If you are a Doctor Who fan you might understand what inspired the theme of this post- and you might not. Every year there is a Christmas special, and it is always crazy, science fiction-y, imaginative, artsy, and reminiscent of the holiday season. About two years ago the episode was a take off of A Christmas Carol. I thought it was a very intriguing show and was rather beautiful visually. What I thought most interesting, was the fish that floated around in the air above the foggy London- like town. Hence- the idea behind the little gold chocolate fish truffles I created to give as gifts.
Unfortunately, I missed the Doctor Who Christmas special this year. But I do look forward to seeing the rerun! If you have never seen the show I highly encourage it. I am the type who was never interested in science fiction before. Sure, the series is quite strange, but you do get used to it. It is just so creative, surprising and of course, British- what's not to love? I also find that its wackiness makes it one of those shows that is a good escape.
I had meant to get this post out before Christmas, but in many ways the holidays have been somewhat subdued this year. I know that we are all feeling a common sympathy for those who have gone through the many recent horrible tragedies. My family has also been mourning the passing of my grandfather. All of this sadness only makes it more critical to treasure what we have every day and surround ourselves by loved ones. Hopefully all can find some peace this holiday season.
I have been working on a magazine to post on my blog soon. It is a glimpse of this time of year in New Mexico, including photography of places, locally made products, traditional cuisine and recipes, and more! So stay tuned :)
Candied Grapefruit, Orange and Tangerine Peel
makes about 2 1/2 cups
2 yellow grapefruits
1 ruby grapefruit
3 cara cara oranges
1 naval orange
1 3/4 cups sugar
1. With a sharp paring knife, slice off the ends of grapefruits, oranges, and tangerines. Following curve of fruit, cut away outermost peel, leaving most of the white pith on fruit. Slice peel lengthwise into 1/4 inch wide strips.
2. In a medium pot of boiling water, cook peel until tender, about 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer peel to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet; spread in a single layer to dry slightly, about 15 minutes.
3. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 1/4 cups sugar and 1 1/4 cups water to a boil over high, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add peel and boil until it turns translucent and syrup thickens, 8 to 10 minutes. With slotted spoon, transfer peel to a wire rack, separating the pieces as needed.
4. Let peel dry 1 hour. Toss with 1/2 cup sugar to coat.
Recipe slightly adapted from Everyday Food: January/ February 2010
Candied Citrus Chocolate Truffles
makes about 24 1 1/2 inch truffles
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 ounces (1 cup) bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4-1/2 cup minced candied citrus peel
1 lb. tempered semi-sweet chocolate (I followed this process to temper chocolate)
1. First, prepare the ganache filling. Place the chopped bittersweet chocolate in a medium bowl, and set aside. Pour the heavy cream into a small saucepan, and bring it to a simmer over medium heat.
2. Once the cream is near boiling, pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and let it sit for 1 minute to soften. Gently whisk the cream and chocolate together until they are a smooth, homogeneous mixture. Add the vanilla extract and candied citrus peel and stir to blend. Press a piece of cling wrap to the top of the ganache and let it sit at room temperature to cool. It is ready to use when it is no longer warm at all, but still fairly fluid.
3. While the ganache cools, prepare the molds. Temper the chocolate, and spoon some into each cavity in the mold, so that they are entirely filled.
4. Wait about 1 minute, then flip the mold upside down over a piece of waxed paper. The cavities should be completely coated. The excess chocolate will drip down onto the paper.
5. Take an offset spatula and run it across the top of the mold, removing any excess chocolate from the top.
6. Let the chocolate mold harden. You can place the mold in the refrigerator to set quickly. Once set, spoon the ganache into the molds, filling each cavity 3/4 full. Tap the molds on the counter to release any air bubbles. Refrigerate the molds to firm up the ganache, for about 30-45 minutes.
7. Once the ganache is chilled, re-temper the chocolate and spoon some on top of each cavity, spreading it to the edges so the ganache is completely sealed in. Scrape off the excess again with an offset spatula.
8. Allow the chocolate truffles to completely set in the refrigerator. Then turn the mold upside down and gently tap them out of the mold. If you would like, brush the finished truffles with gold luster dust. Truffles can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Recipe very slightly adapted from Elizabeth LaBau of About.com 2011