Today seitanismymotor is turning three! On April 1st, 2007 I started this blog (over at blogger) to celebrate my decision to go vegan. (And because P. talked me into it and bought a camera. Thank you, P.!) On this site, I wanted to document my vegan food experiments and recipes. I soon realized that it was a great way to “meet” other vegans from all over the world as well. I learned so much about veganism and food through blogging. Thank you everyone, who is reading this site and special thanks to those of you who take the time to comment or send emails. I appreciate your encouragement, tips, questions, suggestions, and everything else you have to say!
A couple of days ago it was my father’s birthday and when I asked him what he wanted, he requested home-made chocolates. What a great wish, I thought, finally giving me an opportunity to use the chocolate molds I had bought a couple of months ago.
I decided to make three different chocolates: one with a gianduia and coffee-liqueur truffle filling, one with a marzipan and Kirsch truffle filling and one with a Rioja reduction truffle filling. All versions are easy to make and just require a little time and patience.
All you’ll need is good quality semi-sweet chocolate, coconut milk, coffee liqueur, Kirsch, Rioja or your favourite red wine, gianduia (also called Viennese nougat, store-bought or homemade), and marzipan.
Prepare your chocolate molds first. Melt a batch of chocolate – How much you’ll need depends on the size of your molds. I used 170 grams for a mold with 15 round holes – and fill the molds halfway. Shake them a bit to get rid of air bubbles and fill them to the top. Let rest for 5 minutes and then turn the mold around, onto a wire rack (Make sure to place some parchment paper under the rack to catch the dripping chocolate!). Let rest for 15 minutes, then turn the molds around again, scrape off the excess chocolate on the rim using a palette or a knife. Place the molds in the fridge for about 30 minutes, until hardened.
For the filling:
Coffee liqueur & gianduia
100 grams (3.5 oz) semi-sweet chocolate
75 grams ( 1/3 cup) full-fat coconut milk (makes sure to stir well!)
2 tablespoons coffee liqueur
50 grams gianduia
Chop the chocolate and place in a small pot. Add coconut milk. Heat over very low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat as soon as half of the chocolate has melted. Stir until it’s melted completely. (Click here for tips on how to melt chocolate) Add coffee liqueur and stir well. Put in the fridge to set (about an hour).
Fill your prepared molds with the chocolate mixture (about 2/3 full).
Take a piece of gianduia and form a small ball. Place in the centre of the chocolate. Repeat with remaining molds.
Gather the chocolate that dripped onto the parchment while preparing the molds and melt it again. Spread the chocolate on top of the filling:
For marzipan-Kirsch chocolates, use 1 tablespoon of Kirsch for the coffee liqueur. Fill the prepared molds as described above and place a small ball of marzipan in the centre of the chocolate before covering with chocolate. You’ll also need about 50 g of marzipan, maybe less.
For Rioja reduction chocolates: Bring 1 cup of Rioja to a boil. Boil uncovered (over medium high heat) until reduced to a tablespoon, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the reduction to the chocolate coconut mixture instead of coffee liqueur or Kirsch.
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After I made all these brownies, I had some truffle filling and some gianduia leftovers. I found a recipe for gianduia brownies that called for Nutella. My truffle filling looked very similar to Nutella, so I used that instead (To be precise: I used about half the amount of coffee liqueur filling I had made.) These brownies may not be perfect when it comes to texture. They are moist, soft, and delicate, which I really love. But they are a bit crumbly. Their taste is really addictive though. These brownies are tender and rich with a complex flavour.
Gianduia-Banana Brownies (makes 9 large brownies, adapted from this recipe)
113 grams (4 oz) semi-sweet chocolate
85 grams (3 oz) gianduia (see note above)
70 grams (1/3 cup) margarine
65 g grams (1/4 cup) truffle filling of your choice (see above)
1 medium banana mashed
60 grams (1/4 cup) plain soy yoghurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100 grams (1/2 cup) raw sugar
60 grams (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
135 grams (1 cup) hazelnuts, toasted and chopped roughly
Line a 20 x 20 cm (8 x 8 inch) pan with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
Chop chocolate and , in a double boiler, melt with gianduia. Remove from heat and stir in margarine and truffle filling. Mix well until everything has melted properly.
Mash the banana and combine with yoghurt, vanilla, and sugar in a large bowl. Sift in flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir until everything is combined and fold in hazelnuts. Fill into prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely and carefully remove from pan. Let sit 3-4 hours before slicing and then slice carefully with a sharp knife.