Friday, April 13, 2012

Just A Truffle For Your Trouble

Actually these truffles were really no trouble at all. Which shocked the pants off of me. Not really, because it was Easter and that would have been inappropriate. But you get the idea. I always assumed truffles were insanely complicated. They are called truffles after all. Anything French must be complicated right? Wrong. Well, at least not these. My mom recently got her hands on some Cooks Illustrated magazines and since then she's been in a new recipe craze! Not that I mind. I get leftovers and a baking buddy. Double win. Anyway, she wanted to try these the night before Easter so we could give them as little trinkets to our guests. They turned out amazing (if you like truffles. which I don't. so I just wasn't tempted to eat any). But according to truffle enjoyers, they were amazing. Rich and silky and oh so decadent. We tried two different kinds (I told you a total craze). So we just made half of each recipe and it worked out great.

Basic Chocolate Truffle
Ganache (side note: that might be my new favorite word)
2 cups bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped (we used Ghirardelli)
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 1/2 tablespooons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces and softened

1 cup Dutch processed cocoa (basically really good cocoa powder will do, and we needed way less than a cup)
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

Hazelnut Mocha Truffles
Substitute 2 tablespoons Frangelico (hazelnut flavored liquor) and 1 tablespoon espresso powder for vanilla. For coating, omit confectioners' sugar and roll truffles into cocoa. Then press into 1 1/2 cups chopped toasted hazelnuts.

Because we didn't want to make an obscene amount of truffles we did half of each recipe. It was really quite simple. I'll show you how.

 Before starting, spray an 8x8 pan and then lay down parchment on the inside to form a sling. If you are doing half for each kind, use two loaf pans. Chop your chocolate (this is one cup) and put in a microwave safe dish.
Microwave on medium heat for about 3 minutes, or until only small pieces are left. Set aside.
Microwave the cream for about 30 seconds, or until warm to the touch. Add the vanilla and the salt and stir. (That's for the regular. For the Hazelnut, you'd mix in the liquor and the espresso powder).
Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate and cover with cling wrap. Let sit for three minutes.
 Gently stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture is combined. Add the butter and stir until nice and smooth. It might take a few minutes and initially the mixture will look grainy and the butter won't melt, but be patient and you will end up with shiny ganache.
Pour into the pan and let sit at room temperature for 2 hours. You can let sit overnight as well, but it needs at least two hours to cool property. Then put in the fridge for at least two hours.
 Here is what the ganache looks like after cooling in the fridge.
 Lift the ganache out of the pan using the parchment paper and then cut into 1 inch squares using a sharp knife.

For the regular truffles, mix together the confectioners' sugar and the cocoa powder and lay out in a large dish. Dust some cocoa powder on your fingers so the chocolate won't stick and roll the chocolate into a ball. Or just use your fingers to mold the desired shape. My hands were apparently weirdly hot, so next time I'll need to hold a bunch of ice first or something so I don't melt the truffles.

With the hazelnut toppings we had some issues, but this is what I'd suggest. Sprinkle a little cocoa powder into the bowl of nuts and mix together. You really don't need a lot of powder because these babies are rich as it is. Then roll your truffle in the bowl of nuts and press down as you roll to make sure they stick. That way you'll get a dusting of powder and plenty of nuts. You can see we struggled to find a good method.

 Finally, I settled on the right way and they turned out quite pretty.
 If you are giving the truffles as gifts, buy a stack of mini paper cup holders. Ours had chicks, for Easter of course.
See how nicely the truffle peeks out of the top? They were quite a success. Keep the truffles in the fridge and serve cold. They last for a while that way and are much tastier too!


  1. I am one of the aforementioned "truffle enjoyers" and I would love to give these a taste. Though I have to say, I've never heard of an easter truffle before. I guess it makes sense because, for some reason, chocolate is an easter thing now. I guess we'll just "choc" it up to that! HA! CHOC! Get it?

    Yeah, I can make jokes too. What now.

    1. Creative and a jokester? Aren't I the lucky lady!


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