Friday, September 22, 2006

Mysterious Truffles from "The Cook's Book", My favourite Recipe Collection.

What is the surprise ingredient?
how to make recipe for picture photograph of honey lime truffles from pierre herme in the cooks book

The picture I took above gives it away, but if you don't leave any visual clues when serving these Pierre Hermé Bittersweet Truffles with Lime and Honey I think I can 99.9% guarantee that anybody who tries them will not be able to guess what gives them their unfamiliar flavour. In my own experience absolutely no one has deciphered the star ingredient correctly so far, not even after several attempts, (and I have tried them out on close to two dozen people to date). It is surprising that everyone should have so much trouble detecting a common ingredient like lime, but maybe that is because it is such an unexpected pairing with chocolate.

When Alanna Kellogg of A Veggie Venture proposed the "Surprise Inside" theme for this month's edition of Sugar High Friday, I knew I had to share my enthusiasm for these mouthwatering truffles. One of the first people I tested these truffles on, described them more elegantly than I could ever put in to words:
"Like March, these truffles come in like a lion and go out like a lamb. It's the first touch of tongue against powdery unsweetened cocoa flecked with sugar and lime zest that creates a pucker and paves the way for a ganache that's as smooth as Jamie Foxx's come-on."
And highlighting these beauties for today's sweet event affords me the opportunity to showcase my current favourite recipe tome, too, "The Cook's Book". which, coincidentally, Amy featured on her blog just a couple of days ago. Despite the fact that Amy makes claims about me to the contrary, I absolutely adore cookbooks and am was indeed an addict. However, since I spent some time in cookbook rehab, I learnt to curb my addiction. These days I am more of a discerning recipe book buyer, resisting the need for quantity, sucumbing only for quality.

I absolutely LOVE this book. It is the first place I turn to when looking for ideas. I like it because it is a generalist book covering many different types and styles of cuisine, from Ferran Adrià's foams, through Rick Bayless's Mexican Cooking and Dan Leppard's doughs to Pierre Hermé's desserts. And, of course, his Bittersweet Truffles with Lime and Honey. If this leads you to jump to the conclusion that this is just a.n.other Celebrity Chef money spinner, please think again. These are not media whores who tout themselves on network television, these are celebrated chefs, great cooks whose names are well known because they have achieved and earnt respect in their various fields.

The Cook's Book is modern, well presented, cleanly designed and well laid out with beautiful photographs including step-by-step guides for many of the recipes. "How To's" include cutting fillets of fish, boning chicken, wrapping & baking a roast in salt dough, crumpets, baking a Frankfurter Kranz and hundreds of other ideas, both classic and progressive.

And you know what? If you want to make these mysterious guest-guessing truffles yourself, you'll just have to get your own copy of The Cooks Book to get a butchers at the recipe. So there.

(Ps sst.. Or you could cheat, but I think owning the book is the best option, you won't regret it!)

Archive: | 2004: A look inside Levende Lounge. I have since met the new chef and can't wait to give it another try.

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Mysterious Truffles from "The Cook's Book", My favourite Recipe Collection.


  • At 22/9/06 18:49, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    These look SO delish!! How long did they take to make?

  • At 22/9/06 19:05, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    hi Payal

    Well they don't take very long in physical terms but there is some waiting between stages.

    You have to make one portion of the recipe the day before.

    And then you have to leave the ganache to cool before piping, and then after they are formed leave another couple of hours.

    So it doesnt take too long but you need to have plenty of time and plan in advance before making them.

  • At 23/9/06 01:27, Blogger Pille said…

    I've never had chocolate with lime either (choc & orange, yes; choc & lemon - probably), so it's unlikely I would have guessed the secret ingredient. Must try making these and subjugate my own guests to the guessing test:)

  • At 23/9/06 01:43, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sam these remind me of the Christmas you and Becs made truffles as presents. I think they would be just right for my party but do I have the patience or time with all the other cooking I have planned. Maybe not

  • At 23/9/06 05:48, Blogger Alanna Kellogg said…

    Laughing out loud ... a green ovoid, a martini glass ... here I am, trying to imagine an olive truffle ... this is great, Sam, I do thank you for contributing to "Surprise Inside", it's really fun to see what everyone's come up with. Look for the round-up over the weekend ...

  • At 24/9/06 15:03, Blogger Brilynn said…

    These sound very intriguing, I've never met a truffle I didn't like!

  • At 24/9/06 19:12, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This is fascinating. The flavor combination sounds delightful, and I want to make these. Thing is, I have the Cook's Book, and so far every recipe I have tried from it has failed utterly. I do not trust it anymore. It worries me. I assume it's not entirely my fault, because I usually do very well following cookbook recipes.

  • At 25/9/06 06:36, Blogger Julie said…

    Thanks so much for writing about your favorite book. I've seen this one, but I've not had anyone personally recommend it. I love to make truffles, especially with interesting ingredients like this.

  • At 25/9/06 06:47, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    oh, what have you done...!
    now I just HAVE to make these - They look, and sound, so absolutely delicious(!)
    I love truffles, and this sounds very new and refreshing...
    can't wait to try them =)
    great SHF entry!

  • At 25/9/06 08:37, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thanks for the book rec—never came across this title until now. My saliva glands are in high gear just thinking about the honey and lime with dark chocolate.

  • At 25/9/06 09:25, Blogger Sam said…

    Pille - i dont think you will regret it.

    Mum - they are easy and impressive but you have to start them a day early and leave them time to chill

    Ak - thanks for getting the roundup finished so quickly!

    Brilynn - And I don't think this one would change your 100% record.

    Danielle - hmm - this is interesting - I have liked every recipe I have tried so far. Try the pork chops with melted onions - a favourite and so easy.

    Have also tried the tarte au citron
    Pizza dough
    Apple crisps
    pate brisee
    all of which have been very successful
    may have tried some others but can't remember off the top of my head.

    Oh yes - tried the almond pudding which was my least favourite

    julie - i recommend it, yes, but watch out because not everyone does (see Danielle above)

    Julia - they are very intrguing - i think you will like them

    vanessa - mine too, maybe i need to make some more?!

  • At 25/9/06 09:32, Blogger Unknown said…

    Rob and I made chai truffles a while back by simply steeping a few chai tea bags in the cream as we heated it. Totally shibby.

    Sure you can't post a copy of the recipe for all of us po' folks out here? He he.

  • At 25/9/06 12:11, Blogger Alpineberry Mary said…

    Hi Sam, I love lime with chocolate. One of my faves is the key lime pear covered in dark chocolate from Recchiuti. I guess that's more pear than lime, but you get my drift.

  • At 27/9/06 01:08, Blogger *fanny* said…

    Wow these sound so good Sam.
    I can't wait to receive my own copy of the cook's book.


  • At 2/10/06 06:58, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This comment is actually more for Garrett - Neat! I made chai truffles a while back using an idea from a friend, by making chai syrup (basically, very strong chai tea with sugar simmered into a highly flavorful simple syrup) and using that to flavor the truffle ganache.


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