A Little Chocolate Now and Then Doesn’t Hurt: Chocolate Truffles

Peanuts sage Charles Schulz once said, “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”  I quite agree.  I’ve never been a chocoholic, and when I was younger I was allergic to chocolate.  But even I must admit I get a hankering for dark, rich, velvety chocolate every so often, and when it strikes nothing else will satisfy.

This week we tackled chocolate truffles, and were privileged to learn from the best, chocolatier Susie Norris, author of Chocolate Bliss.  My vocabulary is now filled with terms such as “fat bloom,” “seizing,” “sugar bloom,” and “tempered.”

Chocolate?

Making chocolate is a messy business.  When we finished my chef’s coat was covered in unsightly and very embarrassing brown smears.  Chef Norris didn’t have a smudge on her.  She’s a true professional.

We made two types of chocolate truffles: milk chocolate with a hazelnut cream center, and dark chocolate with a flavored center of our choice; I chose Grand Marnier, Rum, and orange zest.  First we made then refrigerated the centers.  Then we carefully and precisely tempered our chocolate and dipped the centers in.  We placed the dipped truffles on parchment lined sheets, and you have to move them around to avoid a pool of chocolate from collecting on the bottom.  (That’s called a “foot,” and it’s supposedly bad).  After decorating, we were done.  Dark chocolate truffle recipe follows.

Dark and Milk Chocolate Truffles

Hand dipped, artisan chocolates from new chocolatier: me!  And, because I love hearing how people love my cooking, the reviews are in:

“…they are SO DELICIOUS !! They taste like some of the chocolates that I eat when I am in Paris!”  And:

“Well, you can’t go wrong with liqueur in chocolates (I assume that was Grand Marnier in the Dark Chocolate Truffle)—this one was my favorite.  However, I liked the creaminess of the Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Truffle; it hit a home run for me because it wasn’t too sweet and the hazelnut and milk chocolate married well together.  A nice glass of red wine would pair nicely with both.”

Dark and Milk Chocolate Truffles

Home run! Yay!

I’m very sad to say that baking class is now over. Tear!  I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, and even discovered that there may be a pastry chef in me yet, some day.  Next up: my last culinary class, Cuisine Across Cultures.  More adventures yet to come.

Dark Chocolate Truffles

Serves 30
Prep time 1 hour
Meal type Dessert

Ingredients

Filling

  • 8oz Dark chocolate (Use good quality, high cocoa content, I like Valrhona)
  • 4oz Heavy cream
  • 1oz Butter, unsalted
  • Flavoring (For Grand Marnier truffles, use 1/2 oz Grand Marnier, plus 1/2 oz Dark Rum, plus 1 tablespoon orange zest; for Chambord truffles, use 1/2 oz Chambord and a few drops of raspberry flavored extract)

Shell/Coating

  • 8oz Dark chocolate (Tempered, instructions below)

Note

Adapted from Le Cordon Bleu's recipe.

Note- do not drip any water into your chocolate or it will "seize" on you and won't be usable.  Be sure to keep all of your utensils, molds, etc. bone dry so no moisture contaminates your chocolate.

Directions

1.
Make the filling: chop chocolate and place in medium bowl. Scald cream in sauce pan. Pour hot cream over chocolate, add butter and whisk until melted. Add flavoring and stir until combined. Pour into an 8 oz container or into chocolate molds and chill overnight in fridge or for 30 minutes in freezer to set the filling.
2.
If you didn't use molds, scoop out bite size amounts of the filling and roll in your hands to make rounded centers. Or use a small chocolate cutter or cookie cutter to make shapes. Chill centers again.
3.
Temper chocolate for shell: Heat sauce pan of water until boiling, then turn off flame. Place 8 oz. of dark chocolate in a bowl that sits over the hot water (double boiler). Stir until chocolate melts. Using a candy thermometer, make sure the chocolate reaches exactly 115 degrees then remove from the double boiler. Place bowl over ice bath, stirring constantly until temperature drops to 82 degrees, exactly. Once the temperature drops the chocolate will be thicker. To make it easier to work with you can put it back over the hot water to raise the temperature again to no more than 90 degrees. You now have tempered chocolate. (This helps give it a nice shine and makes sure it will harden). Make sure you use the tempered chocolate immediately and constantly test the temperature to ensure it stays between 85-90 degrees. If you mess up any of these temperatures, don’t throw out the chocolate, just start over by heating it to exactly 115 degrees, then cool to 82 degrees, then back up to 85-90 degrees.
4. Dip your chilled centers into the tempered chocolate, making sure they're coated evenly. (They have chocolate dipper pokers especially for this, or a fondu poker works, or you can use your hands but it gets messy). Place them on a sheet lined with parchment paper and move them around so a pool of chocolate does not form at the base. Chill.
5.
Decorate by adding more melted tempered chocolate to a small ziploc and cut a very tiny hole to drizzle chocolate over your truffles. Or brush on gold or colored "luster dust" (available at professional baking supply shops).

Trackbacks

  1. […] For the chocolate representation I made dark chocolate truffles with a Chambord/raspberry filling.  These came out lovely.  I bought some new molds just for the occasion.  After freezing the Chambord centers I hand-dipped each pyramid shaped truffle in tempered Valhrona dark chocolate.  Then I brushed on gold luster dust for the extra wow factor.  My chocolates were divine.  (Dark chocolate truffle recipe here) […]

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