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Hand-made chocolates are always a welcome hostess gift, especially when they include the spark of cognac and preserved ginger, as in this sophisticated little treat from the book, Chocolate Ecstacy: 75 of the Most Dangerous Recipes Ever by Christine France.
By Christine France
The pretty outer shells, decorated with candied ginger, conceal a creamy mixture of chocolate, cognac and ginger syrup.
Christine France suggests using simple chocolate molds to give your chocolates a highly professional finish. She suggests: "Polishing the molds thoroughly with a soft cotton cloth results in really glossy chocolates that are relatively easy to remove. If they do stick, put them in the fridge for a short time, then try again. Don't chill them for too long or you may dull the surface of the chocolate."
11 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 tbsps. heavy or whipping cream
2 tbsps. cognac
1 tbsp. preserved ginger syrup
4 pieces of preserved ginger, finely chopped
Crystallized ginger, to decorate
Polish the inside of about 18-20 chocolate molds with a soft cloth. Melt about two-thirds of the chocolate in a heat proof bowl over hot water, then spoon a little into each mold. Reserve a little of the melted chocolate for sealing the creams.
Using a small brush, paint the chocolate up the sides of the molds to coat them evenly, then invert them onto a sheet of wax paper and let set.
Melt the remaining chocolate, then stir in the cream, cognac, ginger syrup and chopped ginger, mixing well. Spoon into the chocolate-lined molds. Warm the reserved chocolate if necessary, then spoon a little into each mold to seal. Leave in a cool place (not the fridge) until set.
To remove the chocolates from the molds, gently press them out onto a cool surface. Decorate with small pieces of crystallized ginger.
Chocolate Ecstacy © 1996 Christine France. Photo © Lorenz Books. All rights reserved.