Chocolate Almond Cups and Marble Dipped Strawberries.

This is the third post in a series of many to document our supremely chocolatey cooking class with Chef Sarah Leavell of The Canebrake.

The chocolate almond cups were the second treat we tasted from Chef Sarah’s kitchen.   I really enjoyed these tiny bites more than the truffle (which I didn’t think was possible).

Chef Sarah states:

For this recipe, use small foil candy wrappers that can be found at specialty pastry shops and online.   The method used in this recipe could be applied to several different fun fillings.   This recipe was adapted from the book Truffles, Candies & Confections by Carole Bloom.

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This recipe yields sixty 1-inch cups.   That’s a lot of almond cups!

Chocolate Almond Cups
Adapted by Chef Sarah Leavell (from Carole Bloom)

1 1/2 lbs. chocolate, finely chopped (divided)
3/4 c. heavy whipping cream
1/2 c. toasted, finely ground almonds
60 whole almonds, toasted

Place 8 oz. of the chocolate in a 2-quart mixing bowl.

In a 1-quart saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream to a boil.

Pour the cream into the bowl with 1/2 lbs. of the chocolate.   Let the mixture stand for 1 minute, then stir together with a rubber spatula.   Add the ground almonds and blend well.   Cover and let cool to room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator until thick but not stiff (2-3 hours).

Melt and temper the remaining 1 pound of chocolate.

Pour the chocolate in a paper pastry cone and cut off a 1/2-inch opening at the pointed end of the cone or pour the chocolate into a plastic squeeze bottle.   (The latter is the method that Chef Sarah prefers.)

Pipe or squeeze chocolate into 60 1-inch foil candy cups, filling them.    Let the chocolate set up around the edges for 3 minutes, then turn the cups upside down over a sheet of parchment or waxed paper and let the chocolate run out.    This will leave a thin film of chocolate in each cup.

Fit a 12-inch pastry bag with a large, plain round tip with a 1/2-inch opening and fill partway with the truffle cream.   Pipe truffle cream into each foil cup to 3/4 full.

Squeeze or pipe the remaining tempered chocolate onto the top of each cup, filling them to the top edge.   Then, place a whole almond on top of each cup, pressing lightly.

Let the candies set up at room temperature for 1 hour, or chill them in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

In a tightly covered container wrapped in several layers of aluminum foil, the almond cups will keep for 1 month in the refrigerator or 2 months in the freezer.

What’s remaining with the candy treats?   Marbled dipped strawberries.

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The trio.

To dip the strawberries, Chef Sarah used tempered dark chocolate and white chocolate.    To “marble” them, simply take the big dipping bowl of dark chocolate and drizzle in “stripes” of white chocolate.   Dip and add more white chocolate as needed.

But, here is the interesting part:   she then sprinkled freshly ground tri-colored pepper on the chocolate.   The pepper just added a needed bit of “oomph” to the strawberries.   I really can’t explain it beyond that.2013-02-09 11.01.44

The Canebrake restaurant strives to use local produce whenever possible.   Chef Sarah apologized that she used California strawberries BUT rationalized that she couldn’t do a chocolate class without dipping strawberries.


Stay tuned for a delicious chocolate pear jam.

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