I have always had a love affair with lobster. The first one I probably had was in Jamaica where they are only tails with no claws. My grandfather was a fisherman and from our house you can see what you might eat for the night with personal deliveries from the men of sea coming up the street with freshly caught lobster, shrimp, fish, and the always crazy looking octopus. People always ask me as a chef, “what is your favorite food?” I feel funny saying lobster because for the most part, I love it plain, butter poached or grilled with a good butter. I might flavor it with herbs, take it back to my Jamaican heritage and curry it, or be decadent and make this gluttonous truffle sabayon. I love the aroma of truffles. The smell and taste is so distinctive of mushroom, earth, and fresh air. Elm City Market has been having some amazing lobster tails for $5.99 each. They are wild, local, and a welcome treat to celebrate just being you. I buy a bunch and leave them in the freezer so when unexpected company comes over or I want to be indulgent, I make this quick and easy gourmet recipe that will make you smile bright with ecstasy.
Makes Sauce for 6- 8 Servings
6 large egg yolks
½ cup dry white wine
6 oz. heavy cream, whipped stiffly
8 oz. clarified butter, room temperature
4 oz. white truffle oil
to taste - salt and pepper
In a large metal mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks and the white wine. Using a whisk, combine the two until they appear frothy and well mixed. Over a double boiler, whisk the egg mixture continuously until the eggs are cooked. The mixture should be creamy in appearance and silky smooth in texture. No scrambled looking eggs should appear.
Using the whisk, slowly add the clarified butter in a steady stream until completely mixed together. Use the same method for the white truffle oil. Spoon and fold the cold whipped cream into the egg mixture until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve until final assembly.
The holidays are the perfect time of year for me to flex culinary muscles I normally leave dormant most of the year. I love sweets but like to cook savory 99% of the time and buy my confections from those whom are experts. However, I am passionate about giving edible gifts which are practical wonders of joy for people to enjoy as they eat. Truffles are my favorite way to eat chocolate. They are rich yet because they are small you can appreciate every morsel without guilt. Here is an easy recipe to add to your repertoire as a way to win over your loved ones with each nugget. Feel free to double or triple the recipe. Make sure to present in a box with a bow for extra flair and effort.
Makes 30-40 chocolate truffles
Basic truffle ingredients
8 ounces of semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate (high quality, 62% cacao or higher), well chopped into small pieces
1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Optional base flavorings:
Mint leaves (1 bunch, stems removed, chopped, about 1 cup)
Cinnamon and Cardamom (1 cinnamon stick, 2 cardamom pods)
Ground Nutmeg, Allspice, Cocoa (2 tablespoons)
Amaretto (1-2 tablespoons)
Almond extract (1 teaspoon)
Rose extract (1 teaspoon)
Toasted Coconut Flakes
Finely chopped Walnuts
Finely chopped Almonds
1. In a small, heavy saucepan bring the heavy whipping cream to a simmer (this may take a while, be sure to stir and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula every few minutes).
If you are using one of the other recommended flavorings, stir it in with the cream (and ignore vanilla in the next step). If adding mint or other solids, after the cream simmers, remove from heat and let seep for an hour. Then strain away solids, and return the cream to a simmer and proceed with recipe.
2. Place the chocolate in a separate bowl. Pour the cream over the chocolate, add the vanilla, and allow to stand for a few minutes then stir until smooth. (This chocolate base is called ganache.)
Allow to cool, then place in the refrigerator for two hours. Remove and with a teaspoon roll out balls of the ganache. Roll in your hands quickly (as it will melt from the heat of your hands) and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in the refrigerator overnight.
3. Roll in cocoa powder, coconut, chopped nuts, or other covering and serve, or place back in the refrigerator until needed.