Amy Carson is a photographer and recipe developer based in San Diego, California. Her professional relationship with food began over a decade ago: first as a nutritionist and personal chef, and later as a chocolatier and owner of a small-batch chocolate company. She is also an avid traveler and seeks to learn as much as possible about the local cuisine of every destination that she visits. See more of her work at amycarsonphotography.com and on Instagram: @spicevoyager.
a little bit about the recipe
"I tried making these first with dark chocolate, but the result was too bitter and masked the subtle aromas of the tea. Instead, milk chocolate ended up being a perfect choice, as it brings out the cream and vanilla flavors, and allows the citrus notes to shine. This particular cacao powder is bright and fruity, so it complements the other flavors as well. The texture is silky-smooth, and the flavor is divine!"
TIME (ACTIVE) | 40 M
TIME (INACTIVE) | 14 H
TOTAL | 14 H 40 M
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: WHISK OR STICK BLENDER
Line an 8x8” pan with parchment or plastic wrap.
Pour the heavy cream into a small pot on the stove top with both the vanilla beans and pod, and bring to a boil.
Turn off the heat. Stir in the tea, and orange zest, then cover and set a timer for 15 minutes.
While the tea is steeping in the cream, chop the chocolate very fine, then place it in a medium-sized heat-safe bowl.
Strain the tea mixture, carefully pressing out as much liquid as possible.
Transfer the cream back to the pot and heat it again, until boiling.
Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and give it a quick stir. Make sure that all of the chocolate is submerged, then cover the bowl with a lid and set a timer for 5 minutes.
Remove the lid and vigorously whisk or blend the mixture using a stick blender.
If large lumps of chocolate still remain, and the ganache has cooled too much, the bowl may be heated in the microwave in 30-second intervals, whisking in between. Alternatively, it may be placed over a pot of boiling water to gently warm it enough to melt the remaining chocolate.
Once no lumps remain, whisk in the honey, then stir in the butter and the salt.
Continue whisking or blending until the ganache is completely smooth.
Pour the ganache into the prepared pan and allow it to cool at room temperature for at least 2 hours.
Allow the ganache to firm up at room temperature (60-70 degrees Fahrenheit max) for at least 12 hours. Alternatively, it may be covered with plastic wrap and placed in the refrigerator overnight.
Transfer the pan with the ganache to the freezer for one hour prior to slicing.
Take the pan out of the freezer. Remove the ganache-filled parchment or plastic from the pan, then place it on a large cutting board.
Using a sharp knife or pastry scraper, cut the ganache into 1.25” cubes. For easier slicing, heat the knife over a flame beforehand, and clean it between each cut. Then repeat the process.
Sift the cacao powder into a small bowl.
Roll each individual square in the cacao powder, then place it on a serving tray or other container.
Will keep for 1 week refrigerated, up to one month in the freezer.
Look for milk chocolate that contains at least 30% cacao solids (it should be written on the package) and no added vegetable fats.
The ganache squares are best consumed at room temperature, but they should be covered and refrigerated for storage and consumed within a week. Alternatively, they may be frozen at peak freshness in an airtight container.