Truffles. Pure, classic, sophisticated confections deserving for only those special people who want to share the best. Not a gooey, over sweetened treat, but a sinful elegant morsel of fine Chocolate. Historically, the Aztec’s founded chocolate and at the time it was an unsweetened beverage consumed by an elite class. Newly discovered Cocoa beans in Europe, were separated from their pod as well as the Cocoa Butter, then roasted and finally reunited with its butter once again. Ground into a smooth “liquor”, sweetened sparingly, then cooled into a bar, modern Chocolate’s sinful mysterious appeal continues to satisfy and reward even the hardest to please palates. Indulgence at its finest.
Production of Chocolate is vast from large manufactures to small batch craft chocolatier’s. These independent producers are becoming known for their skills in sourcing the best beans, roasting them to create a distinct flavor much like coffee, with care and details unlike those of larger Chocolate producers. When sourcing chocolate, find the brand that suits your taste and budget. Note, that any chocolate, whatever your preference, will determine the richness or sweetness of your Truffle. Several current articles and resources help support the craft movement, but we shouldn’t forget that there are several Chocolatier’s that are masters; Alice Medrich, Valrhona, Chocolate Alchemy, there is always room for small batch. But if you are still having difficulty selecting, Conde Nast Traveler has your search for the perfect chocolate covered.
24- 1 inch round truffles
10 ounces Bittersweet Chocolate (chopped into small pieces)
3 Tablespoons Butter (cut into small bits)
3/4 cup Heavy Cream
2 Pounds of either; Bittersweet, Semi Sweet or White Chocolate (melted)
2 cups Cocoa Powder
Flavor options: (These extra flavors are optional)
3 Tablespoons of either: Grand Marnier, Cassis, Rum, Framboise, Whiskey, Coffee Extract, Mint Extract, Almond Extract
Filling Options: (These fillings are also optional)
Chocolate Chips, frozen Raspberries/Strawberries, Coconut Flakes, Raisins, any type of Nuts, Caramel, Toffee pieces, Grated Orange or Lemon zest, Coffee Beans, Marshmallows, Nougat, Cookie pieces.
Place the Heavy Cream in a pot and bring to just the boiling point.
Place the Chocolate and Butter in a stainless steel bowl and set aside.
Pour the hot cream over the Chocolate and Butter stirring with a spatula until smooth and creamy.
Strain the Chocolate mixture into a shallow bowl or glass container. Let cool, then refrigerate 4 hours or overnight until firm.
With a small ice cream scoop or set of spoons, scoop out 1 inch size rounds of the Truffle mixture and place on a parchment lined sheet pan. Carefully and quickly, roll in between your hands until round in shape and if you are adding any type of filling, press it into the center of the truffle mixture at this point. It is best to do this all at one time, because it is a messy task.
Freeze the rounds, uncovered until frozen. At this point, the truffle rounds can keep frozen in a sealed container for 3 weeks.
Depending on your choice of coating, either roll in Cocoa powder or dip in melted Chocolate.
To coat in Chocolate, place a pot half filed with water on the stove top and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer.
Chop your preferred Chocolate, or have all three types of chocolate in different bowls ready for melting.
Place the bowl of Chocolate over the pot of simmering water. Make sure you don’t get any moisture into the bowl or the Chocolate with harden up. Conversely, you could microwave the chocolate for 2 minutes on medium until melted.
Stir the chocolate until smooth with a spatula, remove from heat.
Work in small batches to coat the truffles. Place one frozen Truffle round in the melted chocolate at a time, tossing with a fork or better yet your hands, (yes this is messy) turning until all sides are coated all the way around. Shake off any excess, then carefully transfer to the parchment lined sheet pan. Work quickly.
Place the coated Truffles into the refrigerator to cool. You can repeat the coating process if you want a double layer of chocolate or you can coat the Truffles in a different type of chocolate to create layers.
Ridiculously rich but not overly sweet, these decadent treats are simplicity at its best when made without any extra options. Remember to work with a good quality Chocolate and pure ingredients for the best quality confection. A simple garnish added to the top of the truffles while the coating is still warm, adds a hint of accent flavors and decoration. Finely chopped Chocolate, Hot Pepper flakes, an alternate Chocolate drizzle, Salt, Sprinkles, Rock Sugar or any simple garnish can add finish and polish. Remember there is something pure and sophisticated about just fine quality Chocolate and Cocoa powder and allowing the flavors of the Chocolate to come through simply.