Friday, December 30, 2011

Earl Grey Tea Chocolate Truffles and Biscuits - for the New Year!

Earl Grey Truffles and Earl Grey Biscuits/Cookies - very subtle and sophisticated!

Earl Grey Chocolate Truffles adapted from the book "Chocolates and Petits Fours" by Beverly Sutherland Smith
Start this recipe at least 4 hours before you want to serve the truffles as the chocolate needs a good amount of time to harden after melting - this is a very subtle flavour which greatly depends upon the bergamotiness of your chosen Earl Grey tea.
Ready for truffling - off we go!!
6oz semi-sweet chocolate - chips or block your choice - if you use block break it into small pieces to assist in quicker melting.  
2oz/1/2 stick butter cut into small pieces
6 fluid ounces  heavy/double cream
1 large egg  yolk
2 tablespoons strong Earl Grey tea (made from 2 tablespoons of loose tea and two tablespoons of boiling water - leave to steep for five minutes and drain - squeezing out the liquid from the tea -  for use in the truffles) from preferably loose tea which tends to have a better, deeper flavour  

3 heaped tbsps unsweetened cocoa powder
3 heaped tbsps confectioners/icing sugar
1 tablespoon Earl Grey tea ground fine in a coffee grinder

1. Put cream and butter in a small pan and warm gently until butter melts and cream bubbles around the edges.
2. Add a couple of tablespoons of the hot liquid to the egg yolk and blend thoroughly – add a couple of tablespoons more and then whisk the egg yolk and liquid carefully back into the cream and butter mixture – reheat to just almost boiling whisking all the time to heat the yolk through and make sure nothing curdles.
3. Take off the heat and put chocolate into the mix and stir until it’s all melted.
4. Add the 2 tablespoons of liquid Earl Grey tea and blend.
Lovely chocolatey Earl Grey yumminess ready to cool for at least a couple of hours.
5. Chill until firm – this can take at least a couple of hours if not longer – chocolate takes quite a long to ‘set-up’
6. When truffle chocolate is set - it sets to a hardness like soft cookie dough - sift cocoa, icing/powdered sugar and ground tea together and spread on a small plate.
7. Form chilled truffle mix into small balls and roll in the sugar, tea, cocoa mix.
You can replace the Earl Grey liquid tea with 2 tablespoons of a liqueur of your choice - Brandy, Rum, Grand Marnier, Frangelico - they all would taste good - if you choose to do this then leave out the ground tea in the truffle and also in the coating too.
Ta Dah – you have delicious subtle truffles - they are very rich and the ones you see pictured below could actually have been half the size I made them here -  I would go for a size a little bigger than a hazelnut.
Hello my little truffle!!
and now for -
Earl Grey Tea Biscuits/Cookies from a recipe by Claire Robinson on the Food Network.
These need to be chilled for at least 1/2 hour before baking so factor that into your timing. 

10 ozs white flour
2 heaped tablespoons loose Earl Grey tea ground fine in a coffee grinder 
4oz icing/ confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8oz butter at room temperature – I always use salted butter but you can use unsalted and then add a dash of salt to the recipe

DIRECTIONS: Makes about 24 biscuits/cookies
1. Mix together the flour, ground tea, and salt until the tea is just spotted throughout the flour.
2. Add the confectioner's sugar, vanilla and butter and either rub together by hand until it sticks together (as I do as I love to use my hands and not machines - makes a nice break from using the computer!) or pulse in a food processor until it holds together and a dough is formed.
3. Place dough on a sheet of waxed paper and roll into a log, about 2 inches in diameter. Tightly twist each end of wrap and chill in refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
5. Remove dough from fridge and slice the log into 1/3-inch thick disks.
I know this is Earl GREY tea but I didn't think the dough would look so grey!
 6. Place disks 12 each on 2 baking sheets - about 2 inches apart.
7. Bake until the edges are just brown - the recipe said about 12 minutes but now I think 10 would have been better for mine as they looked great at 10 but I couldn't resist putting them back in for another 2 minutes and they came out overdone - so start checking at about 8 and see how you go - they should look like the picture below not like mine which are too brown.
GOOD colour for the biscuits!
My biscuits/cookies - they are too browned :(((( - they still tasted good though! and a nice texture too.
 8. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks and cool to room temperature.

Ta Dah now you have Earl Grey Biscuits/Cookies to go with your Earl Grey Truffles – I have to be honest and admit the flavor of the Earl Grey in the cookies isn’t very pronounced and if I make these again I would figure a way to get the flavor out with boiling water as I did for the truffles above but I haven’t figured out how to do that yet as adding liquid will probably mess with the end result cookie/biscuit which is actually very nice!!.
Darkness has fallen and once again there's a little snow falling in Maine.
HAPPY BAKING AND TRUFFLING - let me know how your biscuits and truffles come out and 
HAPPY NEW YEAR - here's to a fine and dandy 2012.

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