Christmas orange and spice chocolates

For a sophisticated end to a meal, try Marc Demarquette's rich and exquisite chocolate truffles infused with citrus and warm spices
Christmas orange and spice chocolates
  • Rating:
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus overnight cooling
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

For the ganache

  • 700 g dark chocolate, (65-72 per cent cocoa solids)
  • 300 g good milk chocolate
  • 300 g double cream
  • 1 tbsp clear honey
  • grated zest of 1 oranges
  • grated zest of 1 lemons
  • thumb-size piece of ginger, grated (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 5 cloves, ground to a powder
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

For the coating

  • 1 kg dark chocolate, (70 per cent or so cocoa solids)

To decorate

  • toasted almonds
  • whole pistachio nuts
  • dried citrus zest
  • toasted sesame seeds

Tips and Suggestions

this is a simple way of making great chocolates for gifts. The infusions can be added to or omitted depending on your taste. Simply leave out the spices if you just want an orange flavour or vice versa. The essential oils will develop over time, so the chocolates get better with age.

Method

1. For the ganache: melt the dark and milk chocolates in a bowl over a pan of gently simmering water.

2. Bring the cream to a simmer and add the honey, citrus zest, ginger and spices. Stir gently, then take off the heat and leave for 1 minute.

3. Pour the cream over the melted chocolate through a sieve and gently stir with a whisk from the centre. When you feel resistance, speed up slowly and incorporate the sides. Once fully incorporated, the ganache will be one dark glossy mass. Leave for 10 minutes to cool and thicken.

4. Line a board or tray with cling film. Pour the ganache on top and with a spatula, spread to no more than 1cm deep. Leave overnight in a dry and cool (but not cold) area.

5. Turn the ganache onto a clean surface and, using a knife, cut into pieces no bigger than your thumb.

6. For the coating: melt 650g of the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Remove the bowl from the pan. Grate the rest of the chocolate and stir into the bowl, then place over the pan again for 1 minute to bring it to no more than 31C.

7. Using a fork, dip a chocolate ganache into the melted chocolate. Tap gently to get rid of any excess and place on a baking sheet. Decorate with a toasted almond, a pistachio nut or some dried zest.


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