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curls

Notter's orange raspberry chocolate

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Has anybody made the orange raspberry bon bon from Notter's book "The Art of the Chocolatier: From Classic Confections to Sensational Showpieces"? It is described as a smooth raspberry coulis, atop a dark ganache, infused with fresh orange juice, encased in a dark chocolate shell. What did you think of it? I'm very curious about the texture and taste of the raspberry coulis. Unfortunately the book shows a picture on the finished piece (no step-by-step photos or a cut-away photo).

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I have made it several times, and it has been a favorite of people who tasted it (including me). As with many recipes, I have learned a few things from my experience:

The raspberry coulis recipe did not result in enough, at least for the molds I was using (rather large, deep ones to allow for the two layers). I now use 1 1/2 times the amount listed for ingredients for the coulis. In addition, when I followed the instructions to "boil for 3 minutes," I got raspberry rubber. Now I cook it just until it starts to thicken a bit since it thickens a lot more as it cools. Incidentally with the "raspberry rubber," I was able to thin it out with water so as to pipe it successfully.

As for the orange-dark chocolate ganache: I found the proportion of chocolate to liquefier somewhat off. The recipe calls for 165g orange juice (after being reduced) + 100g cream, but only 175g chocolate. That's an approximate ratio of 1.5 parts liquefier to 1 part chocolate. Even Notter himself states (p. 111) that the ratio should be 1:1 for a "soft ganache for molded pralines." So that would mean 265g chocolate. The first time I made this praline I followed the recipe as written, and the ganache never firmed up (it was OK because it was molded, but it was quite soft).

All that said, it is a delicious combination of flavors and textures. In general, I have found that the recipes in Notter's book produce some of the most interesting, best tasting pralines (the yuzu-ginger is fantastic), but some of the quantities need tweaking (at least in my limited experience).

Jim

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Jim D. that you for all the helpful hints! Two more questions for you... What type of pectin did you use for the raspberry coulis? What was the shelf-life for the chocolate?

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I used what Chef Rubber calls "pectin pate de fruit," so it's not Shotts's special g-pectin or Pomona's pectin that requires calcium water.

I can't give you an exact shelf life since I am not making chocolates in a commercial situation but giving them away to friends and family. I can say that there are probably two weeks between the time I make them and the time the last ones are given out. I include a guide in each box saying they are best when eaten within a couple of weeks after receiving them and, if they are going to be kept longer than that, they should be refrigerated (on the theory than it's better to have a refrigerated chocolate than a killer chocolate). I have kept some even longer than that for myself and they have been fine. I always look for any signs of mold, etc., but have never seen any--though I must confess I am not sure what mold would look like in a ganache. I assume you are in a commercial situation. I don't think this item is any different from pate de fruit or a regular dark chocolate ganache filling. Maybe I am too trusting, but I assume Notter's, Greweling's, and Wybauw's recipes provide adequate shelf life.

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