Behold the beauty! There is seriously nothing more beautiful than the sight, smell and feel of melty gooey chocolate am I right? But it gets naughtier. This little baby? He comes deep fried and explodes in your mouth.
Happy Monday indeed! It’s always nice to start the week with a bang…
Nearly everything under the sun has been deep fried at one point or another but chocolate is just a whole new dimension of pleasure. I remember the first moment I had a deep fried Mars Bar in which the immediate reaction involved curled toes and primal animalistic groaning (which is now my mating call). I’ve made no secret of my love for warm, gooey chocolatey things and a dessert of deep fried chocolate bars was the ultimate in culinary hedonism.
Then along came what I now dub, ‘Naughty Balls’. Hold the laughs. What I mean of course, are Chocolate Croquettes.
Subjecting vulnerable chocolate to the fiery pits of hot grease goes against my very nature and I expected a big ol’ mess. But for the love of deep-fried, I was prepared to try anything once. The end result was worth the sweat. Just imagine toasty and crispy croquettes, full and quivering from its sweet molten innards. One slight touch or the gentlest of bites is all that’s needed to break away the flimsy coconutty crumbed coating to reveal a spilling pool of chocolate lava. Exploding chocolate balls. This is pure (erotic) poetry.
PS – From hereon out, I shall refer to them as croquettes and not uh, balls because I’m starting to giggle. Because I’m so mature like that.
Inspired by Pierre Herme, it was the perfect way to use up leftover chocolate ganache in the fridge. Although I should’ve heeded the age-old lesson of not working with ganache on a hot day. Even if you refrigerate the buggery out of it, it’s only going to take about 5 seconds before that well chilled ganache turns to mush in your hot little hands. It was carnage. A delicious one at that but still, it wasn’t pretty.
The possiblities are endless here with an empty ganache canvas to work with. White, milk or dark chocolate? Take your pick. And then have fun with the flavourings. Think liqueurs, spirits, coffee, zests, spices, herbs, nuts or dried fruit. The ganache is your masterpiece so have fun putting your own spin to it. And because there’s no such thing as too much of the sweet stuff, I paired these chocolate croquettes with a passionfruit crème anglaise, which just lifted the croquettes to a whole new dimension of deliciousness. Warm, sweet chocolate with a cool, tangy, tropical custard, I don’t think I need to tell you what an amazing combination it was. And the crème anglaise? I believe it’s now my favourite thing to attack with a spoon.
This is what dreams are made of, my friends.
- 200g dark chocolate (around 60-70% cocoa)
- 200ml pouring cream (at least 35% fat content)
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 200ml milk
- 300ml pure cream (35% fat content)
- 150g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 large egg yolks
- 200ml passionfruit pulp (from approx. 8 large passionfruit)
- To make the ganache, gently heat the cream and chocolate together until it has completely melted and whisk to combine. Pour ganache out into a bowl or container and refrigerate overnight (the more chilled the better).
- To make the balls, remove ganache from the fridge and working quickly, roll up ganache to form 2-2.5cm sized balls and place on baking paper on a tray. If the chocolate starts to soften, quickly stick it back in the fridge or freezer to chill. Any rolled ganache balls, place in the freezer while you work with the rest of the ganache.
- After you have rolled up all the ganache balls, chill them well in the fridge or freezer for an hour.
- In a shallow dish, combine the coconut and breadcrumbs. Dip the chilled ganache balls in the egg, then roll in the crumb mix until well coated. Freeze for an hour.
- Put a second crumb coating by redipping in the egg then roll in the crumbs. It’s important to have a at least 2 or 3 coats as this is the only insulation for the chocolate against the hot oil so do not skip these steps. Freeze again for an hour.
- At this stage, the croquettes can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer until ready to use.
- To deep fry the croquettes, pour enough oil in a pot up to an inch or two thick. Heat to 180°C.
- Remove balls from the freezer and deep fry a few balls at a time until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper towels. Serve immediately with passionfruit crème anglaise.
- Place the milk, cream and about half of the sugar in a saucepan and scald over medium heat. When bubbles appear at the sides, switch off and remove from the heat. Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine.
- Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and the remaining of the sugar until it is light and thick. Stir through the passionfruit purée.
- While continuously whisking, add the a little of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks to temper. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk.
- Cook over the lowest heat while stirring continuously with a wooden spoon making sure to scrape the bottom. Cook until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. When you run your finger through it, it should leave a clear line. On a thermometer it should be 77-80°C.
- Do not be tempted to turn up the heat and do not boil otherwise it’ll curdle.
- If you’re not serving it warm, pour into a bowl or container, place a sheet of clingwrap or baking paper over the surface to stop a skin from forming and refrigerate.
- • Make sure not to add too much croquettes to the oil otherwise the temperature will drop.
- • The temperature of the oil is important here. If it is too hot, the outside will be ready before the ganache has sufficiently thawed. Too cold and the ganache will melt before the coating is done. If the temperature of the oil is too cold, the croquettes wil get heavy and greasy.