I love a “use this ingredient” recipe challenge. Last week my friend Elisa asked if I could make a chocolate with honey for a party she was having. I had wanted to experiment with honey since last summer when my family in Portland, Oregon gave me a jar of honey from their bee hives. I accepted Elisa’s challenge and began work on designing a yummy honey ganache chocolate.
I started by going through my recipe books looking for ideas. Honey is not a popular ingredient in Belgian chocolates, so I was not surprised to only find a few recipes that used honey.
After trying three recipes, I choose one to use as my base for experimentation. Using that base recipe, I modified it by using different chocolates in the ganache (different dark chocolates as well as white chocolate.) I also experimented with infusing the cream with different flavors; I infused one batch with cinnamon, another with fresh thyme, and a third with fresh ginger. Another modification was using a glucose infused with honey for extra honey flavor. And finally, I experienced with different chocolate for the moulds. I tried the fillings in dark chocolate moulds as well as in white chocolate moulds.
When I had 10 different combinations I liked, I decided it was time to do a tasting. It just so happened that I was having a meeting at my house that week and used the tasting as a meeting icebreaker activity. I put all the chocolates out on a large table and gave everyone a score sheet to use to identify the chocolates they liked the best. Tasting the chocolates got everyone talking and laughing and having a chocolaty-good-time.
A close up of the four white chocolate honey ganache chocolates. White chocolate and honey ganache go well together.
As a big dark chocolate lover, it should come as no surprise that I came up with more dark chocolate and honey combinations.
My taste testers loved the chocolates, but after reviewing the score cards two flavors did emerge as the favorites: 1) white chocolate honey ganache infused with cinnamon and Speculoos cookie pieces and dark chocolate honey ganache with honeyed walnuts.
Dark Chocolate Winner: Dark chocolate honey ganache with honey roasted walnuts
White Chocolate Winner: White chocolate honey ganache infused with cinnamon and Speculoos cookie pieces