I came across a recipe for an Asian 5-spice chocolate cake the other day and was intrigued by the idea. The author, chef Christian Thornton, suggests to serve the cake with ginger whipped cream and I took those concepts and applied them to the chocolate truffles here.
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The crystallized ginger bits give you something to bite into and the 5-spice powder (cinnamon, fennel, clove, star anise and white pepper) adds a very, I would say, sophisticated flavor. The anise comes through quite strongly so if you’re not a fan of its licorice-like taste, then I predict you won’t like these truffles. If you do, I think you’ll love them. It’s something special and out of the ordinary and at the same time very easy to make. Enjoy!
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
- pinch of salt
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used Ghirardelli 60 percent cacao bittersweet chocolate baking bars)
- ¼ cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
- unsweetened cocoa powder to roll the truffles in
- Add cream, butter, spice and salt to a saucepan, bring to a boil and stir until you have a homogeneous mix.
- Pour the hot cream mix over the chocolate and let sit for 1 minute.
- Stir together until everything is well combined and no large chocolate clumps remain. (You may need to heat the mixture over a pot of simmering water to get rid of the last clumps).
- Stir in the crystallized ginger.
- Cover and put in the fridge for 3 hours.
- With a melon baller or a scoop or spoon, scoop out the chocolate and quickly roll into balls with your hands.
- Roll each ball in the cocoa powder.
- Keep the truffles in the fridge until you serve them and don't inhale when you bite into them (seriously!).
Food Photography and Styling:I wanted an elegant and sophisticated set for these truffles and went with white crockery and placemats. Both the “floor” and the “wall” are sheets of beadboard that I got from the hardware store some time ago. For some contrast to all the elegance I used my beat-up, antique milk crate upside down as the “table” and I think this mismatch worked well in this particular case here.
Nikon D600, 105mm, f/4, 1/125 sec., ISO 100. One Hensel Integra Pro Plus 500 Monolight, 35″ x 58″ Softbox.