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Valrhona has long been considered one of the finest chocolate makers in Europe. These lollipops are fun as party favors or to include in gift baskets. Make sure you use only the freshest walnuts as they can become stale and rancid easily. The recipe calls for a creamy caramel, the best kind, but do be careful when adding the cream to the boiling sugar. Make sure your pan is deep enough to prevent boil-overs.
Source: Valrhona Chocolate
“Discover dozens of home baking recipes dedicated to all chocolate aficionados. U.S. Corporate Pastry Chefs Alex Espiritu and Derek Poirier have adapted this recipe from Valrhona's chocolate school in France, L'Ecole du Grand Chocolat, to reproduce in the comfort of home kitchens everywhere.” - Valrhona
Yield: 50 lollipops
1 cup sugar
1 cup cream
1 vanilla bean
3 oz. Valrhona Le Noir 61% or Le Noir 68% or Caraibe 66%
2 oz. Valrhona Le Lait 39% Baking Bar (Valrhona Milk Chocolate)
1 tbsp. butter
1 cup chopped walnuts
Additional dark chocolate for dipping
Heat the cream together with the vanilla bean.
Place sugar in a small pot. Stir with a small amount of water, just enough to make it the consistency of wet sand. Make sure there are no sugar crystals on the side of the pot. Cook without stirring until it reaches a dark caramel color.
Remove the vanilla bean from the cream and pour the hot cream onto the caramel little by little (watch out for splatters!).
Bring the caramel mixture to a boil and cook to about 240°F degrees (around 5/7 minutes) and pour onto the chopped chocolate, add the butter and vigorously mix until you obtain a shiny texture. Add the walnuts and immediately pour into a silicon or non-stick 9”x12” baking pan; let harden for 12 hours in the refrigerator.
Remove from pan onto a cutting board. Cut circles with small cutter and insert the lollipop sticks.
Melt chocolate and temper (see instructions) and dip lollipops in to coat them.
Chef's tips: For a change of flavor, replace the walnuts with coarsely ground coffee beans and add the zest of an orange, vanilla and a pinch of aniseed or powdered cardamom.
© 2011 Valrhona Chocolate Company