Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Sinfully Rich Chocolate Truffles

This time of year always flashes me back to my days working as a ballet teacher. Final classes, rehearsals, and end of year performances dominate most of May and early June. Aglow with all of the excitement that little pointe shoes & tutus create, many of my lovely students would present end-of-the-year gifts: flowers, mementos, hand-drawn cards, and other keepsakes that just make you go to mush. There isn't anything like a crayon drawing from a little ballerina to make your heart melt!

And of course, then there are the treats! Chocolate (anything chocolate) was always a favorite of mine, particularly chocolate truffles. I had never given much thought to the actual process of making truffles until I stumbled upon a recipe that looked very attemptable. Almost...dare I say it... easy!

So, despite a real fear of making that "I Love Lucy" bon-bon factory episode a reality, I set to work. The fact is, as impressive as chocolate truffles look (and taste!), they are truly simple to make. It comes down to a really good ganache (with excellent quality chocolate) and a little bit of patience. 

A combination of chopped bittersweet chocolate, cream, butter, and honey get heated, blended, and chilled, creating a silky smooth confection. A little hand-rolling then makes the bite sized pieces of sinfully delicious candy, and everything is dusted with cocoa powder for a bit of panache. This recipe packs a hefty chocolate punch, and gives any store-bought truffle a delicious run for it's money!

Sinfully Rich Chocolate Truffles
recipe found on
makes about 24 truffles

2 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon honey
7 ounces 60% chocolate (I used Ghiradelli brand), finely chopped
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Chop your chocolate and place in a metal bowl. Reserve.

Line a medium sized casserole pan with parchment, leaving plenty of "overhang" over the sides.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream and honey and give a quick mix. Heat carefully until the liquid reaches a low bowl. Be very careful not to boil over.

Once heated, pour 1/3 of the cream mix over the prepared chocolate. Whisk quickly, and gradually add the remaining cream. Continue to stir until glossy and smooth. Mix in the 2 tablespoons of butter.

Pour the ganache into the parchment lined casserole dish in an even layer. You can use an offset palette knife to smooth. Fold the overhang parchment over the ganache and wrap the whole thing in a layer of plastic wrap.

Allow to cool to room temperature, about 2-3 hours. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, right before rolling.

Line a large storage container with parchment paper and spoon the 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder into a small shallow bowl.

To make the truffles, use a mellon baller or or small ice cream scoop to portion about a 1 inch ball. Gently roll the ganache in your hands to smooth and to form the truffle. Don't overwork.

Transfer the truffle to the cocoa bowl and gently roll around in the powder. Tip: dust some cocoa powder with a small sieve over the formed truffle for a more even coat.

Transfer to the storage container. Repeat.

I stored mine in the fridge until right before serving, but you can bring the truffles to room temperature before plating. The candies will last about a week in a covered container in the refrigerator.

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