I will always store chocolate in the freezer. This is something I learned a long time ago, back in the British Army. I served a lot of my military time in hot Middle Eastern countries such as Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Desert weather is hot and dry during the day and cold at night, and chocolate does not do well with fluctuations in temperature.
In the Caribbean, Bahamas, and some places around the Med, the hot and humid climates will make your chocolate bloom with fat. This is when the chocolate appears lighter than normal, with a whitewashed look. It is normally fine to eat but doesn’t look good at all.
Keeping chocolate in the freezer in a ziplock bag with the air squeezed out stops these big swings in temperature and prevents fat blooms in your high-quality chocolate.
There are a few different types of chocolate that you will need to keep on board.
Dark chocolate of high quality is essential; so is milk chocolate — again, the highest quality you can get. These usually come in large 2.5kg or 5kg bags. Drop these bags into a 2-gallon zip-close freezer bag and they will last forever. Keep all the original packaging, as it has information about the temper points for tempering chocolate. Never mix old and new.
Always have chocolate chips on hand for cookies and muffins. I would mix different sizes and types of chips into large zip-close bags for time-saving and ease of storage.
Finally, chocolate truffle shells in dark chocolate and white. Chocolate truffles are super easy to make and are the perfect nighttime treat for turndown. I would always make a large batch at the start of the season and save them for the last night of the charter to really wow the guests.
Make a few different flavors of chocolate ganache — such as rum, whisky, coffee liqueur, black cherry, etc. — fill the shells up and chill, then dip them in more chocolate and roll them in nuts or toffee crumbles while still warm. Pop the finished truffles back into the packaging and store them in the freezer.
By the time the stews have flipped the guest cabins and dinner is finished, your handmade chocolate truffles will be completely defrosted and ready for turndown. Delicious!
Dark Chocolate Ganache
By Chef Danny Davies
Depending on their size, this will fill about 20 truffle shells.
158 milliliters heavy cream
191 grams 70% Valrhona chocolate
30 grams butter, room temperature
30 grams honey
30 grams alcohol (rum, whiskey, Tia Maria — any alcohol works)
Boil the cream and honey. Pour ⅓ of this mixture over the chocolate. With a spatula, mix rapidly to obtain a smooth and glossy texture. Gradually add the remaining cream, making sure to keep the mix smooth and that it obtains a glossy emulsion. Mix until the chocolate is completely emulsified. Stir in softened butter and mix thoroughly. Leave to chill until set. Pipe into truffle shells, then chill.
Chef Danny Davies, a 25-year veteran chef, has worked on yachts ranging from 100 to 400+ feet. Check out his “Behind the Line” podcast interviews with top yacht chefs from around the world.
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