I came up with a new recipe today for a ganache that's been floating around in my head ever since I tried a very highly rated Doppelbock beer from Germany called Celebrator Ale. As soon as I tasted it I thought that this beer would go with dark chocolate surprisingly well. I sat on the idea for a couple of months and today I thought I'd give it a whirl. The challenge was to figure out what ratio of beer to chocolate would work. I'd want it to have a definite beer flavor, but there's a problem with adding beer to chocolate. You can't simply add liquid to melted chocolate--if you do, it will instantly create a chain reaction that will cause the chocolate to seize up into a grainy unusable mess. Any liquids that are added need to be in an emulsion with fat. What I did was to mix a 50/50 ratio of beer and cream. To create a nice mouthfeel, I added some butter and malt syrup, used in making beer, which also I figured would supplement the beer flavor.
I think I really have a winner--it's really, really tasty! I licked the bowl clean, and I don't think many people will have ever tasted a chocolate quite like this.
I'm looking forward to letting the ganache set up, and then making truffles tomorrow to see what the finished chocolates will taste like. I think it's just as good as my Irish Cream chocolates. I'll be bringing some samples into work tomorrow to see what my colleagues think.
Here's my goal with every one of these experiments: to tweak each recipe to the point where it's as good as it can be. It will be good enough for me only when at least someone who samples each kind tells me it's the best chocolate they've ever had. If you can achieve that, then you really know that if you were to ever market them, you'd have some winners. Someone was kind enough to say that about my Irish Cream chocolates, so one down--about 20 more to go!
Working with chocolate makes me happy.