The big problem has always been that I am not a bloke that is big on recipes.
Obviously some things need strict adherence to the ingredients ratio so that the (bio)chemistry works and for this we have great written works of Hugh, Nigella, and the Good Housekeeping institute. All the rest of my tens of recipe books are there as inspiration and "food porn," stimulation of my taste buds. So I read what other people put in a dish and add/remove things depending on what I think would go well and what I happen to have in the cupboard or can get in the shops.
Those of you that know me well and the even smaller group that have actually seen me cook, will probably not be surprised to hear that I rarely take detailed notes when I am in full flow. However I am going to try and do much better at this than in the past. Here then is one that I did have notes for as I had to work out the quantities for it, having never done anything like this before:
White chocolate truffles
- 175g good quality white chocolate, broken into small pieces
- 25g unsalted butter
- 200ml whipping cream
- 50g sugar
- chilli flakes
- vanilla pod
Split the vanilla pod and roughly scrape at it to release as much of the lovely goo as possible.
Put the split pod, goo and cream in a heavy base saucepan and heat gently and leave to infuse.
Over a pan of water melt the chocolate in a pyrex or similar bowl.
As the chocolate melts completely bring the heat under the cream up so that it just reaches boiling point, fishing out the vanilla pod just before it gets there.
Pour the cream into the chocolate and whisk until the whisk leaves trails as you pull it out.
Put the whipped mixture in the fridge to cool for a couple of hours.
Meanwhile put the sugar and a small amount of ground pepper and chilli flake into a blender/herb chopper/pestle and mortar and crush (it should be fine but not as fine as icing sugar) then decant into a bowl.
With two teaspoons pull balls out of the mix and drop them into the bowl of sugar, roll them around until fully coated then drop them in a paper case.