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Chocolate and fruit are great partners and here, Dede Wilson offers an easy and delicious way to combine them. Black currant is a European favorite, but mango or strawberry are delicious too.
By Dede Wilson
Dede Wilson | Truffles: 50 Deliciously Decadent Homemade Chocolate Treats | Harvard Common Press, 2006
Pâte de fruit is a classic European confection in which fruit pulp is combined with sugar and pectin, allowed to set, and cut into squares. Here, a layer of black currant pâte the fruit is combined with dark chocolate ganache. (Check www.perfectpuree.com of Napa Valley for sales outlets or mail order.) Make sure you have an 8¼ x 4¼-inch straight-sided loaf pan, as well as a candy thermometer. The liquid pectin can be found in most supermarkets. These are best eaten within 5 days and should not be frozen. - Dede Wilson
8 oz. frozen black currant puree, defrosted
¾ cup plus 3 tbsps. sugar
3 tbsps. liquid pectin
7 tbsps. heavy whipping cream
4 oz. bittersweet couverture chocolate, very finely chopped
Dutch processed cocoa powder
28 small fluted paper cups (optional)
Line an 8¼ x 4¼-inch straight-sided loaf pan with plastic wrap, allowing wrap to overhang on two sides. Smooth out any wrinkles. Coat wrap lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
Whisk puree and ½ cup sugar together in a wide heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil, adjust heat to a simmer and cook until mixture reaches 220°F. Remove from heat and quickly whisk in the remaining sugar and the pectin. Place back over heat and simmer until mixture reaches 230°F, about 6 minutes. Immediately scrape mixture into prepared pan, smoothing the top with a small offset spatula. Allow to cool and firm up at room temperature.
Place cream in a 2-quart wide saucepan over medium heat until it just comes to a simmer. Remove from heat and immediately sprinkle chocolate into cream. Cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes; the heat should melt the chocolate. Stir very gently until smooth. Pour ganache over fruit layer and tap pan on work surface to release any air bubbles. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until firm enough to cut, at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.
Dust a clean work surface with some cocoa powder. Place more cocoa powder in a small bowl so that it is at least 2 inches deep; set aside. Line a jelly-roll pan with aluminum foil. Release the truffle from the pan by pulling up on the overhanging plastic edges. Flip over onto cocoa-covered work surface and peel off the plastic. Cut into small squares (4x7 rows) using a cocoa-dusted knife. Gently toss each square in cocoa powder, taking care to preserve its shape. Place on prepared jelly-roll pan and refrigerate until very firm. Place in fluted paper cups, if desired, and serve at cool room temperature.
Truffles © 2006 Dede Wilson. Photo © Harvard Common Press. All rights reserved.