just like to use it whenever I can). Now you’ve got some waiting to do. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge until the chocolate solidifies.
When you’re ready to roll your truffles, get some parchment paper on a tray and a spoon. I usually finish off each truffle by rolling it in my hands, but the less you handle them the better because they tend to melt quickly. I take a small spoon and curl the chocolate out into a ball as well as I can, and then roll slightly to seal edges and make it smooth. When you have rolled out all the chocolate, put the truffles back into the fridge to harden up again.
While you’re waiting, get your salt and whole peppercorns in two little containers to have at the ready. Melt the other chocolate completely. With a spoon, drop each truffle into the melted chocolate and coat it all around. Put back onto the parchment and drop with a few peppercorns and a pinch of Maldon salt. Wait as long as you can (I suggest them going back in the fridge for a bit) and then eat.
This one’s for you, CLee!