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A Polderman

Pecan Gianduja Ganache recipe / theory advice

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SO I was super excited to try a "spin off" of Peter Greweling's,  Bourbon Stratospheres recipe in his book Chocolate & Confections. Basically it is a Starch molded Whisky liquor set atop a Pecan Gianduja Ganache then hand dipped.

The recipe called for nuts and powdered sugar for the Gianduja. I smoked my nuts over hickory then candied them in a smoked paprika, ghost chili pepper and then ground them in my food processor to make my paste. SO needless to say, I have several hours invested in this before I even start on the recipe!!

 

Got my starch molded whisky liquors ready to go but having issues with the Gianduja Ganache and need to figure this out quickly as starch molded liquors must be coated within 48 hours.

 

I made it exactly as the recipe calls except for candying my nuts before processing rather than using powdered sugar. I Measured all my ingredients by scale and slabbed my GORGEOUS  Gianduja Ganache and let it rest covered in Plastic wrap overnight. The next day, I coated it with a thin layer of thinned chocolate and then cut in squares. The Ganache was actually stuck to my acetate sheet and would not come off. I chilled it for about half an hour and could then remove them with a thin scrapper but they were very soft and pliable. Laying on the tray they were misshaped and do not look nice.  I do not feel I made an error as the ganache appeared to be in a tempered state and I took temp readings along the way ensuring the process.

 

I am wondering if anyone else had tried this recipe and had success/issues? My thoughts are the chocolate to cream ratio might be too low to obtain a firm enough end product?

ratio was 350g of chocolate to 290 grams of Cream plus my added hickory smoked praline paste. I am now thinking the ratio might need to be half and half chocolate to cream to get a product firm enough to cut into squares and handle?

 

Needless to say, It was pretty messy so I melted it all down and added some grated chocolate and now in the slabbing process again.

On a side note, I am not sure how much total chocolate was re-added because the product had a thin coat of "thinned chocolate" when I melted it down and then I added some additional grated chocolate to that. 

 

ANY suggestions or Theory thoughts  please. 

 

Here is a photo of my lonely whisky liquors. :-(

 

      

 

 

Spheres.jpeg

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I meant to say, I think the ratio might need to be 2 to 1 chocolate to cream???

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I don't have the answer to your question and this is probably going to be viewed as entirely non-helpful but that's why I almost always do a recipe the first time their way unless there's an obvious visible flaw. Even if it's just a tiny test batch. That way, if it works as advertised, then I know any subsequent problems are a result of any changes I make and easy to track down.

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Do you have a faithful, can't fail, backup recipe you can do at the same time as a hedge in case you do not get this one to work the way you want it to?  I would hate for you to lost those whiskey liquors.

 

I am trying to understand your process.  

 

1.  Was there any sugar in the candying process?  Granulated?  Confectioners?  I did not understand since you mentioned just candying in paprika and peppers.  

 

2.  Did you do a cold smoke for the nuts or a hot one?

 

I am impressed with the starch molding.  If you ever have a chance, I would love to hear a description of your process.  I have never taken the plunge to try it, but it looks neat and adding another layer to confections is always on the table.

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The recipe in the book is definetely suffering of copy and paste errors. Seems like the editor took a pre-existing recipe for another product (they do so to use the same template) and deleted part of the text instead of deleting all the text.

The ingredient list should include pecans, sugar and chocolate. Cream and glucose should be deleted.

If you read the gianduja instructions they should go from step 3 ("temper the gianduja") to step 7 ("spread into a frame"). Steps 4-6 should not be part of this recipe. The editor corrected the term at step 5 ("tempered gianduja") but did not so at step 6 ("ganache" is used twice). The term "ganache" has been used also on step 1 of the following "TO COMPLETE" instructions. Steps are numbered automatically by the editing program used by professional publishers, they are not numbered by hand.

Stuff like this happens in almost all books, since all writing processes are made by different people and editors are not uber skilled confectioners. I would suggest you to contact Greweling himself, @Jim D.always said he got quick and precise answers, and point him about these errors, so they can be corrected in the next prints. We must consider these snacks were not present in the first edition of the book.

 

Some lessons for the future: never take for granted any recipe, always be skeptical even when you are dealing with one of the most solid books out there (like this one is). There were various signs. A gianduja is made with nuts, sugar and chocolate, if you add cream it's not gianduja anymore. The cream to chocolate ratio is really high (1 to 1.2), while Greweling usually uses low ratio (1 to 2.5), even lower in the presence of nut pastes. The instructions talk about "ganache" instead of "gianduja".

 

About correcting this error, I think you took the best road possible. It has no sense to redo everything from scratch and waste that ganache. The safe way for saving it was adding more chocolate to add firmness, which is what you did. Don't worry about not knowing how much chocolate you added, in these cases you are not interested in it: you go by feel until you get something workable, then proceed. Knowing the chocolate quantity you added would be needed if next time you wanted to recreate the same exact thing, which I think is not what you want.

 

Since it's a cream ganache and not a gianduja, you will end up with a snack with a much shorter shelf life, so please remember this (should not be a problem since you wrote you make chocolates for passion and not as a business). Pecan taste will be diluted, this should not be a problem for 2 reasons: people who will eat these snacks will not know this unless you tell them so; you smoked and caramelized them and added paprika and chili, so they will cover all of this.

 

 

 

Teo

 

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1 hour ago, teonzo said:

The recipe in the book is definetely suffering of copy and paste errors. Seems like the editor took a pre-existing recipe for another product (they do so to use the same template) and deleted part of the text instead of deleting all the text.

The ingredient list should include pecans, sugar and chocolate. Cream and glucose should be deleted.


If that's the case. someone needs a stern talking to because the recipe for the pecan gianduja ganache appears twice in the book in exactly the same form. It appears as part of the recipe for the bourbon stratospheres and it appears as a standalone recipe in the cream ganache section. Keeping in mind that it's being billed as a ganache and not just a straight gianduja, I'd think the cream and glucose aren't necessarily out of place. I don't think the term "ganache" was an editing error, I think this particular item is intended to be a ganache, not a gianduja. If I were to take a commercial gianduja and add glucose and cream, I would then have a gianduja ganache. Pretty sure that was the intent in this one.

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5 hours ago, Tri2Cook said:

If that's the case. someone needs a stern talking to because the recipe for the pecan gianduja ganache appears twice in the book in exactly the same form.

 

Did not notice this, thanks for pointing this out. I checked the 1st edition and it's not there, so it's a new addition too. I always thought the only new content in the 2nd edition was the snack / bars section, so that assumption was wrong.

 

 

 

5 hours ago, Tri2Cook said:

It appears as part of the recipe for the bourbon stratospheres and it appears as a standalone recipe in the cream ganache section. Keeping in mind that it's being billed as a ganache and not just a straight gianduja, I'd think the cream and glucose aren't necessarily out of place. I don't think the term "ganache" was an editing error, I think this particular item is intended to be a ganache, not a gianduja. If I were to take a commercial gianduja and add glucose and cream, I would then have a gianduja ganache. Pretty sure that was the intent in this one.

 

There are various details that lead to think it's a faulty recipe.

First of all the cream content: it's way too high even for a standard ganache, more so for a ganache that includes a nut paste; when you add a nut paste to a ganache formulation then you need to lower the cream content, otherwise you'll end up with something much softer.

Second, the working method. It has no sense to temper the gianduja until it's 18°C then add the cream+glucose when they are at 40°C, too big a difference.

Third, some misprints. In the bonbon recipe it says to temper the gianduja to "84°C/183°F" (totally off track), in the bar / snack recipe to "29°C/85°F". If you temper the gianduja then you need to go lower than 29°C, you can get tempered gianduja at 29°C if you add the nut paste to an already tempered chocolate, if on the contrary you add the nut paste to untempered chocolate then you need to go lower (the usual reasons). Then it says "checking to see that all of the chocolate has melted": if you add cream+glucose to a gianduja then there's no need to check if all the chocolate has melted, you are already sure since you tempered it by the tabling method.

Fourth, it has no sense to use a ganache base in that bar / snack. A gianduja is a much better choice, both for handling and shelf life reasons. A ganache base would be much less firm than a gianduja base, the structure of a bar / snack calls for the firmer base you can use with the flavours you are planning, plus it's a really thin base, a ganache would risk to break when hand dipping. Bar / snacks call for long shelf life, a gianduja is shelf stable and would make that whole bar / snack shelf stable.

 

All these things point to a copy-paste fault. Which is totally understandable, since this is a 2nd edition, hard to imagine the editing team was the exact same as the 1st edition. Such things happen anywhere anytime, we are humans. Just think about the 1st edition of Modernist Cuisine (well, that's on the other end of the spectrum, that was a really shameful case).

 

 

 

Teo

 

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21 minutes ago, teonzo said:

There are various details that lead to think it's a faulty recipe.


Not arguing that point, perhaps it is. I'm just saying I don't think the cream and glucose were a mistake. Whether or not the stated ratio is as intended, I have no idea.

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1 hour ago, Tri2Cook said:

I'm just saying I don't think the cream and glucose were a mistake.

 

For the bonbon, probably not.

For the bar / snack, most probably yes.

 

 

 

Teo

 

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I’ve made his pecan gianduja cream ganache and have had the same problem in the past.  I just added more chocolate.  I have also found now that I have an EZ temper that adding silk helps mine firm up much better than when I’ve tried to temper it by hand.  I do like that the cream ganache is not as firm as a straight up gianduja though.

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26 minutes ago, Haley said:

I’ve made his pecan gianduja cream ganache and have had the same problem in the past.  I just added more chocolate.  I have also found now that I have an EZ temper that adding silk helps mine firm up much better than when I’ve tried to temper it by hand.  I do like that the cream ganache is not as firm as a straight up gianduja though.

I agree about gianduja sometimes being too firm, and I have started adding some coconut oil to it (so technically it's a meltaway).

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On ‎4‎/‎15‎/‎2019 at 4:37 AM, teonzo said:

The recipe in the book is definetely suffering of copy and paste errors. Seems like the editor took a pre-existing recipe for another product (they do so to use the same template) and deleted part of the text instead of deleting all the text.

The ingredient list should include pecans, sugar and chocolate. Cream and glucose should be deleted.

If you read the gianduja instructions they should go from step 3 ("temper the gianduja") to step 7 ("spread into a frame"). Steps 4-6 should not be part of this recipe. The editor corrected the term at step 5 ("tempered gianduja") but did not so at step 6 ("ganache" is used twice). The term "ganache" has been used also on step 1 of the following "TO COMPLETE" instructions. Steps are numbered automatically by the editing program used by professional publishers, they are not numbered by hand.

Stuff like this happens in almost all books, since all writing processes are made by different people and editors are not uber skilled confectioners. I would suggest you to contact Greweling himself, @Jim D.always said he got quick and precise answers, and point him about these errors, so they can be corrected in the next prints. We must consider these snacks were not present in the first edition of the book.

 

Some lessons for the future: never take for granted any recipe, always be skeptical even when you are dealing with one of the most solid books out there (like this one is). There were various signs. A gianduja is made with nuts, sugar and chocolate, if you add cream it's not gianduja anymore. The cream to chocolate ratio is really high (1 to 1.2), while Greweling usually uses low ratio (1 to 2.5), even lower in the presence of nut pastes. The instructions talk about "ganache" instead of "gianduja".

 

About correcting this error, I think you took the best road possible. It has no sense to redo everything from scratch and waste that ganache. The safe way for saving it was adding more chocolate to add firmness, which is what you did. Don't worry about not knowing how much chocolate you added, in these cases you are not interested in it: you go by feel until you get something workable, then proceed. Knowing the chocolate quantity you added would be needed if next time you wanted to recreate the same exact thing, which I think is not what you want.

 

Since it's a cream ganache and not a gianduja, you will end up with a snack with a much shorter shelf life, so please remember this (should not be a problem since you wrote you make chocolates for passion and not as a business). Pecan taste will be diluted, this should not be a problem for 2 reasons: people who will eat these snacks will not know this unless you tell them so; you smoked and caramelized them and added paprika and chili, so they will cover all of this.

  

 

 

Teo

 

Thank you @teonzo you just made my day!

I questioned it and even told my husband, this is NOT right but I will do as the recipe calls but it just doesn't seem right! Just as @Tri2Cook mentioned above, I tried to give the recipe a shot first and then thought I would tweak next go around. Well, exactly what you said was what happened! Not only was the initial go around was too soft, but the beautiful hickory smoked and candied pecans were completely LOST in the product! If I stuck to JUST chocolate and Smoked candied pecans and make  a true gianduja and given more of the SNAP I wanted in the base layer and I would have gotten  a better flavor profile. And because I had to add more chocolate to the gianduja/ganache cross breed, it was even more lost so I wound up topping them with candied pecans after "dipping" to add that flavor back in. This lost the contemporary feel of the end product!

GRRRRR. I am bummed as this recipe takes a HUGE effort to have it turn out mediocre but my husband reminds me that I am a perfectionist and as you said, most people won't know. (well, they know the part of me being a perfectionist but they wont know about the intentions with the smoked pecans :-)

 

Moving forward, I want to try it again but with LOTS of changes and basically sticking to JUST the idea and not the recipe as printed. SO I want to make a square firm base made from my hickory smoked, candied pecans, and then top it with the sphere whisky dome and dip into dark chocolate with NO garnish for a completely contemporary look.

 

Any ideas on the base layer other than a Gianduja? Personally I want to add more of the smoked candied, paprika pecan flavoring which seems to be overpowered by chocolate here.

 

Would a shortbread possibly give me that?? Any other suggestions??   

 

In the end, you are also correct as these are Easter holiday gifts for Clients, staff, and friends. SO they will be consumed within a matter of a couple of weeks. I am making only about 30 in total and will post photos when I am finished will packaging my egg baskets and they are ready for delivery.

@teonzois your trade culinary?

 

 

  

whisky domes.jpeg

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On ‎4‎/‎14‎/‎2019 at 5:43 PM, Merry Berry said:

Do you have a faithful, can't fail, backup recipe you can do at the same time as a hedge in case you do not get this one to work the way you want it to?  I would hate for you to lost those whiskey liquors.

 

I am trying to understand your process.  

 

1.  Was there any sugar in the candying process?  Granulated?  Confectioners?  I did not understand since you mentioned just candying in paprika and peppers.  

 

2.  Did you do a cold smoke for the nuts or a hot one?

 

I am impressed with the starch molding.  If you ever have a chance, I would love to hear a description of your process.  I have never taken the plunge to try it, but it looks neat and adding another layer to confections is always on the table.

First I smoke the pecans over hickory (Hot box) for 3 hours then I candy them on the stove top. 4 cups pecans to one cup of my "paprika, ghost pepper chili, salt & sugar mixture" after that, I made a paste for my gianduja which was converted to a ganache and that where I believe the errors were in my ways were not stopping there! :-) live and learn.

 

Starch molding I use boxes my husband made for me that fit the size of my oven. I use a mixture of 1/3 potato starch and 2/3 cake flour sifted and dried. After I  get my Easter candy finished, I will come back here and post the process and my photos of all my tools. It is easy to do once you have your systems in place. It was just the learning curve getting to that spot. Now I have it down, I am just learning how to perfect the thickness of my starch shells. I am NOT home all day every day to babysit them while they are resting and the timing when to turn and when to remove them varies depending on the sugar and alcohol content of your syrup.

 

Of all the projects i do, that is one of the most rewarding!!! I love playing in the flour and starch mixture! Like digging for gold!

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Just one note on pecans:  I do a lot of different giandujas, and the pecan version has the mildest flavor of all of them. You wouldn't think so, but so it seems. As dark chocolate will overwhelm it very easily, I have switched to milk. I'm just saying that your hopes for strong pecan flavor may not be realized if you are using dark.

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4 minutes ago, Jim D. said:

Just one note on pecans:  I do a lot of different giandujas, and the pecan version has the mildest flavor of all of them. You wouldn't think so, but so it seems. As dark chocolate will overwhelm it very easily, I have switched to milk. I'm just saying that your hopes for strong pecan flavor may not be realized if you are using dark.

 

Is pecan liqueur a possible way to bring more flavor to the dark?  I have never tried any of them (pecan liqueurs), but I know with dark chocolate, many times, I find alcohol helps back the flavor I am looking for.

16 minutes ago, A Polderman said:

First I smoke the pecans over hickory (Hot box) for 3 hours then I candy them on the stove top. 4 cups pecans to one cup of my "paprika, ghost pepper chili, salt & sugar mixture" after that, I made a paste for my gianduja which was converted to a ganache and that where I believe the errors were in my ways were not stopping there! 🙂 live and learn.

 

Starch molding I use boxes my husband made for me that fit the size of my oven. I use a mixture of 1/3 potato starch and 2/3 cake flour sifted and dried. After I  get my Easter candy finished, I will come back here and post the process and my photos of all my tools. It is easy to do once you have your systems in place. It was just the learning curve getting to that spot. Now I have it down, I am just learning how to perfect the thickness of my starch shells. I am NOT home all day every day to babysit them while they are resting and the timing when to turn and when to remove them varies depending on the sugar and alcohol content of your syrup.

 

Of all the projects i do, that is one of the most rewarding!!! I love playing in the flour and starch mixture! Like digging for gold!

 

Thank you for the quick write up, AP.  You make it sound so simple (well with a time investment), but I just know I would have a mess.  I still want to try it one day though.  What do you press into the starch mixture to mold them?  Anything you want for the shape?  If it is not so much trouble, please do post the pictures and steps.  I know that is quite the request, but hopefully others on here are looking forward to it as well.  Maybe a class at one of conventions is in order one year?  I hope I can make next year's.  This year is definitely impossible for me.

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@Merry Berry Where are you located? I'm in the Seattle area, if you are nearby, happy to show you and you can try it out in my kitchen and then you would know if you want to make the time and $$ investment in supplies. I will definitely post all my details. Right now I am juggling my smoker (Have more pecans on and smoking hard boiled eggs for deviled egg on Easter) that along with finishing Easter egg baskets oh, and my day job in Real estate :-) but as soon as I get it all rapped up I can do that!

 

Currently frustrated because I bought a cute little cheapo bunny mold and making caramel filled half bunnies and because of its texture cant get it to polish properly. It leaves areas that just wont shine when unmolded. Now that I  know what I want to do, next year i will invest in quality molds! My time is worth  more than that and the hassle isn't worth the final presentation.

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Alas, I am in Chattanooga, TN.  But my plan is to visit Seattle within the next 5 years.  I have always wanted to visit there.  The confectionery scene there seems to be crazy good.  Who knew somewhere with so much rain/dampness would produce so much artisan chocolate?  I see that several people on here are in the Seattle area and I know Fran Bigelow started out there.  I found her book at a used bookstore just as I was beginning my pastry school journey and learning about her made me want to do chocolates.  I always think I am good at chocolates until I come on here and see what people are producing and it just blows me away how much I have to learn (such as the starch molding).  I love how challenging and frustrating things can be haha.  And I love a good mystery even though I was way off on this topic as Teo and Tri2 helped you figure it out.  If I make it to Seattle one day, I hope to meet all you wonderful EGulleters up there.

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Maybe that's the attraction??? Its easy enough for anyone to do but yet there are so many levels of difficulty it is challenging for everyone no matter how many years of experience one has!? This forum is amazing, although most of us are separated by thousands of miles, our common interest in confections and helping each other through the trials and errors makes everyone feel so close!

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1 hour ago, Merry Berry said:

Alas, I am in Chattanooga, TN.  But my plan is to visit Seattle within the next 5 years.  I have always wanted to visit there.  The confectionery scene there seems to be crazy good.  Who knew somewhere with so much rain/dampness would produce so much artisan chocolate?  I see that several people on here are in the Seattle area and I know Fran Bigelow started out there.  I found her book at a used bookstore just as I was beginning my pastry school journey and learning about her made me want to do chocolates.  I always think I am good at chocolates until I come on here and see what people are producing and it just blows me away how much I have to learn (such as the starch molding).  I love how challenging and frustrating things can be haha.  And I love a good mystery even though I was way off on this topic as Teo and Tri2 helped you figure it out.  If I make it to Seattle one day, I hope to meet all you wonderful EGulleters up there.

Yes, Frans is here in Bellevue which is where I am! I remember about 25 years ago when she was starting and would come to teach cooking classes at the Bon Marche about how to temper chocolate. (now owed by Macy's). Lots of great confections and food  in and around Seattle!! Look forward to the opportunity to meeting you if you plan a trip up here or maybe at another venue before?!

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22 minutes ago, A Polderman said:

Yes, Frans is here in Bellevue which is where I am! I remember about 25 years ago when she was starting and would come to teach cooking classes at the Bon Marche about how to temper chocolate. (now owed by Macy's). Lots of great confections and food  in and around Seattle!! Look forward to the opportunity to meeting you if you plan a trip up here or maybe at another venue before?!

 

Oh that is awesome, so you have met Fran?  I hope she is a lovely lady in real life.

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2 hours ago, A Polderman said:

@Merry Berry Where are you located? I'm in the Seattle area, if you are nearby, happy to show you and you can try it out in my kitchen and then you would know if you want to make the time and $$ investment in supplies. I will definitely post all my details. Right now I am juggling my smoker (Have more pecans on and smoking hard boiled eggs for deviled egg on Easter) that along with finishing Easter egg baskets oh, and my day job in Real estate :-) but as soon as I get it all rapped up I can do that!

 

Currently frustrated because I bought a cute little cheapo bunny mold and making caramel filled half bunnies and because of its texture cant get it to polish properly. It leaves areas that just wont shine when unmolded. Now that I  know what I want to do, next year i will invest in quality molds! My time is worth  more than that and the hassle isn't worth the final presentation.

Quality molds make life so much easier!

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12 minutes ago, Merry Berry said:

 

Oh that is awesome, so you have met Fran?  I hope she is a lovely lady in real life.

She is a delight!

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16 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

She is a delight!

 

That is great to hear.  They say never meet your idols, but I feel some would be the exception.  

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9 hours ago, Jim D. said:

Just one note on pecans:  I do a lot of different giandujas, and the pecan version has the mildest flavor of all of them. You wouldn't think so, but so it seems. As dark chocolate will overwhelm it very easily, I have switched to milk. I'm just saying that your hopes for strong pecan flavor may not be realized if you are using dark.

Its not just the pecan notes, because I smoke them and then candy them in a slightly spicy ghost pepper & paprika sugar mixture, I want the smoke flavor and a hint of the spice to come through as well. When it was slabbed I wanted to literally climb on the counter and roll in it so it was a bit disappointing to have such a strong aroma yet a weak texture &  flavor profile overpowered by so much chocolate.

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3 hours ago, A Polderman said:

Its not just the pecan notes, because I smoke them and then candy them in a slightly spicy ghost pepper & paprika sugar mixture, I want the smoke flavor and a hint of the spice to come through as well. When it was slabbed I wanted to literally climb on the counter and roll in it so it was a bit disappointing to have such a strong aroma yet a weak texture &  flavor profile overpowered by so much chocolate.

I cannot begin to list all the flavors I have tried to incorporate into a bonbon without success. After a particularly tasty peach season, I thought how easy it would be to have a peach bonbon, perhaps with a cinnamon layer as well. Alas, almost no flavor. Blueberry has also stymied me (though I have not given up). The best approach, I think, is to make a water ganache, replacing some or all of the usual cream with fruit purée (Jean-Pierre Wybauw has such a recipe for black currant ganache, and it is wonderful), but shelf life suffers. As for flavor in gianduja, I have a large package of pecan gianduja made with dark chocolate in my freezer, with the thought that someday I may find a use for its faint pecan flavor. I think milk chocolate works best with pecan and almond, and for pistachio gianduja, I use white. I hope you will find a way to preserve the pecan + smoke + spice flavor without having chocolate overwhelm it.

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