Two weeks ago, after months of planning and anticipation, it was finally time to hop on a plane and fly to Bloemfontein where I had been invited to demonstrate some of my recipes to the lovely ladies of Bloemfontein Fynproewers. Exciting times! When I landed I was met at the airport by Alma, one of the committee members who took me straight to the demo venue where the other committee members were all busy in the kitchen preparing my dishes for the audience to taste the following day. I had a chance to get my bearings, check the recipes and also familiarise myself with the demonstration area. At this point the excitement and the nerves were really starting to kick in!
|View from the "hot seat" just before our guests arrived.|
The demonstration itself, which took place first thing the next morning, seemed to go by in a flash. I showed the audience how to make six dishes that made up a winter menu and there were lots of questions and audience participation which made the whole experience even more fun. Before I knew it, all the dishes had been prepared and I was exhaling (and thanking my lucky stars that I had not dropped anything or accidentally burnt the caramel in front of one hundred people!).
I am so grateful to have had this wonderful opportunity and my huge thanks go to Alma and the Bloemfontein Fynproewers for inviting me and looking after me so well. Thanks also to Summerwood Country Estate for the very comfy accommodation.
This is one of the recipes I demonstrated in Bloem, and I think it is safe to say that it was the most popular on the day. It is actually two recipes in one - the base is my recipe for salted caramel sauce which I then used to make chocolate truffles. When you make the recipe you will end up with some leftover caramel sauce which you could keep in the fridge to enjoy with ice cream (or eat straight out of the jar, no judgies) or you could use it to make extra truffles.
Pop these truffles into a beautiful tin and you have the perfect foodie gift, or make them as a special treat to bring out at the end of the meal next time you are entertaining. I promise that they will be a hit!
SALTED CARAMEL CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES
Makes approximately 15
300g castor sugar
250ml pouring cream
1/2 tsp salt flakes
75g butter, cubed
200g dark chocolate, chopped into small chunks
cocoa for dusting
Step 1.) Place the castor sugar and water in a medium sized saucepan and stir over a low heat to dissolve the sugar. Use a pastry brush dipped in hot water to brush away any sugar crystals that collect on the sides of the pot.
Step 2.) Allow the syrup to boil for 10 minutes without stirring until the syrup is a deep golden colour. Keep a close eye on the pot as sugar syrup burns very quickly!
Step 3.) Take the saucepan off the heat and carefully add the cream while whisking. (Take care as the sauce will bubble up.) Add the salt flakes and whisk until smooth. Lastly add the butter and whisk until you have a smooth, glossy sauce.
Step 4.) Place the dark chocolate in a mixing bowl. Pour half a cup of hot caramel sauce over the chocolate and allow to stand for a minute. Whisk well until all the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. (The remaining sauce can be poured into a glass jar or bowl and stored in the fridge.)
Step 5.) Pop the bowl in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours until the mixture is firm enough to roll. It can also be left overnight (covered).
Step 6.) Roll teaspoonfuls of the mixture into balls. Dust generously with cocoa powder and store in the fridge.