By Kenya McCullum
During an online presentation for ACF Pittsburgh on September 21, 2020, Chef William Racin, CEPC, Pastry Chef at The Duquesne Club, demonstrated techniques for making three different kinds of molded truffles: Strawberry Passion Fruit, Apricot Hazelnut Matcha, and Coconut Lime Caramel. According to Racin, these recipes—which are made of all-natural ingredients—are the perfect combination of flavor, presentation, and convenience.
“The whole point of the demonstration was to try to use some convenience products for folks that didn’t have the time to go through the whole process of making everything from scratch,” he says.
Now that Valentine’s Day is around the corner, Chef Racin says these recipes are highly adaptable to provide the romantic desserts that customers expect on the most romantic day of the year. In fact, simple tweaks, like replacing the white or milk chocolate in these recipes with dark chocolate and introducing ingredients like tropical fruits or champagne, are adaptations that can make these desserts taste like something delivered à la carte from Cupid himself.
In addition to the recipes he demonstrated at ACF Pittsburgh, Chef Racin says that when it comes to Valentine’s Day pastry, chefs really can’t go wrong with sticking to culinary traditions—but with a twist.
“The thing about pastry, the classics always seem to stand out. I think it’s our job to stay true to those classics, but dress them up in a more contemporary way,” he says. “I will always have a vanilla crème brûlée on the menu, but that doesn’t necessarily limit me with the garniture. A really great crème brûlée can be garnished with a dehydrated rose meringue and a little champagne gelee on top—and then people can have some contrasting textures and flavors, but still enjoy that classic dessert.”
However, in the current COVID climate, Chef Racin admits that chefs may need to adapt slightly in order to give customers the romantic desserts they crave while preparing them in a takeout format.
“The only really kind of hindrance would probably be a frozen component. You have to pack them in dry ice, so it pulls a lot of ice creams and sorbets off my menu, but I can pretty much send everything out—it’s just not as elegantly plated because it’s in a plastic container,” he says. “Other than ice creams and sorbets, we’ve been able to stay true to our elite level cuisine in the takeout format.”
Strawberry Passion Fruit Truffles
- 28g strawberry puree
- 28g passion fruit puree
- 192g white chocolate, melted
- 35g heavy cream
- 14g butter
- 5g strawberry compound
- Freeze-dried passion fruit pieces
- Coat molds with colored cocoa butter and cast shells with tempered milk chocolate. Meanwhile, warm heavy cream, and strawberry puree.
- Using a stick blender emulsify the cream puree mixture into the white chocolate. Add passion fruit puree, compound and butter then continue to blend until smooth.
- Meanwhile, deposit freeze dried passion fruit pieces into the pre-lined polycarbonate molds. Top with ganache and cap truffles with tempered milk chocolate.
Apricot Hazelnut Matcha Truffles
- 70g heavy cream
- 4g green tea powder
- 154g white chocolate, melted
- 16g butter
- Apricot jam, as needed
- Praline croquantine, as needed
- Coat molds with colored cocoa butter and cast shells with tempered white chocolate.
- Meanwhile, warm heavy cream and green tea powder. Using a stick blender, emulsify the cream puree mixture into the white chocolate. Add butter and continue to blend until smooth.
- Fill the molds one third of the with a high quality apricot Jam. Melt and pipe croquantine to two-thirds of the mold. Finally, top with green tea ganache and allow to crystalize completely before unmolding.
Coconut Lime Caramel Truffles
- 200g caramel base*
- 66g milk chocolate, Melted
- 15g fresh lime juice
- Cocos gianduja, as needed
- 147g heavy cream
- 70g glucose
- 84g sugar
- 17g butter
- Coat molds with colored cocoa butter and cast shells with tempered white chocolate. To make the base, caramelize sugar and glucose until deep amber. Deglaze with heavy cream and whisk in butter. Scale caramel to 200g and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Using a stick blender, emulsify the caramel into the milk chocolate. Once smooth, add lime juice. Fill the prepared cavities half of the way. Meanwhile, melt cocos gianduja and cap the caramel base, filling the cavities the rest of the way.
- Once crystalized completely cap the molds with tempered white chocolate.