Thursday, January 3, 2008

Chocolate Truffles!

Happy New Year!

I thought I would start 2008 with a post on something sweet and special which will hopefully set the tone for the year. I made chocolate truffles during the holidays when I read an easy sounding recipe from the New York Times.

It was a lot more work than described in the instructions but they tasted really good. The truffles I made were bittersweet chocolate ganache coated with milk chocolate. I think you could make this ganache with a lot of variations by adding different flavours to it like orange, mint or even chili (for those of you who read my chili hot chocolate experiment last year)!

Instead of rolling the truffles in cocoa powder I coated them with milk chocolate which hardened to create a beautiful shell. Make sure you put them on wax paper after you coat them in chocolate so they are easy to remove once it has cooled and hardened. I learned that the hard way. I warmed a knife in hot water to ease them off the plate.

Here is the recipe from the NY Times:

Time: 30 minutes, plus at least one hour’s chilling

7/8 cup heavy cream

8 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Unsweetened cocoa powder as needed.

1. Heat cream in a pot until it steams. Put chocolate in a bowl, pour hot cream on top, and stir until chocolate is melted and incorporated into cream.

2. Chill until solid all the way through, 1 to 2 hours. Using a chilled melon baller or latex gloves to prevent the ganache from melting or sticking to your hands, scoop out about a tablespoonful and quickly roll it into a ball. Repeat, lining truffles on a plate or a baking sheet.

3. If truffles become too soft to handle, place them in refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes. Roll them in cocoa powder, confectioners’ sugar or a mixture of sugar and ground cinnamon. Serve immediately or store, wrapped in plastic, in refrigerator for up to four days.

Yield: About 1 1/2 cups ganache, or 24 truffles.

I also added a bit of butter to the ganache because I thought it would give it a nice sheen but I think it made it a little too soft.

Also make sure the cream isn't too hot because the chocolate will separate.

These are delicious and beautiful sweets that are the perfect size for holiday indulgences.

Hope you enjoy experimenting in 2008!
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