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Sweets for your sweetheart

february 10, 2010

Sweets for Your Sweetheart
WildFlour’s Lauren Mitterer offers a tutorial on a perfect-for-Valentine’s treat

Photographs by Christopher Nelson

Looking to whip up some melt-in-your-mouth Valentine’s Day confections? Lauren Mitterer, owner of WildFlour Pastry on Spring Street, has the perfect idea: truffles. “Made from a simple ganache recipe, they’re pretty and delicious enough to impress, and you can personalize them with all kinds of coatings,” she says.

When it comes to sweets, Mitterer knows her stuff. This graduate of the Culinary Institute of America’s pastry program honed her skills in Vail, New York City, and Seattle restaurants before moving to the Lowcountry in 2004. She’d been lured to town with a pastry chef position at Red Drum that ultimately earned her a James Beard Award nomination in 2008. Last September, she opened WildFlour.

“I’ve made ganache everywhere I’ve worked, because there are so many applications for it—aside from truffles, you can use it to frost brownies, layer inside cakes, and fill tarts,” explains Mitterer. As for what kind of cocoa to use for these decadent treats? “Truffles are only as good as the chocolate they’re made with, so I suggest higher-end brands like Scharffen Berger and Valrhona,” she says. After you’ve shaped the ganache into balls, you can roll them in your choice of coatings. “Cinnamon, cocoa powder or nibs, powdered or colored sugar, coconut, and ground nuts all work well,” notes Mitterer. “Get creative!”

Dark Chocolate Truffles
(Makes 20-30)
1 lb. dark chocolate, chips or chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tbs. light corn syrup
5 Tbs. butter, room temperature
Coating(s) of your choice

Place chocolate in a dry bowl. In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring cream and corn syrup to a boil, then immediately pour over chocolate. Allow to sit two to three minutes. With a rubber spatula, stir the chocolate mixture, starting from the center of the bowl and working your way outward. Once mixed, gently stir in butter.

Let cool at room temperature, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Once ganache is stiff enough to hold its shape, use a two-teaspoon ice-cream scoop to portion it onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

Roll each scoop between palms to create a ball, then roll in coating. Return to refrigerator until firm.

For Lauren’s tips on working with chocolate ganache, click here.

For more information about WildFlour Pastry, click here.

For Charleston magazine’s online database of recipes, click here.



Wed, 02/10/2010