Written by Kitarra
As I have said before, I don’t really like chocolate. I crave it occasionally. But that has to do with the mysterious female hormones and their desire to be perverse. However, I do recognize that chocolate desserts are instantly popular. Especially when they are the only chocolate desserts on the thanksgivings dessert spread. Everyone is fascinated by chocolate. More so when it comes in tiny conveniently portioned morsels. So for Thanksgivings, making truffles was a no brainer.
I have to admit that I did not really taste the finished truffles. Only a smidgen of each ganache as I was scooping and rolling them. And mostly I tasted them for the efficacy of the flavoring. Of all of them the Limoncello ones turned out the best, but I am biased as I LOVE lemons. And while I loved the way they turned out, the ganache was so soft that even frozen, it was plastic and about the consistency of pizza dough. And I have no idea how to fix it. Even rolled in grated white chocolate, the truffles were so soft that I had to keep an ice pack beneath that part of the tray on the serving table. They were however a huge success. They got a huge boost of flavor because I infused the cream with lemon zest and then strained it before use. Their flavor was a mellow, sweet lemon. They tasted like lemon blossoms smell, melting slowly over the tongue.
The dark chocolate truffles, I infused with cayenne pepper. And while they proved very popular with dark chocolate lovers, I thought they were rather one dimensional. The heat was surprising. A deep, chocolaty heat. There was no burn, just the lingering flavor of dark chocolate. Next time, I think I might add cinnamon as well as cayenne to try and add some depth to the flavor without masking the chocolates original fruity nature.
And though the hazelnut flavored milk chocolate, were the most popular of all, disappearing far before any of the others, I was not quite happy with them. They had a lovely, melting texture. The chocolate I found was remarkable; it melted better and smoother than butter. It clung to my fingers and readily integrated with the cream and butter as if they were made to be together. The infusion of a Frangelico reduction however, was not enough to assertively flavor the truffles. I wanted the hazelnut flavoring to stand up to the chocolate; instead it took a distant back seat, like a traditional Japanese bride. Delicate and pretty and just barely noticeable. Next time I will have to further play with the flavor, perhaps infusing the cream with ground hazelnuts. Or maybe use a hazelnut extract. However, nobody else seemed to notice so I guess I am just being picky.
The real disaster; however were the Crème de Cassis truffles. I was using a small bowl over a very small sauce pan to fake a double boiler. Unfortunately the bowls I were using were not uniform and the bowl holding his mixture was just a few millimeters too small and thus, fell right through into the water below. And as we all know, water and chocolate don’t mix. I had to scrap the entire thing. I didn’t have enough chocolate or liquor to make another batch. Oh well, lesson learned. On to the recipes:
Dark Chocolate Truffles
8 oz Dark Chocolate chopped
1/3 cup cream
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter diced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
Cocoa powder for rolling
Melt the chocolate, cream and butter together. This is best done in a double boiler. Add the flavoring agents and any mix-ins that you desire (ideas might be nuts or chopped candies) and refrigerate for 2 hour to over night. Use a melon baller to scoop the chilled chocolate and roll into a round shape then dredge in cocoa powder.
Milk Chocolate Truffles
8 oz Milk Chocolate chopped
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons cream
1/2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tablespoon flavoring agent (I used Frangelico reduced)
Chopped, toasted hazelnuts for rolling.
Melt the cream, chocolate, butter and flavoring together until well blended. This is best done in a double boiler. Chill in fridge or freezer until firm enough to scoop with a melon baller. Drop truffles directly into the toasted nuts, then roll into shape. Having a coating of nuts makes rolling much easier.
White Chocolate Truffles
8 oz White Chocolate chopped
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons cream
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. flavoring agent (I used Limoncello)
Additional grated white chocolate for rolling
Bring cream to a bare simmer with the zest of one lemon. Turn the heat off and allow to cool. Strain before using for the rest of the recipe. Melt the cream, chocolate, butter and flavoring together until well blended. This is best done in a double boiler. Freeze until firm enough to scoop. Roll in grated white chocolate or coconut and shape with a fork. Keep refrigerated.