"Welcome to Psychedelicatessen, a weekly column exploring the world of cannabis cuisine, including recipes from the great chefs and ganjapreneurs who fuel our appetite for adventure."
Interested in learning more about making BHO? Check out the new May issue of HIGH TIMES, on sale soon, for an illuminating article about Skunk Pharm Research, the Portland, Oregon cannabis school responsible for providing trusted online advice and information about concentrates. The team behind Skunk Pharm came together as caregivers seeking highly potent medicine for friends and loved ones, and now Carla, J.D. and Joe use their expertise in the fields of science and engineering to design extraction equipment, formulate medicines and help cancer patients access live-saving therapies.
Carla’s background in culinary arts made her the most qualified Skunk Pharmer to create potent medicated foods, and she now specializes in chocolate truffles. After a stint working at the highly regarded Holly B’s bakery on Lopez Island, Carla learned an appreciation for specific, quality-driven recipes. “I wanted Skunk Pharm to do marvelous edibles, not just good,” Carla says, designing her truffles carefully to be so sinfully rich that “you couldn’t overdose on the cannabis before OD’ing on the sugar!” However, she notes that some sweet tooths are still able to sit down and eat a dozen. “I couldn’t imagine eating more than three!’ Carla says, laughing.
When designing her edibles, Carla gives a lot of thought to dosage. “Cakes and cookies don’t get mixed enough,” she says, “It’s too inconsistent, you get pockets of cannabutter that make some brownies stronger than others in the same batch.” Vigorously mixing delicate batters for baked goods will make the resulting product tough and chewy, not light and airy. She finally arrived at a precise method for dosage, dropping her concentrate into a tiny hole in the finished truffles. “I’m more confident with the end product when I dose this way,” Carla says, adding that it’s easy to customize the doses to meet the needs of different patients. If you’d like to add the concentrate directly to the mix, Carla advises mixing it into the heavy cream used to make the chocolate ganache.
Skunk Pharm truffles are dosed with a cannabis extract created especially for this purpose, and Carla is able to make separate truffles for daytime and nighttime use by slightly tweaking her hash-making formula. She decarboxylates her hash oil in a fondue pot surrounded by a canola oil bath kept at 250ºF. Carla determines her level of THC activation by watching for the bubbles in the hash oil to subside, and removes the oil from heat when it’s been 70% decarboxylated, maximizing THC content. This oil will be used for a daytime appropriate truffle dose that “keeps your brain bouncing around.” Heating the oil further, until all bubbles dissipate, results in a 100% decarbed preparation with more CBN, perfect as a sleep aid for nighttime use.
Medicated Dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffles
Makes 48 truffles
4 oz. heavy cream (look for 40% milk fat)
12 oz. fresh raspberries
4 tbsp. raspberry infused bourbon*
32 oz. semisweet or dark chocolate
3 oz. cocoa butter
Coating and Dosing
20 oz. finely chopped white chocolate, divided
1 oz. cocoa butter
100 to 300 mg. (1 to 3 drops) hash oil per medicated truffle ** (4.8 g to 14.4 g hash oil total)
Double boiler (or a metal bowl placed over a pot of hot water)
First, make your raspberry juice by pressing fresh or frozen raspberries through a food mill. Alternatively, if you lack a food mill, puree the berries in a blender or food processor and press through a mesh strainer to remove seeds. You need 4 ounces of raspberry juice.
Heat the cream to pre-boil in top of double boiler or in a bowl over a pot of water. Cream should be steaming and just starting to form a few bubbles at the edges. Remove from heat and wipe moisture from bottom of bowl. Add and melt the chocolate and cocoa butter. Once that has been well incorporated, gently whisk in the bourbon and raspberry juice. Use a rubber spatula to spread the ganache into an even layer in a Pyrex baking dish. Set the ganache aside in a cool, dark place until firm, 3 to 4 hours. (Can refrigerate but it effects the texture.)
Forming the Truffle Centers
Chill a baking sheet in the fridge and line with parchment. Form the ganache into small balls with a small ice cream scoop, place onto parchment and refrigerate.
Melt 12 oz. of the chopped white chocolate in a double boiler with 1 oz. of cocoa butter.
Remove from heat, wiping away any moisture from the outside, and add four more ounces of white chocolate chunks. Cool the white chocolate mixture to 90ºF, using a candy thermometer to keep watch. Cooling may take up to an hour.
Maintain the white chocolate mixture at 90ºF, placing over a double boiler if needed. With a skewer, dipping tool or fork, coat the dark chocolate ganache centers with white chocolate. Set on parchment to cool.
To coat, melt the remaining 4 oz. of white chocolate. Pierce a hole in the center of each truffle with a skewer. Insert oil into hole and seal with melted white chocolate.
DOSE: ONE TRUFFLE
Carla warns that the truffles are very strong, especially since we’re using hash oil. Do not exceed the recommended dose!
*To make the raspberry-infused bourbon, add one quart fresh raspberries and ¼ cup honey to a jar and cover with bourbon. Store infusion in a cool dark place for three to six months, shaking periodically. Pour off and use liquor as flavoring. If you lack the time to create this infusion, simply use regular bourbon. Your truffles will taste fine but lack the extra raspberry flavor.
**100mg or one drop from a standard dropper is a medical low dose. 10mg is considered a recreational dose.