Today is my last day for my photo class….

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This is bitter sweet – It is the last day for my photo class… YOu can bet your bottom dollar that I am going to celebrate and make myself some homemade Chocolate Truffles tomorrow. 🙂

How To Make Chocolate Truffles

from How to Cook like your Grandmother

I won’t pretend these aren’t bad for you. But if you’re going to eat chocolate, you’re better off eating good chocolate that satisfies with just a little bit. That’s why I switched to dark chocolate several years ago. One piece satisfies a chocolate craving. Unlike the leading brand, which is designed to be so bland you eat and eat and eat and never quite get enough chocolate to kill the craving.

These are little nuggets of yum that target the craving and kill it in one shot. Some people might go for a double-tap, “just to make sure,” but anything more than that is just showing off.

Ingredients

8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
8 ounces dark bittersweet chocolate
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup heavy cream
Optional
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (for shell)

Directions

Did you read that introduction, where I said you should eat good chocolate? Let me say it again: Eat. Good. Chocolate. This recipe is like the brownies recipe. It’s mostly chocolate, so the quality of the ingredients you pick makes all the difference. I use Ghirardelli for both the semi-sweet and the dark bittersweet. My grocery store carries them, but you can order at those links. (I don’t make anything from recommending them.)

Now for the making, which is incredibly easy. Combine the butter and cream in a heavy-bottomed pan and bring to a rolling boil.

(It’s boiling, trust me. It’s hard to photograph white bubbles against a white background.)

Remove from heat and add the chocolate. If you got baking bars instead of chips, break them up first.

Stir until the chocolate is completely melted.

Pour the mixture out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or wax paper.

At this point you’ve got two options. First, you can set the pan somewhere cool for 24 hours so it can cool and set up, then pull off little bits and roll them by hand. I’ve tried this method several times, and I guess my hands are too warm, because the truffles always melt before I get them round.

So I put the pan in the freezer for about a half-hour to firm up just a little before going on with the steps below. There are three variations, but all require a cookie press to do them.

First variation

Melt 1½ ounces semi-sweet chips in a heavy-bottomed pan or double boiler.

Add another ½ ounce of chips, remove from heat and stir until smooth.

This is a short-cut way of tempering the chocolate. Don’t temper and it will cool with a dull, soft finish, and will melt quickly in your hands. Temper it and you’ll get a hard, shiny finish that doesn’t melt so quickly. It’s really best to work with an instant-read thermometer and follow the guidelines in that link exactly.

Put a small amount of the tempered chocolate into a truffle mold. If you don’t have one … umm … don’t do this method, I guess.

Drop the mold from a few inches onto your work surface a few times to settle and knock any bubbles out of the chocolate.

Take some of the now-cool mixture from the baking sheet and load it into your cookie press.

(Yes, there are already some finished truffles in the background. I forgot to take this picture when doing the first batch.)

Put on the narrowest tip you have.

Place the tip down into the chocolate and fill until almost at the top of the mold.

There should be a dot where you injected the filling. Cover this with a little more tempered chocolate.

Don’t worry if they’re perfect, just mostly covered is fine.

Drop on the work surface again to smooth out the bottoms.

Place the mold in the freezer for at least a half-hour. Flip the mold over on top of a paper towel and rap each truffle with the back of a spoon to pop them out.

The finish looks dull because they’re covered with frost, fresh out of the freezer. They’re a little shiny when they defrost. If I were doing more of these, or if they needed to keep for a couple of days out of the freezer, I’d have paid more careful attention to the temperature when tempering the chocolate.

The second method

I still had the small tip on, so I deposited some centers directly on parchment paper on a baking sheet.

Then into the freezer for a half-hour. (Don’t worry, I’ll show you the shapes in a minute.)

The third method

Replace the small tip with a small star tip.

These came out looking really nice.

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