Saturday, October 22, 2011

chocolate truffles

I don't know how to begin this post because these chocolate truffles are SO EASY to make and will bring a smile to any chocolate lover's face!!! Don't be intimated with tempering chocolate to enrobe these nuggets in because you don't have to. That's why these are so easy!!!

It is no secret that I watch A LOT of food tv.....Again, great for all that surround me because they get to sample most of my creations. Tonight is no exception and I will be bringing these chocolatey gems to our friend Megan tonight in celebration of her birthday.
Along with all of the food tv I watch, about six years ago, I graduated from culinary school specializing in Classic Pastry Arts. During my nine month intensive study at The French Culinary Institute we made chocolates. Tempering chocolate is just that.....tempermental. I'm not gonna lie, I very much enjoyed eating them but tempering chocolate? Not so much. But seriously, throw your anxiety aside about making chocolate truffles and grab a few ingredients because really, these truffles are that easy.....

Chocolate Truffles
courtesy of Alton Brown, 2004

10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon light corn syrup ***I didn't have any so I substituted it with honey***
1/4 cup brandy ***I didn't have this either and I really don't think it matters. I instead added 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon of espresso powder***
toasted almond truffles
1/2 cup each Dutch processed cocoa powder, powdered sugar, finely chopped nuts, toasted coconut, and/or your favorite sprinkles ***I used a little less than 1/3 cup each***
8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine ***This is for enrobing your truffles. If you want your truffles to last longer and not melt away on your fingertips, by all means do this step. If not, ignore it and just do what I did***

Place the 10 ounces of chocolate and butter in a medium glass mixing bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds. Remove and stir, repeat this process 1 more time. Set aside.
toasted coconut truffles
Heat the cream and corn syrup/honey in a small saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Remove from the heat and pour the mixture over the melted chocolate mixture; let stand for 2 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, stir gently, starting in the middle of the bowl and working in concentric circles until all the chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth and creamy. Gently stir in the brandy and/or vanilla extract and espresso powder. Pour the mixture into an 8 by 8-inch glass baking dish and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour. ***I simply left mine in the bowl, covered it with plastic wrap and placed in the frig overnight*** 

***If you placed your truffle mix in the frig overnight, it will be incredibly hard. Leave out at room temp until you can do the following step*** Using a melon baller or a very small cookie scoop, scoop chocolate onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and return to the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Place cocoa powder, powdered sugar, nuts, coconut and/or sprinkles each in it's own small bowl and set aside.
cocoa truffles

***Ignore this step if you DON'T plan on enrobing your truffles*** In the meantime, place the 8 ounces of chocolate into a medium mixing bowl which is sitting on top of a heating pad lined bowl, with the heating pad set to medium. Depending on the heating pad, you may need to adjust the heat up or down. Stirring the chocolate occasionally, test the temperature of the chocolate and continue heating until it reaches 90 to 92 degrees F; do not allow the chocolate to go above 94 degrees F. If you do, the coating will not have a nice snap to it when you bite into the chocolate. Once you have reached the optimal temperature, adjust the heat to maintain it.

Remove the truffles from the refrigerator and shape into balls by rolling between the palms of your hands. Use powder-free vinyl or latex gloves, if desired. ***If not enrobing, roll your "naked" truffles into cocoa, powdered sugar, nuts, coconut and/or sprinkles*** Finished truffles can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and can be eaten anytime.
chocolate sprinkled truffles
***Ignore this step if you DON'T plan on enrobing your truffles*** Dip an ice cream scoop into the chocolate and turn upside down to remove excess chocolate. Place truffles 1 at time into the scoop and roll around until coated. Then place the truffle into the dish with either the cocoa powder, nuts or coconut. Move the truffle around to coat; leave truffle in the coating for 10 to 15 seconds before removing. In the meantime, continue placing the chocolate-coated truffles in the cocoa or other secondary coating. After 10 to 15 seconds, remove the truffle to a parchment lined sheet pan. Repeat until all truffles are coated. Allow to set in a cool dry place for at least 1 hour; or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Truffles are best when served at room temperature.

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