March 26, 2008
I was at a catering college yesterday and was told there is a way of making truffles without cream therefore extending the shelf life, the lady said she would send me the recipe. I'm a bit dubious about this, we use fresh cream and ours have a short shelf life. What could you use to extend the shelf life. I see truffles in shops and wonder how they do it. And also, does it affect the taste? We do want to keep ours as fresh as possible so would adding something to them to extend the shelf life count as an additive? if so, I'm not sure we want to go down that road. What do you think?
June 23, 2007
There are lots of ways to make "everlasting" truffles...but they won't taste anything like one made with fresh cream!
Basically, to extend shelf life, you need to reduce the amount of water available to bacteria. You can do this by using less "wet" ingredients, ie butter or oil instead of cream, or by adding sorbitol or other humectants which "tie up" the water content in your truffle, making it unavailable to bacteria whilst keeping a softer consistency.
I was horrified to read in the ingredients of a well known local producer "vegetable margarine" as the main ingredient after sugar!
As ever, it's hard to make decisions of purity over commercial viability...I constantly get asked to make my chocolates for Delis but they all want a longer shelf life. I'm still holding out for flavour...I think there are enough people out there now who do care about the difference, so it's just getting them to notice you.
January 16, 2006
March 26, 2008
June 23, 2007
Hi Marcellus, re-boiling the cream, as you say does reduce the water content, but I find excessive heat gives a sort of "cooked" (well it would!) flavour to the cream...a bit like sterilised milk (yuk!). Probably to do with the caramelisation of the natural sugars. Also you may have trouble with ganache separating due to the milk fat being released from the reduced cream. I would think there is no advantage over simply using a richer cream, or adding butter at room temperature after. I'm no scientist, so you may get a more involved answer from someone else to explain the why and wherefore of it all. It's just my experience to date.
Hohare, I would say that sorbitol would be classed as an additive as it isn't a necessary component of a ganache unless you want to increase shelf life. That said, I think it's official title as an ingredient is "humectant".
Don't beat yourself up about it though...William Curley for one uses Trimoline as an emulsifying agent in his ganaches, and there's no mention of it in his sparse ingredients list. Equally he states "decor may contain colours" rather than list of E numbers. Another local supplier here states simply "chocolate" without any further declaration of ingredients or cocoa content, and according to the Deli owner, the Trading Standards inspector didn't flag it up, so it seems that there is a certain flexibility in labelling, at least until one gets caught as it were! I'm sure the letter of the law requires a full ingredients declaration, but then, why shoot yourself in the foot when so many others seem not to bother?
September 30, 2004
How you define additives becomes very important, as there's no legal definition of it. I assume you mean preservatives (sorbate, etc) to slow micro growth? if you do'nt want to use those, there are other things you can do, such as reduce the water activity (Aw). double boiling your cream may do that to some extent (or simply boiling it longer) as it'll boil off some moisture. It probably doesn't make that big of a difference though. Adding sugars/polyols such as sorbitol and corn syrup reduce the Aw as well - but if you're considering them an additive, they're off the table (more importantly, does your c ustomer consider them an additive? I would not, others may...). a very important question to ask is how long of shelf life do they want? if it's months, you're probably not going to want to go the route of cream based. if it's 4 weeks, you can probably get there...
If your looking for a way to extend the shelf life of truffles without an additive/preservative a butter ganache is worth considering. It is lower in water content and so has about twice the shelf life of a cream ganache. Yet it should be easy to experiment with because it follows a lot of the same basic rules as cream ganache. You can exchange unsalted butter for cream at the same ratio and usually gram weight. One important difference is it uses tempered chocolate and soft (approximately 27 degrees celsius) butter.
Something to keep in mind is that it is not a replacement for a cream ganache, it is merely a different type of ganache. It sets firmer and faster than a cream ganache and has a different mouthfeel. Because it sets firmer it can be difficult to roll into uniform balls, but with some practice and a little patience it can be done with much success.
Butter ganache is an excellent method, and I have several varieties in my line that sell well. Expect a max. 6-8 week shelf life. Things won't go bad, but just stale and eventually dry out.
Other varieties that I offer with extended shelf lives:
Fruit jellies (fruit puree, pectin)
Nut based (50% nut butter i.e hazelnut, and 50% couveture
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