How To Make Truffles

'Heart' by Dumpling

It’s not all black clouds and Eeyore-like over here.  Mike and I are pulling ourselves off of our niche internet keyword researching to have a little fun.  I start thinking about Valentine’s Day the week after Christmas!  I KNoW!  CrAZy, huh?!

I’m so crazy about Valentine’s Day we will be having a GIVEAWAY!  See the bottom of the post for details…

I love today but it’s not for the commercialized hearts and glitter.  Growing up, the task of Valentine’s Day fell to my Dad.  Every year my brother, sister and I would get flowers and a heartfelt card from my parents, coordinated by my Dad.  I don’t know how it specifically became my Dad’s thing but years ago my Mom mentioned in passing she ‘gave’ the holiday to him because she took on most of the gift buying at Christmas and was too exhausted to think about it by February. (By the way Mom, Christmas always rocked!)

Whatever it was I always felt special on that day.  I had a single rose to begin the day. Even if the boy crush I currently had didn’t know I existed I had my card from my dear ole’ dad.  When my college boyfriend professed he would never recognize this commercialized holiday I had a small box of chocolates from…my DAD!

My Dad has now carried his Valentine’s message to our kids.  I love it!

This year I came across something right after Christmas that totally inspired me to make chocolate truffles.  I’ll explain that something at the end of the post…

Now on to how to make truffles!!!

Round 1:

I went to Alton Brown’s website and used his version of how to make truffles as my starting point.

Here’s the recipe (with a few changes from me):

And Alton, if you are reading along with us, rolling the ball of ganche in an ice cream scoop full of melted chocolate was really difficult.  Come on, man!  I think of you as the guy that double- triple checks his techniques.  This had Martha Stewart written all over it, if you know what I mean…and if you don’t… (I mean: Following a ‘Martha’ recipe is like jumping off a cliff with no plan as to how to land safely.  And worse, the chances are you won’t!).

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine ( I used Ghiradelli chips.  Who needs extra chopping?)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (0oops!  I forgot to add the butter!)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup (I used dark corn syrup)
  • 1/4 cup brandy  (I didn’t love the brandy)
  • 1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa powder, finely chopped nuts, and/or toasted coconut, for coating truffles
  • 8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine (I used Nestle’s semisweet chips). * This is for covering the ganache.

Directions

First we make the ganache:

1.  Place the 10 ounces of chocolate and butter in a medium size glass mixing bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds. Remove and stir, and repeat this process 1 more time. Set aside.

10 oz of bittersweet chocolate

10 oz of bittersweet chocolate

Microwave and stir

Microwave and stir

2.  Heat the heavy cream and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat until simmering.

3.  Remove from the heat and pour the mixture over the melted chocolate mixture; let stand for 2 minutes.

Add cream mixture to the chocolate

Add cream mixture to the chocolate

4.  Using a rubber spatula, stir gently, starting in the middle of bowl and working in concentric circles until all chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth and creamy. Gently stir in the brandy.

Stir, add brandy and stir some more

Stir, add brandy and stir some more

5.  Pour the mixture into an 8 by 8-inch glass baking dish and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Ganache into a glass pan and into the refrigerator

Ganache into a glass pan and into the refrigerator

6.  Using a melon baller , scoop chocolate onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and return to the refrigerator for 30 minutes.  I used a spoon-Alton is so fancy with his melon baller.  I weighed my scoops into .5 oz sizes.  Now that’s fancy!

7.  Place the cocoa powder, nuts, and/or toasted coconut each in its own pie pan and set aside.

8.  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.  *I got two ceramic bowls (one sat in the other), grabbed my heating pad.  I then stuck the heating pad inside the larger bowl and put the smaller bowl inside of the heating pad.  I put my heating pad on high and put a lid over the bowl of chocolate bits.  You have to be a little patient but this method rocks!

Heat pad between bowls

Heating pad between bowls

9.  Stirring the chocolate occasionally, test the temperature of the chocolate and continue heating until it reaches 90 to 92° F; do not allow the chocolate to go above 94° 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.

10.  Remove the ganache from the refrigerator and shape into balls by rolling between the palms of your hands. Use powder-free vinyl or latex gloves, if desired. Or just get your hands all chocolaty, it’s your choice!

After 30 minutes in the refrigerator pull out ganache and roll them into balls

After 30 minutes in the refrigerator pull out ganache and roll them into balls

11.  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.

I know my pictures look all pretty but it was mES-Sy!  I gave up on the ice cream scoop after one try and just started dipping and spreading.

12.  Place the truffle into one of the dishes 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.

Roll in the topping

Roll in the topping

13.  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.

14.  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.

Done and ready to eat!

Done and ready to eat!

Mike:  Hon, I think you’ve found your calling:  Editorializing famous cook’s recipes 🙂

Round 2:

This brandy in the first batch was  a little too sharp tasting for me.  I decided to make these with the ganache I use in our stupendously delicious chocolate cupcakes that I have not written about yet.

Mike:  Hmmm, sounds like you’ve got some more writing to do!!

Molly:  Hey!  Doesn’t look like your hands are broken buddy.

Mike: I’m busy editing your last masterpiece over here lady.

Mike and Molly at the same time:  I’m just sayin!

I used the same process to cover the truffles, only the ganache is different.  This recipe makes about 6 truffles.  I weighed my ingredients because it was such a small batch.  I knew I could get off track  if I wasn’t being really particular with my amounts.

Ingredients for ganache:

  • 2 oz semi-sweet chocolate (chopped)
  • 1 oz heavy cream
  • 2 oz salted  butter
  • 1 tbsp powdered (AKA confectioners) sugar

Directions for ganache:

1.  Put the chocolate, heavy cream, sugar and butter in a microwavable bowl.

2.  Set microwave on high for 20-30 seconds (I did it for 20 seconds and it was perfect).  You want it warm but you don’t need the chocolate to be completely melted.

3.  Stir the mixture until it’s smooth.

4.  Keeping it in the bowl put it in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

5.  Take it out and scoop out and roll .5 oz balls.  Put them on a tray and put them in the freezer for 1 hour.

Cover them in chocolate as per the Alton Brown method.  This time I used milk-chocolate.

I preferred the taste of this batch.  The ganache was softer than Alton’s version.  Not gooey though.  I want to keep experimenting- next time I’ll cut down on the heavy cream to see if that will make them denser.  Notice there’s no pictures of these?  Yep, they got eaten up very fast!

And now for the GIVEAWAY!

The week after Christmas Pistol was dragging me through the mall to spend her gift cards.  I came across these:

Awesome aren’t they?  And they just SCREAM Valentine’s Day.  The most rocketing (Mike:  even as the editor I could not take out that ‘Mollyism’) part was they were just $.75 each!  I bought all they had on the shelf.

Well it only makes sense to give away a carton of my yummy TRUFFLES!

To enter leave a comment sharing either your V-day story or your favorite thing about today.

The winner will be picked at random through Random.org. This giveaway is open from now until midnight on Saturday, February 18th.  Next Tuesday, February 21st we will announce the winner.

This post is part of the  Hearth-n-Soul blog hop. Click on the badge to see all the other participants for this week’s blog hop!  

Hearth-n-Soul Blog Hop

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