A little late with this post, but here's what I made for the splendidly dynamic Vanessa Kimbell's fantastic 'Let's Make Christmas' event at Fortnum and Mason.
Mulled Wine Chocolates (method from William Curley's Couture Chocolate).
For the jelly:
500ml suitable red wine (I used a soft fruity merlot/cabernet blend)
250g demerara sugar
8 sheets of gelatine
For the ganache:
a cinnamon stick
60g liquid glucose
350g dark chocolate (I used Amedei)
60g unsalted butter
For the covering:
60g cocoa butter
150g dark chocolate
500g dark chocolate
Pour the cream into a saucepan and bring to the boil.
Add the spices, simmer gently for a couple of minutes and then cover with cling film and leave to infuse for at least four hours.
In the meantime, make the jelly.
Chop up the gelatine a bit and soak in cold water for ten minutes.
Slice up the lemon and stick it into a pan with the wine. Chuck in the sugar too and bring to the boil. Simmer and stir until all the sugar is dissolved.
Strain the mixture to remove the lemons (look how pretty and red they are!) and then return to the pan with the (squeezed out) gelatine.
Bring back to the boil, stir to dissolve gelatine and then simmer gently for about 25 minutes.
Line a cold tin with clingfilm or silicon paper.
When it has cooled slightly, pour in the jelly mixture and leave to set in a cool place.
When the cream has had long enough to infuse (it should taste spicy), strain it and return to the pan with the liquid glucose. Bring back to the boil and then remove from the heat, cooling until it reaches 65 degrees celcius.
Melt the chocolate over a pan of barely simmering water to 41.
Add the cooled cream to the chocolate and mix frantically to emulsify.
When this is smooth, add the butter (chopped and room temperature) and mix in.
Pour the ganache over the cold jelly and leave in a cool place overnight to set.
The next day, make a quick cocoa butter mixture - melt the cocoa butter and the (small amount of) chopped chocolate over boiling water.
Allow to cool slightly and then brush over the surface of the set ganache.
Leave to set for a couple of minutes, then flip (easier said than done, a parchment covered chopping board or similar would probably be useful here) over so that the jelly side is facing upwards.
Paint the jelly side in a similar way.
Using a hot knife (I used the hob, a hairdryer is also effective. Hot water isn't great as you, obviously, don't want to get any wet in the chocolate), chop the sheet of jelly/ganache into squares.
I don't seem to have a photo of this bit, but you get the picture.
When this is also set, you can temper your (big portion of) chocolate. Temperatures obviously vary a bit from chocolate to chocolate, but the principles are the same.
Heat the chocolate up (over boiling water) to about 41 degrees.
Then cool down to 28-29 (I did this in an ice bath, but it also is effective to add cold chopped chocolate).
Heat chocolate back up to 31 degrees.
Dip each square into the tempered chocolate to coat (easier said than done...) and leave on silicon paper to set.
I decorated with slivers of lemon zest.
The event itself was lovely. It was nice to see existing friends and meet new ones (sorry I didn't get to meet everyone - I promise to do better next time).
The quality of the homemade presents was phenomenal - everything looked really stunning.
I didn't take pictures, but there are lots knocking around on Twitter and blogs.
I took home Kavey's (of Kavey Eats) amazing chilli and ginger pickle. Hot and delicious - my favourite kind of thing - I'm really enjoying it so far.