Monday, 16 December 2013


Inca Truffles (clockwise from front left)- Inca berry & milk chocolate , Pure cacao & kola nut , 85% Dark chocolate & bee pollen , White chocolate & pistachio nut.

            I have a deep passion for peru and especially the times of the Incas, Their complex management of crops, the growing, storage and distribution were systems well before their time. They had an ability to store large amounts of crops (maize, quinoa and potatoes) mainly in storage facilities which took 5 years in the making, these were built throughout their empire. The crops were then distributed from the centre of the city. Crops and meat were dried to ensure there was enough food all year round. They were different from the mayans and aztecs as they were the first of their kind to farm animals (lama, alpacas and guinea pig) to eat. The incas innovative growing systems of terraced garden beds gave them micro climates within the one area allowing themselves to grow crops of a broad spectrum almost all year round. Many of their foods introduced to the new world by the Spaniards have been the foods of our tables for many centuries, for example the humble potato and more recently quinoa. To make these truffles I've used some of the foods that were the staple diet of the incas including the Peruvian ground cherry ( inca berries), cacao (chocolate), kola nut and pistachio nuts. These truffles don't have the delicate mouth feels of your more modern day chocolatiers, but a more natural taste and feel of the raw ingredients used to make them.                                                                                                          
              To make these truffles I first prepared all the ingredients starting by grinding separately pistachio nuts and inca berries in a coffee grinder and set aside to be used as coatings. Next I placed in a blender sultanas, pistachio, apricots, inca berries, honey, salt and vanilla essence and blended to form a paste. This was then divided into portions and rolled in to balls using the palms of my hands, the balls were then dipped in melted milk chocolate and then rolled in the ground inca berries before being placed on a tray and into the fridge to harden. In a small saucepan I brought full cream to a gentle boil, this was then divided into two bowls. In one bowl I mixed the cream with melted white chocolate and in the other bowl I mixed the cream with melted 85% dark chocolate. Both bowls of genache were then placed into the fridge to harden before being rolled into balls. The white chocolate balls were then rolled in the ground pistachio nuts and the dark chocolate genache balls were dipped in melted 85% dark chocolate and topped with bee pollen. The last truffle was made from homemade chocolate using pure 100% peruvian cacao, melted cocoa butter, sugar and a little soy lecithin to emulsify. These were mixed into a paste and rolled into balls before being placed in the fridge to set. Once set I rolled the balls of cacao in a mix of cocoa powder and ground kola nuts. Kola nuts are high in caffeine and were once used in the original recipe for coca cola, it can be very hard to obtain, my kola nut was sourced from a herbal shop.                                                                                                                                          

Inca berry and milk chocolate.

85% Dark chocolate and bee pollen.

Pure peruvian cacao and kola nut.

White chocolate and pistachio nut.


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