Friday, December 21, 2001

as promised, the chocolate truffle recipe.

these are so simple to make, it's practically a crime. don't skimp on the ingredients tho'. fancy butter with quality chocolate and cocoa turns this simple candy into stunning decadence. expect 20 medium or 30 small:
1 cup heavy cream
10 oz. 55-85% valrhona or other luxury chocolate, depending on how dark or sweet you want it, chopped
3 tablespoons european double-butter of your choice (president, for example) or plugra/keller's european-style butter
3 tablespoons brandy, whiskey, or liqueur of your choice (optional)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
1/2 cup and extra cocoa powder for dusting (scharffenberger or valrhona)

bring the cream to the barest boil in a small saucepan. be careful: cream scorches easily and scorched cream will ruin everything. so don't scorch the cream!

immediately remove pan from heat and stir in the chopped chocolate all at once. mix gently until the chocolate is melted smoothly and combined evenly. then stir in the brandy or vanilla, if using.

some people strain this mixture, but you shouldn't have to. let cool to room temperature and chill for 4 hours or overnight.

line a cookie sheet with baking parchment. get out your melon-baller or mini ice cream scoop if you like perfect truffles; for knobbier, hand-formed ones (which i prefer) use a smallish teaspoon.

dipping the spoon or scoop into ice water every now & then to help prevent the truffle mixture from sticking, scoop out your 20 or 30 truffles. place each one on the cookie sheet.

take your cocoa powder and using a little hand strainer, sifter, or sugar shaker, dust the truffles with cocoa. roll 'em around to coat evenly. chill on the sheet until firm; bring to room temperature before serving for best flavor.

these barely cooked truffles will keep in plastic wrap in the fridge for about a week, although their flavor and texture will decline towards the end. you can freeze them, well wrapped, for about 1 month.

if you're more ambitious, you can skip dusting them with cocoa. freeze the shaped truffles on the cookie sheet for 1 hour. and in the meantime melt up:

14 oz. chocolate, milk or 55-65% percent

you can melt the chocolate in the microwave on medium-high heat for 1-1/2 mins or so, then stir until it's smooth. or put it in a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water and stir gently. whatever works for you.

stick the frozen truffles with a fork and dip them in the melted chocolate to quickly coat. shake off excess gently. place the truffles back on the baking sheet. cool until firm. because we're not tempering this chocolate, the dipped truffles won't have a picture-perfect sheen. don't worry about it, trust me. . .they'll still look great.

still ambitious? after you've dipped the truffles, let them cool until they're just still slightly sticky. then roll 'em in coconut flakes or some nuts you've pulverized in the food processor. then cool some more.

the basic recipe for dusted cocoa truffles take about 20 minutes work total, not counting the chilling/cooling time. frankly, the basic recipe is my favorite, esp. if you make 'em all banged up and rustically knobby-looking, like real black truffles. that's when they're the most elegant, i think. too perfect or fussy and they just look machine-made, to my mind.

the ambitious dipping goes very quickly: no more than 5 or 7 minutes. if the dipping chocolate hardens up, just toss it in the microwave for 30 seconds or so at medium-high heat to re-melt. don't scorch the dipping chocolate tho! that would be bad!

so if you have any last minute gifts you need, any stray relatives or neighbors you've forgotten, make your life easy. . .give 'em handmade truffles. they'll be awe. yes, they will.

posted by fortune | 6:30 PM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 0 comments

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