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January 11, 2014

Chocolate Bonbons - A new addition to my turndown dessert recipe

Many people who know me can attest to the fact that I like going the extra mile. Friday was another busy day for me. The resort was hosting two parties on Friday and Saturday night  but I wasn't informed of my role until the day before. Well, I take it back. I was asked to make pizza crusts for a party days ago but didn't really understand the details. Language barrier. Then Thursday, I got a piece of paper with a picture of a dessert that I would be making. I was told. I will talk more about it in another post.

Back to chocolate bonbons. I had every thing planned for Friday. Make bread and double amount of pastries for Saturday and Sunday. Saturday is my day off and there's nobody who can make pastries but me. Make 60-70 pizza bases for B party, do early prepping for Sunday brunch, 120 chocolate and passion fruit shooter for Saturday night's function and of course dessert for our in-house guests. As I was looking at my to-do list, I asked myself if I could carry out all. Why not make my workload easier by making pana cotta. It is easy and quick to prepare. With the bonbons, I would need time to temper the chocolate. I knew if I stick to my plan  I would spend a great deal of time finishing my work for the day. Thinking about not living up to my own expectations, I felt bad. So I went to the kitchen and asked if the demi chef de partie could help me make pizza bases. She was so nice she even took the effort to  mix the dough and rolled it out. Two other staff jumped in to help. The four of us divided up the work. Thank you guys for reducing my workload! While I was prebaking the pizza crusts, I went ahead on tempering the chocolate. I was working on a tight schedule. It would be a long day for me again. I still had pastries and the chocolate passion fruit shooter to make. But I went ahead.

There are several chocolate tempering methods. In my post "A messy good time with chocolate", I discussed the "marble-slab method" where you cool the melted chocolate in a marble slab by scraping it back and forth until it thickens. This time I used an easy and quick way called the "icy method".

Here's how you do it:
I use chocolate coins. If you are using bars,  chop them into smaller pieces before melting. It is easier to melt it that way.
Put your chocolate into an aluminum bowl or a heat proof bowl. Over a saucepan of barely simmering water place the chocolate and  melt until it reaches 49C. (You need a thermometer for this!)
As soon as it reaches the right temperature, remove from heat. Stand it over a bowl of ice. Stir until the temperature drops to 27-28C. The chocolate thickens fast when set over  ice so get rid of those lumps  by scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl and stirring it occasionally.You want a smooth chocolate mixture!
Reheat the mixture over  simmering water again until it reaches 32C. That's when the chocolate is ready to use.

I poured my tempered chocolate on my silicon moulds and freeze it. You see the wholes? I didn't  do a good job tapping the moulds against the table to get rid of bubbles. It tasted great all the same!

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