Chocolate With Candied Seeds
By Corey Lee
For years, we served traditional molded chocolates, filled and decorated individually by hand. They were skillfully made, and many of our guests raved about them. Nonetheless, they always felt incongruous with the rest of our menu, appearing somewhat common and possibly interpreted as a platitudinal gesture that comes at the end of so many tasting menus. And for something I wasn’t fully able to embrace, they were a painstakingly time-consuming preparation that required a big investment from us. This recipe is a very different kind of chocolate service. The flavor of it is based on gang jung, a Korean candy made of nuts and seeds bound together with syrup. We make a nougatine of various seeds and fold it into tempered chocolate. We then set it into large blocks that get chiseled into irregular shapes. The rough shards of chocolate are much more intriguing to me than their perfectly formed, satin finish predecessors, and reflect an evolved aesthetic that I find quite beautiful.
Chocolate With Candied Seeds by Corey Lee
- 180g granulated sugar
- 20g amaranth seeds
- 20g sesame seeds
- 20g flax seeds
- 20g poppy seeds
- 20g chia seeds
- 850g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
Put the sugar in a pan and heat while stirring to 350º F / 180º C. Stir in the seeds, then pour the mixture onto a silicone mat to cool. When the noutagine has set, chop it into pieces. To temper the chocolate, bring 565g of it to 132ºF / 56 º C. Take off the heat and fold in the remaining chocolate until smooth. Continue stirring gently until the chocolate reaches a temperature of 82º F / 28º C. Reheat the chocolate to 88º F / 31º C. Stir in the chopped nougatine, then pour into a nonstick container to cool.
Chisel the chocolate to produce cracked pieces.
Recipe from Benu by Corey Lee, £39.95 / €49.95, $59.95 Phaidon 2015, www.phaidon.com Photography by Eric Wolfinger