Dark chocolate filled with coconut butter ganache

Mmm….coconut and chocolate…I really wanted to make some sort of chocolate, so I was browsing through my bible (aka, Chocolates and Confections by Peter Greweling). I have yet to purchase certain key confectionery ingredients that I can only get online, so that limited my options. I wanted to do a molded chocolate because my molds have been feeling neglected, but I also wanted to try a new filling. I came across the “Butter Ganache” section of the book and decided to give it a try. I’m not going to post the exact recipe because the recipes in Greweling’s book have such technical components behind them that I feel like it’s a disservice to just post the recipes by themselves (and I’m too lazy to explain the techniques). As time goes on, hopefully I will figure out the best way to blog about the projects. I’m still learning.

The filling included: Melted and tempered white chocolate, room temperature butter, cream of coconut, coconut extract, and shredded coconut.

This particular project presented some challenges. For Christmas, I was fortunate to receive several pounds of Callebaut semi-sweet chocolate. Because I’m still learning how to work with chocolate, I typically buy the Trader Joe’s Pound Plus chocolate. It is inexpensive, easy to work with, and easy to obtain. After many months of using the TJ’s chocolate, the Callebaut chocolate certainly was a treat…or so I thought. I melted it down and went through the tempering process. I couldn’t believe how thick it was. It seemed way too thick to be able to pour into the molds. I was certain that I had done something wrong. It didn’t help that it was extremely hot and humid the entire time that I tried to work with it. I tested the chocolate for temper and it just didn’t seem to be setting up. I tried tempering it 2 or 3 more times and finally said, “I give up. I’m just going to pour it in the molds and see what happens.” Well, it turned out to be fairly well tempered. I had some minor marbling, perhaps from the heat/humidity, or maybe due to the several attempt at tempering, but in the end, it turned out better than I had predicted.

Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse Trifle

I have no idea if it is correct to call this a trifle, so feel free to correct me if you have a better name for it! My husband’s 30th birthday was in April and I wanted to come up with something delicious and decadent, but in single servings so that we wouldn’t have delicious decadence hanging around the house for a week. I liked the idea of having different layers visible through the glass, and I also wanted some contrasting textures. What I came up with was pretty delicious, but I would make some changes if I were to make it again. I was pretty excited that my first attempt at mousse was successful.

From bottom to top:
-Crumbled chocolate cookie (from a mix). This is the #1 thing that I would change the next time around, either by omitting it entirely, or replacing it with something else.
-Chocolate mousse (recipe from epicurious.com)
-Chopped toasted hazlenuts
-Hazelnut mousse, made with Nutella and Frangelico
-Chopped Fererro Rocher chocolates