mmm...who would have thought that wanna-be fungus could taste this good?
Last weekend the bf and I made chocolate truffles and they were scrumptiously good.
I read so many mixed opinions about truffle-making that I was a bit intimidated to make these. Some recipes boast about truffles being one of the easiest fancy desserts, while others go on and on about all the trillions of ways your truffles can fail, miserably.
Here's my conclusion: the basic truffle is very easy to make and even easier to eat. These are the kinds that are soft and creamy all over. The shell covered truffles, however, are a bit trickier.
We made both, and I have to say, I prefer the shelled truffles -- the contrast in texture just does it for me -- but the creamy ones are so easy, but the shelled ones are so fancy, but the creamy ones are so creamy, but the shelled ones...never mind.
For the shelled truffles, the chocolate coating must be tempered, and cannot reach a temperature higher than 94 degrees F (but this number varies depending on the recipe). This was definitely challenging, and it did not really work for me. The chocolate temperature fluctuated about a bajillion times and even went over (gasp...94 degrees F!!), but somehow magically it still worked, sort of. The truffles still got that "snap" that everyone talks about, although I'm guessing if I actually did it correctly, they would have been more...snappy.
There are several ways to temper chocolate -- our method was to consistently add and remove new pieces of chocolate chunks to the warm chocolate to make sure it doesn't get too hot. A good thermometer is vital, and the ability (which apparently I don't have) to make sure the thermometer does not touch anything but the chocolate (ie. the sides of the bowl). So to summarize: I need more practice. But any sort of practice that involves chocolate is always good!
Chocolate Truffles (adapted from Robert Linxe via Smitten Kitchen and Joy of Cooking)
- 8 ounces good quality chocolate (at least 56% cacao), chopped
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 3 ounces good quality chocolate, plus a bit more for tempering (for chocolate shell), chopped
- Good quality cocoa powder for dusting
- Bourbon Candied Nuts (Recipe Below)
2. Pour the hot heavy cream over the chopped chocolate, mashing any big pieces with a spoon.
3. Stir with this mixture together in concentric circles starting in the center and working your way to the edge with a whisk, being careful not to beat air into it and create bubbles.
4. Chill mixture for 1 hour.
5. Using a small spoon, scoop out about 1 tablespoon of mixture at a time, shape into balls, and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan.
6. Chill the balls for at least 2o minutes.
7. If you don't want to mess with the chocolate shell, then you are done! Enjoy. Otherwise...
1. Temper 3 ounces of chocolate (here are some tips on tempering chocolate).
2. Using 2 spoons, or your hands, roll each chilled truffle in the melted chocolate.
3. While the coating is still wet, dunk the truffle in the chocolate powder or candied nuts.
4. Place each truffle back on the parchment paper. Chill for an additional 10 minutes (I didn't do this part, just ate them right after they were done. That's just me, I guess.)
Bourbon Candied Nuts (adapted loosely from Smitten Kitchen)
- 1/2 cup well-chopped mixed nuts (I used walnuts, pecans, and almonds)
- 1 egg white
- 1 Tb bourbon
- 2 Tb brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp salt.
2. Mix bourbon and egg white in a separate bowl. Stir in the nuts, coating evenly.
3. Sprinkle sugar mixture over nuts, and stir again, coating evenly.
4. Spread mixture onto parchment lined sheet and bake for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Let the mixture cool completely. Break into small pieces.