Fresh Chocolate Truffles with Lavender and Fennel

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The lavender and fennel flavors are infused into the cream used in the ganache to create this delicious and unusual truffle. The recipe is from Green and Black's new cookbook, Unwrapped ($19.99, Kyle Cathie), which has 100 recipes β€œto tempt, tease and torment lovers of this food of the gods.”

By Green & Black's Chocolate

Fresh Chocolate Truffles with Lavender and Fennel

The combination of culinary lavender and sweet fennel seeds makes for an unusual but fabulous flavor profile with these truffles.

Yield: 28

Ingredients

1/2 tsp. whole fennel seeds
6 ounces Green & Black's Organic Dark Chocolate with 70% cocoa solids
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tbsps. unsalted butter, diced
1 tsp. pesticide-free dried lavender
2 tbsps. granulated sugar
1/4 cup organic unsweetened cocoa powder

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Recipe Instructions

Place the fennel seeds in a small, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Toast the seeds until fragrant, about 3 minutes (watch carefully, so they don't burn). Using a spice grinder or mini-food processor, grind to a fine powder, about 30 seconds. Set aside.

In a food processor, grind the chocolate to a fine powder, about 10 seconds. Pour ground chocolate into a medium-sized, heatproof bowl, and set aside.

Place the cream and butter in a small, heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, about 1-2 minutes. Once boiling, remove from heat and stir in the lavender and fennel seeds. Cover and steep for 10 minutes.

Strain the infused cream into the bowl with the ground chocolate, pressing on the solids in the strainer with the back of a spoon. Discard solids remaining in the strainer. Add the granulated sugar to the chocolate-cream (ganache) mixture. Whisk the chocolate, cream, and sugar together until smooth. If not completely smooth, place the bowl over a pan of simmering water to help melt the chocolate a little more. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 2 hours until the mixture is thick enough to scoop.

When ready to form truffles, sieve the cocoa powder into a small- to medium-sized bowl to break up any clumps. Set the large platter that you'll be using for storing the truffles next to it. Remove the ganache from the fridge.

Using a teaspoon melon baller or teaspoon measurer and your hands, form balls out of the ganache. Dredge the balls in the cocoa, shake off any excess, and place the finished truffles on the platter. Continue making truffles until all of the ganache has been used up.

Chill truffles for 30 minutes or more, and serve.

© 2008 Green & Black's Chocolate Limited. All rights reserved.

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Photography by Jessica Washburn, Bliss Chocolatier and Ecole Chocolat

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