Tristan Stephenson's White Russian chocolates, from his brand new book The Curious Bartender Volume II, are the perfect antidote to all those boozy confections you've regretted over the years. Tristan's version is sweet without being sickly, and the balanced measures give just the right amount of kick. You'll need chocolate moulds (made from silicone that has at least a 20ml/2/3 fl. oz. volume to it), a palette knife, a temperature probe, wire rack, whisk, piping/pastry bag and a steel bowl or bain-marie.
You will need
200 g/7 oz. White Chocolate
½ Vanilla Pod/Bean
170 g/6 oz. single/light Cream
200 g/7 oz. Dark/Bittersweet Chocolate (minimum 70% Cocoa)
35 ml/1 ¼ fl. oz. Vodka
35 ml/1 ¼ fl . oz. Espresso (or very strong coffee)
50 g/1 ¾ oz. Softened Butter
First, temper the white chocolate by gently melting 120 g/4 ¼ oz. of it in a bain-marie or steel bowl placed above a pan of steaming water. Keep stirring, and once the chocolate reaches 45–50°C/113–122°F, take it off the heat and throw in the remaining white chocolate along with the seeds from the vanilla pod/bean. When all of the chocolate is melted and glossy, pour it into the mould, ensuring all parts of it are filled. Place a tray under the wire rack and place the mould upside down on the rack so that the chocolate falls back out of the mould.
Next, heat the cream to 80°C/176°F and set to one side to cool. Temper the dark/bittersweet chocolate the same way you did with the white chocolate. Once tempered, slowly beat the warm cream into the chocolate one splash at a time. Once fully incorporated, add the vodka and the espresso and continue to beat the mixture. Finally, add the butter and stir until everything is incorporated.
While the ganache cools, turn your chocolate mould back over and scrape off any excess chocolate with a palette knife. Transfer your cooled ganache to a piping/pastry bag and pipe a dollop into each of the moulds, being careful not to overfill.
Melt the excess white chocolate that you caught in the tray back up to 40°C/104°F, then pour this over your mould to seal in the ganache. Use the palette knife to spread the melted chocolate, ensuring that any bubbles are removed from the mould.
Allow your chocolates to set for a further 2 hours, then transfer to the fridge. They should keep for at least a month, but I challenge you to resist them for that long!
This recipe is from The Curious Bartender Volume II by Tristan Stephenson, out 11th September 2018.