Sunday, January 29, 2012

Chocolate Truffles

Making homemade chocolate truffles has been in my mind for over a year now, but for some reason I just never got around to just making them. A few weeks ago however, I buckled down and decided I had to just do it. Now, finally having completed my truffle making task, I'm asking myself what took so long? They turned out wonderfully, creamy and decadent, dark and rich. You also get a lot of truffles out of one batch which is really nice. I'm definitely not going to let it take as long to make them a second time.



I like my chocolate dark, so I used a nice mix of different kinds of dark chocolate that I've been accumulating to make truffles with. I thought they turned out perfectly, intensely dark, almost to the point of being bitter but not quite. If you don't like your chocolate quite so dark, go with something a little sweeter. Since truffles are mostly chocolate, use really good chocolate to make them. The better the chocolate the better the truffle.

The process was not difficult at all, but it definitely takes some time. You have to make the ganache, let it set for several hours, and then roll out each individual chocolate. I found it very rewarding, but I wouldn't try it if you're in a hurry. You can make the ganache a day or two ahead though and let it sit in the fridge until you are ready to shape the truffles. That's what I did and it worked out perfectly. Now having one batch of truffles under my belt, I'm ready to start experimenting with different toppings and different flavors, the possibilities are endless.

My mix of dark chocolate

Pretty, I almost didn't want to melt it

Break it all up in a bowl for microwaving

Nice and melted

Add the cream mixture

Let it sit covered for a few minutes

Then start stirring in the butter

Glossy and beautiful

Pour the ganache into the prepared pan

Then give it a few hours to set, first at room 
temperature and then in the fridge

When ready, remove from the pan

Time to create

Cut it up into 64 pieces

I could eat it as is

Roll each piece into a smooth ball,
yes it is kind of messy

Drop each truffle in the cocoa coating
and roll to coat

That's it, time to enjoy!





Chocolate Truffles
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated
Ingredients
Ganache
  • 12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped 
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream 
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened and cut into pieces 
Coating
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa 
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar 
Directions
Start by making a parchment sling for an 8-inch square baking dish. Cut two strips of parchment paper as wide as the pan but long enough to hang over the edge. Lay them perpendicular in the pan so the bottom and sides are covered and the parchment hangs over all of the edges. This makes it easier to remove the ganache later.

Next make the ganache. First, microwave the chocolate for about 3-4 minutes on 50% power until mostly melted but a few small pieces remain. Then microwave the cream until warm, about 30 seconds. Add the corn syrup, vanilla and salt and pour the mixture over the chocolate. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit for 3 minutes until it's nice and steamy, then remove the plastic and stir it all together with a wooden spoon. Finally, add the butter, one piece at a time, stirring until fulling incorporated and silky smooth.

Transfer the ganache to the prepared pan and let it sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours before covering and refrigerating until firm, at least 2 more hours.

While waiting for the ganache to firm up make the coating. Sift together the cocoa and powdered sugar twice into a small bowl using a fine mesh strainer.

Using the parchment paper as handles, life the ganache out of the pan. Cut the block of chocolate into 64 pieces, if it's really hard and starts cracking, let it sit out for a few minutes before continuing. Roll each piece into a round ball. I found that pressing the edges of each square into a more rounded shape with the tips of my fingers first made it easier to roll each piece into a nice ball with the palms of my hands. Drop the balls into the bowl of cocoa topping and roll them around to completely coat. Store the truffles in an airtight container in the fridge.

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