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Cook Loose Recipes/ChocolateTruffles?

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Jun 18, 2021


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Getting Around

Chocolate Truffles

This is a departure from my everyday kitchen philosophy. You will not be eating these every day. These are richly, intensely chocolatey goodness and your favorite chocoholic will love for you to make these. But this is a recipe that needs measuring and care and was, for me anyway, messy in the kitchen. But come on....CHOCOLATE!

This is adapted from Alton Brown's recipe.

Centers

  • 10 oz bitter-sweet or semi-sweet chocolate, the best you can get
  • 3 Tbl butter
  • 1/2 Cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbl light corn syrup
  • 1/4 Cup cognac, brandy or other lighter liqueur

Coating

  • 8 oz semi-sweet TEMPERED chocolate
  • Dutched cocoa
  • Coconut
  • chopped nuts (pistachios, peanuts, cashews)

The first part is easy...a lot of simple steps. Put the chocolate and the butter in a microwave proof bowl and zap for 30 secs. Stir. Zap for 30 seconds more. If it is mostly melted, you are done with the microwave, if not, stir and 30 seconds more.

Heat the cream and corn syrup over medium heat until just bubbling. No rolling boils. Pour carefully over the top of the chocolate mix and let sit for two minutes. Heat transfer is going on. Then carefully stir the cream and chocolate together until it is smooth.

Add the liqueur. Stir in slowly until smooth.

Pour into a glass pie pan or square pyrex dish, about 8-10 inches. Put in the refrigerator to cool for 1 hour but no more than 2 hours.

Put parchment or waxed paper on baking sheet. Using a melon baller or a small spoon, drag through the mostly cooled chocolate to form balls. Get them as close to the final shape as possible. You don't want to do a lot of work with them later. Trust me. Place the balls on the sheet and put back in refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour, although they can stay there for a while without much problem.

Carefully melt the tempered chocolate. I have a small hot plate with fine control. Alton Brown recommends a heating pad (didn't work well for me). You can do the melting over a double boiler.

Here's the tricky part. Do NOT let the chocolate get over 93 degrees. Yeah, I know. But it's important. Tempered chocolate has this nice crack when you bite through it into the soft center. Chocolate loses its temper if it gets too warm. There is a whole technique for tempering chocolate which you can do if you want. Again, if your chocolate gets too warm (shy of burning), it will still harden and it will still taste good. It just won't be quite the same.

Once the chocolate is melted have a couple of pasta bowls with your coatings. Cocoa powder is the "standard" but make sure it is dutched. If you go with nuts or coconut, make sure they go for a spin in the food processor. Big wads of clumps won't do.

Now for the mess. Have a large serving spoon and a smaller spoon. AB recommend an ice cream scoop. Again, didn't work for me. Coat the large spoon with the chocolate. Grab a ball from the tray, smoothing it slightly in the palms of your hands (quickly, don't warm it too much). Drop the ball on the big spoon. Use the little spoon to roll it/cover it in chocolate. Use the little spoon to drop it in your coating bowl. Roll the truffle, lightly, until it is coated. Let it sit in the bowl to cool for a few minutes. You can have several in there at the same time, but you don't want to try to move it out of the coating bowl until the outside has hardened.

This recipe made about two dozen for me. You can cut the recipe in half to make less, but make SURE you measure everything.

Notes

  • I cut the brandy amount in half from the original recipe and you could probably cut it again. If you go with a really heavily flavored liqueur (tia maria, chambord), it might dominate the chocolate, so you could cut back to 1/8 C. All experiments will be delicious.
  • Use dutched cocoa. Read the label. I have general purpose cocoa which tastes like dust bunnies on the outside of chocolate, but is great for cooking. It will say dutched, or dutch process or processed with alkali. It will be dark brown, not light brown.
  • Tempered chocolate is readily available. Apparently most chocolate actually IS tempered, but I can promise you it isn't all, because I made my second batch with Ghiardelli semi-sweet chips (I think) and I am pretty sure they were not. The easiest way to tell is to look to see if the chocolate is shiny. Dull chocolate, while delicious, isn't tempered. The shiny stuff is, or isn't really chocolate (lots of sugar). You can get tempered chocolate for sure at any cake/candy supply place. You can temper your own. You can just eat it and enjoy it however it comes out.
  • Use the best chocolate you can find for this recipe. It is ALL chocolate, so make it good. I used Ghiardelli bitter sweet 61% chips for the center, but am looking forward to trying some of the chocolate available over the internet.

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