Sugar High Friday. Perhaps the most famous food blogging event, certainly the one with the greatest longevity. Is it because we all have a sweet tooth at heart? Or perhaps food blogging events encourage the experimentalist in us all, ushering us on to cook that recipe that you’ve always looked longingly at but skipped the best, fearing our own abilities or taste buds?
Whatever the reason, blogging events are a great way to connect with other bloggers. Where else can you find people just as mad about food and eating?
Sugar High Fridays, founded by The Domestic Goddess (no, not that Domestic Goddess) in 2004, has seen 47 months of artistic, imaginative, fanciful, brilliant, cavity-inducing and just plain crazy desserts, sweets and confections. For those of you unfamiliar, each month an inventive host (fellow food blogger) spends ages wracking his/her brain deciding on an even more interesting theme to previous months. Some months it can be something really tricky like cacao nibs, last month it was the humble cupcake. But this month, Pastrygirl from Dessert First has given us a really inspired theme: Sugar and Spice. The only criteria is that it must contain one or more spices and – of course – be sweet.
I have been pouring over Andrew Garrison Shott’s Making Fine Chocolates and his own innovative flavours of truffles and decided, after much deliberation, to make his White Chocolate with Lemongrass and Coconut Truffles. A truly exotic sounding truffle, these are fiddly and sticky to make but the flavours harmonise on the tastebuds perfectly. They also look almost professional and would make a charming petits fours after a rich meal that doesn’t really call for dessert. The main talking point (aside from discussing who does and doesn’t like coconut) is the unexpected dark middle, spiked generously with rum, and the crisp, tropical flavours of the coconut and lemongrass. A bit like a cocktail in a truffle. What more could you ask for?
I admit that I had a few issues with the recipe. I’m not sure if this came from the conversions of US to UK measurements and descriptions of ingredients but I added some extra cream and this loosened up the lemongrass steeped mixture a treat.
LEMONGRASS & COCONUT TRUFFLES
makes about 20-30 depending on size
154g Milk Chocolate, chopped
21g Dark Chocolate (64% or higher), chopped
3.5 Tablespoons Double Cream (I added an extra tablespoon to slacken off the mixture, you may not need to)
2 Tablespoons Coconut Milk
1 Thick Stalk Lemongrass, chopped
1 Teaspoon Corn Syrup (or Golden Syrup)
1.5 Teaspoons Salted Butter, cubed and soft
1 Tablespoon Rum
To Finish the Truffles:
2 Cups Shredded Coconut, toasted lightly in a frying pan
2 Bars of 100g White Chocolate, melted in a double boiler and cooled slightly.
Place the chopped milk and dark chocolates in a smallish bowl.
In a small saucepan, heat together over gentle heat, the coconut milk, cream, lemongrass until it almost boils.
Remove from the heat, cover and leave to steep for 10 minutes.
Add the Syrup to the cream mixture and return to the heat. Bring slowly back up to a rolling boil and strain through a sieve onto the chopped chocolate. Leave to melt for 2 minutes then slowly stir until the chocolate has all melted. You may have to place the bowl in a microwave for a few seconds to help the melting process along.
Add the diced butter and rum and stir well.
Leave this ganache to firm up for 45 minutes to an hour before forming it into round balls and leaving on greaseproof paper overnight to dry out slightly.
To finish the truffles, dip them, one at a time, in the melted white chocolate before rolling in the coconut. Leave the truffles in the coconut to harden completely before removing.
Taken from Making Fine Chocolates by Andrew Garrison Shotts