Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Good-Tempered Valentine’s Day (Chocolate Bonbons)

When the soufflé of life disappointingly deflates and it seems no one’s got your back, well… what girl doesn’t turn to chocolate?  I take comfort that in an uncertain world, the crystalline structure of chocolate will, if carefully heated, cooled, and heated again to exacting temperatures,* reliably return to its subtly lustrous yet cheerfully snappy state.

Quince Hearts and Nutella Hazelnut Bon Bons
Chocolate dipped quince hearts, hazelnut Nutella bonbons.

Life’s grandest adventure is found not on the open road, but within the mysterious alcoves of the heart.  This Valentine’s Day, let your own heart rise to its challenges.   What’s the worst that could happen?

* There are several ways to temper or encourage “Type V” crystal formation in chocolate, but the most sensuous and beguiling (although also the trickiest) is to pour a portion of 115F degree melted dark chocolate onto a marble slab, work it until its temperature drops to 80F, then add it back to the pot and gently seek a final temp of 90F.  If you have the technology to plug your electric vest into a wall outlet, it’s a fine tool to keep the chocolate at this temperature while you work with it.  Failing that, bring your appropriately wired motorcycle into the kitchen.

No comments: