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Oud Truffles



Yes, you heard it right:
Oud truffles.
As in chocolate, with oud in it, to eat and enjoy.

This is very unconventional flavour. It creates more of an aroma that enhances the chocolate.

The occasion is my book signing event: I was thinking - what would be reminiscent of old libraries, leather-bound books, something mysterious, alluring and totally out there? First I was thinking ambergris (which I've already created before for my Orcas perfume launch - with amazing result). I had a sniffing session of oud the other day with my student (who's originally from Kuwait - she's in fact, the daughter of an Arabian perfumer and oud merchant). As a result, oud was on my mind... I had a hunch that oud would create a similar effect to that of ambergris - bring the best out of the chocolate. I was right.

I've used an incredibly animalic, rich, and slightly berry-like oud (the same one that I use in my Razala perfume). The result was everything I hoped and non of the bitterness I feared that would result from adding wood oil to the already-bitter 72% dark cocoa. It blossomed into this spectacular, slightly flowery chocolate. Rich in aroma, intriguing, intense, but also very refined and not in the least overpowering. I'm going to pair it with a nice big red, spicy wine like Zinfandel or Shiraz tonight!
Please join me!

Black Beauty


isn't she a beauty?, originally uploaded by serni.

Yesterday morning, I woke up with a spark of inspiration. The night before I felt so drained and discouraged I didn't think I would make any truffles at all... But that morning, I woke up bright and early, and we already had early breakfast plans with my brother Noam (who offered to take us out - how sweet of him, and so perfect for a full weekend market).

So I wake up, and I had the chocolate all ready and my ingredients all lined up. I've been in love with black cardamom every since I read about it in Vij's at Home cookbook. I always dismissed black cardamom as a spice because all I read about it was that it's inferior to the green cardamom. And since I love green cardamom so much, I thought there was no point searching for something inferior to it... After cooking an amazing black chickpeas, date and black cardamom curry from the book, I was so moved by black cardamom's beauty, that I was determined to explore this spice in every way possible - including truffles. I just was not sure how.


2 Varieties of Black Cardamom, originally uploaded by norecipes.

Black cardamom is usually much larger and coarser looking than green cardamom. In both cases though, the shells from these pods are removed before grinding. However, they can be cooked whole (much like cloves), which is how they are used when cooking chai. The outer shell of black cardamom has a distinctively smoky and earthy aroma. The glossy seeds, once exposed and pounded with a mortar and pestle, have an aroma that is camphoreous yet earthy still. It lends a very unusual flavour to curries - giving them intense depth. And apparently, that's what gives the food at the renowned Vij's Restaurant its characteristic, as it is used in many of their recipes, and is a main ingredient in their signature garam masala.

I haven't dined at Vij's much (only once, actually), because the lineup there is 2 hours long (and there is always a lineup) - by which time I would have been able to cook up a recipe from either of their fabulous books and feel really proud of myself (not to mention feed a whole flock of starving teenagers, students and/or artists for a fraction of the cost).

So, I can actually attest to the magic of black cardamom and I'm so glad that I added yet another unlabeled jar of mystery onto my spice rack (the only thing that is more elaborate than my spice rack is my perfumer's organ...).

At 7am, I infused my cream with a generous heap of black lapsang suchong tea, crushed cardamoms (with pods included) and simmered them for a while. Meanwhile, my dark chocolate was melting on the bain-marie, to which I later added a dash of finely ground black smoked salt, some of my favourite type of gin, and even more finely ground black cardamom seeds (in my marble mortar and pestle). Whisking the two mixtures together, I had a ganache ready, a shallow pan ready (these were going to be cut up into squares, rather than formed into balls like I usually do). I let them chill and headed down the street for breakfast with the family.

A few hours later, I was at my table at Portobello West, putting the final touches to my table, such as putting little tags and signs for little items that require explanations, as there is more to them than meets the eye. It was time to tell the world about my new truffles... I started writing down what's in them, and I realized it would be really hard to convince people to eat them based on a list of ingredients only. They had to have a name. As I was printing the ingredients on the little card -

Black cardamom

Black smoked salt

(Black) Lapsang Suchong Tea

I realized that everything in these truffles was black and beautiful and the name just announced itself on the tag:

BLACK BEAUTY TRUFFLES

Black Summer Truffles


amiamo il tartufo, originally uploaded by Firenze&Boboli.

Those of you who missed the fabulous fashion show last night will still be able to enjoy the new truffle flavour I've just invented and included in half of the goody bags (in the silvery sachets): Black Summer Truffle!*

The idea came to me when I discovered black summer truffle flavoured salt from Maison Cotรฉ.
This gourmet sea salt contains 3% dried black summer truffles, and 1% of truffle flavour.

Admittedly, I'm not a huge truffle fan. I like the scent, which is unusual, musky, earthy and heady. But as an aroma and flavour it's a bit much. So I used just a pinch of the salt in the truffles, and mellowed it with earthy wild mushroom absolute (aka Porcini or Cรจpes). And to make a good thing even better - a shot of Bailey's Irish Cream!

Midsummer Tea Party will take place August 8th. Reservation is required for attending as space is limited. I hope to see you among my guests!

*The other half, in the golden sachets, were filled with orange blossom truffles - some were Guilt and some were Saffron Robe (I like variety when I need to roll hundreds of truffles!).

Holiday Truffles

Freshly-made seasonal holiday-flavoure truffles are awaiting to be picked up as gifts and treats for the holiday season. I made the following flavours - none of which are listed on my website, but they can be picked up from the studio:

Candy Cane - dark 70% cocoa with peppermint and vodka

Epice Sauvage - milk chocolate with scotch, orange blossom, sweet & blood orange and a spice-blend (cinnamon, cardamom and ginger)

Gin & Rose - dark chocolate with Hendricks gin, juniper berry and organic rose otto

Packaged in gift bags (6 truffles for $10) or gift boxes (8 truffles for $15).
Larger batches can be made on demand for your holiday dinner or for New Year's Eve celebrations.

Ayala's Stocking Stuffers Under $20

Scented Sachets
The newest addition to Ayala Moriel's home fragrance line is the scented sachets. These unique blends of dried botanicals, resins and spices are infused with Ayala Moriel's pure perfume blends of natural botanical essences that intensify the aroma of the sachets and truly represent the perfumes they are based on - only meant for your closet.

The sachets are made of sheer organza, so that you can enjoy the visual vibrancy of the dry botanical. They are like dry bouquets captured within the fabric, to scent your clothes and linenes. Place in your drawers, in between garments on shelves, or tie to the hanger to leave a lingering subtle scent on your coats, shawls or gowns. Many of these sachets also have the benefit of protecting your clothes from moth and insects, as they contain cedarwood and/or patchouli leaves and essential oils, which are known for their moth repellent qualities.

These sachets keep their scent for a long time (I've had mine for a year before releasing them to the public, and they are still very fragrant). They will sure make your stocking smell good. Available in Ayalitta, Bon Zai, Fete d'Hiver, Film Noir, Lovender, Vetiver Racinettes and Viola.$15 each.

Tealights
Our tealights are back in stock, in all 3 scents: ArbitRary, Bois d'Hiver & White Potion. These soywax candles are made from non-GMO soybeans and are pacakged in recyclable tealight plastic containers that are heat resistant and safe to burn. They make an excellent addition to any gift, or can be the gift when grouped in larger quantities. Price range: $4 (ArbitRary & Bois d'Hiver); $6 (White Potion).

Creative uses for tealights:
- Before you ligtht the tealights, group in interesting arrangement to make an interesting lighting effect for your holiday party.
- Pair with a sample of the same (or different) scent from Ayala Moriel's line.
- If you don't intend to use the candle immediately, store in your closet as you would a fine soap or a sachet. These will make your closet smell wonderful!

Truffles Gift Boxes
These gift boxes contain 8 delicious truffles with surprising flavours to savour over the holiday. Flavoured with essential oils and flower essences, these flavours really burst in your mouth and leave a memorable impression.

Dark chocolate flavours:
Blood Truffles - Rose, Chili, Saffron and Kahluah
Guilt Truffles - Orange Flower, Wild Orange and Grand Marnier
Jasmin Noir - Basil, Sambuca and Jasmine Grandiflorum
Mojito-Jalapeno - Green Jalapeno, Tequila, Spearming & Lime

White Chocolate Flavours:
White Potion - Tuberose, Coconut, Almond
Charisma Truffles - Matcha, Sambac, Osmanthus & Spearmint
Magnolia Petal - Magnolia, Vanilla & Clementine

Milk Chocolate Truffless:
Lovender Truffles - Lavender & Nutmeg
Immortelle l'Amour Truffles - Cinnamon, Ginger, Maple & Orange

These truffles can also be made in custom flavours, and are all packaged in recyclable tins that can be returned for refill or reused as you wish. Price: $15/tin


Sample Sizes
Samples are the best way to try a scent before committing to a larger bottle. And when buying for someone else, is a great way to introduce someone to the line without risking that the fragrance will go to waste. While the sample pictured of the exclusive limited edition The Purple Dress (coming out in in 2009) costs $17 per 1ml vial, most of Ayala Moriel's samples are less pricy, and are $8 each for 1ml parfum extrait. This amount allows you to live with the scent for a while (it will easily last for a week) and also looks adorable and fits nicely in any pocket or purse.

Gift Certificate
We offer gift certificates for any budget, and we all know that even a little bit counts when you are saving up for that dream perfume! Just tell us the amount and who it's for and we'll customize your gift card, tie a satin ribbon for a finishing touch and tuck it in a fancy, miniature vellum envelope.
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