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Salt is becoming almost as ubiquitous in chocolate candy as sugar and cream. That's because salt is a flavor booster like no other, whether in a sweet or savory dish. Here, the salt imparts a delightful counterpoint to the the richly sweet caramel and all of it becomes a splendid symphony of flavors and textures with the addition of chocolate.
By Ecole Chocolat
White Chocolate is a great foil for the strawberry and rhubarb flavors in this truffle. Photo by Ric Ernst
COOK'S NOTES:White chocolate is very soft as it only contains cocoa butter and dry milk powder, so you don't need much in the way of moisture – such as cream or fruit purée – to lighten it to a consistency that works great for truffles. And be careful with heat. If you get white chocolate too hot you'll find that the milk solids "burn," turning gritty and hard. Make sure to keep stirring the chocolate as you melt it. We used a home-made fruit paste, which isn't difficult to make but it does take time to cook the mixture down to its concentrated essence. It's much like old-fashioned jam that's been cooked until it's firm and thick and if you end up with more than you need for this recipe, use what's left over to top shortcake or ice cream.
Yield: About 48 1-inch truffles
12 oz. cleaned and chopped fresh strawberries
8 oz. fresh rhubarb, chopped
½ cup granulated sugar
1 lb. 6 oz. white chocolate, very finely chopped
6 oz. heavy whipping cream
6 oz. prepared strawberry rhubarb fruit paste
Place chopped strawberries and rhubarb in a stainless steel pan. Sprinkle sugar over fruit and stir through. Let stand to extract the juices for about 15-20 minutes. Place pan over high heat and bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low and cook, uncovered, for 1½ to hours, until very thick and the mixture has reduced down to about 12 ounces, stirring every 20 minutes or so.
Let mixture cool completely before proceeding.
Place chopped white chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. In small saucepan, over medium heat, bring whipping cream to a low boil and pour over chopped chocolate. Let stand for two minutes, then stir mixture with a spatula until chocolate is completely melted. Stir in cooled strawberry rhubarb fruit paste. Cover and let cool to room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator until firm – about 4-6 hours or overnight.
Form truffle cream into balls and roll in confectioner's sugar or in colored sugar. Keep refrigerated, or wrap airtight and freeze for up to 2 months.
Photo © Ric Ernst/Ecole Chocolat. All rights reserved.