Father’s Day is just around the corner, and we’re hosting a proper cookout for the special guys in our lives. I already have a couple of potluck-style desserts in mind for the day, but I also wanted to make something cute and kind of funny. Inspiration struck when I found a bag of smoky Lapsang Souchong tea in the pantry. Steeped in heavy cream, it makes a marvelous smoked ganache – and it’s a fitting flavor for a chocolate cigar!
You won’t need a fancy gadget to make these. Waxed paper rolled into tubes makes a simple and effective cigar mold.
You’ll need at least two pieces of waxed paper about 20-inches long and 12-inches wide. Roll the paper into a tube 12-inches long with a 1-inch opening, and affix a piece of cellophane tape across the seam to hold it closed. Stand the tubes upright in tall glasses, this will make piping the ganache into the tubes much easier than trying to fill them lying on a counter top.
After a thorough chill in the refrigerator, the ganache will be firm and can be unrolled from the waxed paper. Cut each 12-inch ganache baton into three 4-inch pieces while the chocolate is still cold.
Immediately roll the cigars in unsweetened cocoa powder.
After the cigars are rolled in the cocoa, dip one end in a little more loose-leaf Lapsang Souchong. Use a straight edge (such as the ruler pictured) to make a single diagonal line that runs through the centers of the cigars. This gives them an authentic rolled appearance.
If you’re not into the cigar motif, then you can opt to roll the smoked ganache into truffles instead. We had a little leftover ganache after making the cigars, and there was no way it was going to waste. They were quickly rolled into bite-size truffles.
Ganache will become soft at room temperature, so I recommend keeping these cool. Summertime is in full swing here, so I plan to store these in the refrigerator until ready to serve. All of our taste-testers really enjoyed the unique flavor of the smoked tea ganache. I recommend using semisweet chocolate, because it’s strong enough to go toe-to-toe with intense smoky black tea.
We found free printable cigar bands online, and printed them at 75% to most perfectly fit the size of our chocolates (you can find them here!). The bands can be fastened with a tiny piece of clear tape where the ends meet. We packaged the banded cigars in clear cellophane, which is a common cigar packaging.
These were so much fun to make, and a light-hearted approach to confectionery. We do not encourage the use of tobacco products, but we do encourage and condone the use of chocolate.
Smoky Chocolate Cigars
- wax paper
- disposable piping bag
- 1 1/2 cups 360ml heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup 20g loose leaf Lapsang Souchong tea, plus 2 tablespoons more for dipping
- 3 cups 540g semisweet chocolate, chopped (or semisweet chips)
- 1/2 cup 65g unsweet cocoa powder
- Heat the cream in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until steaming but not boiling. Remove from the heat and stir in 1/4 cup of the loose leaf tea. Remove from the heat and steep for 10-15 minutes. Pour the cream through a sieve to strain out the tea. Transfer the cream back into the saucepan.
- Return the saucepan to medium-low heat and cook again until steaming but not boiling. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate. Let stand for 1 minute. Using a whisk, stir the mixture until a glossy ganache is formed. Let stand at room temperature until the ganache thickens to the consistency of soft, spreadable chocolate frosting. Transfer the ganache to a disposable piping bag with a 1/2-inch hole snipped in the end.
- Cut two pieces of waxed paper to 12×20 inches. Roll each piece up from the short side creating a 12×1-inch tube. Affix a piece of cellophane tape across the seam to hold the tube closed. Stand each tube upright inside two tall drinking glasses or tumblers. Place the tip of the piping bag into the opening of one of the tubes and squeeze until the tube is filled with ganache. Rap the glass on the work surface to remove air bubbles or gaps in the chocolate. Fill with more ganache if needed.
- Transfer the tubes to the refrigerator to chill, about 3 hours or overnight. You will have a little leftover ganache, so I recommend rolling them into truffles.
- Sift the cocoa onto a jelly roll pan, or other baking pan with a lip.
- Lightly grind the remaining 2 tablespoons of tea in a mortar and pestle, or crush the leaves between your fingers. Transfer to a small bowl.
- Unmold the ganache by unrolling the waxed paper. Cut the 12-inch batons into three 4-inch cigars using a knife or bench scraper. Immediately roll the cigars in unsweet cocoa powder. Dip one end of the cigars into the ground tea. Using a straight edge, such as the edge of a ruler or knife, impress a line diagonally through the center of the cigars to give them an authentically rolled appearance.
- Print and cut out cigar bands using an X-acto knife (see blog post for link). Affix to cigars using a small piece of cellophane tape. Wrap cigars individually in cellophane, or package them in an unused (new) cigar box lined with parchment paper.
- Keep cigars refrigerated.