Truffle, How Do I love Thee?

November 24, 2006

In the bowls, clockwise: dark chocolate, candied ginger, pecan praline.
Molded chocolate truffles, from front to back: dark chocolate pumpkin, Dulce de Lece, coffee buttercream

A lot, obviously! When ThePassionate Cook gave us "Truffles" as the theme for Sugar High Friday 25, I did a little happy dance. Finally a reason to cover myself and my kitchen in chocolate. Finally a reason to go back to one of my true pastry loves: making chocolate. I applaud Danielle for making a single truffle from scratch, but I wanted to play around with my molds that had been in the attic since we moved in last year.

Making truffles is a tradition for me around the holidays. While my grandmother was busy making her marzipan stuffed fruits, I was in the kitchen next to her making and rolling balls of ganache in cocoa powder. I never thought it was a big deal as I was used to making them every Christmas, and then as I grew older, I started experimenting.
At the restaurant, I was in full truffle making mode early December with Christmas parties, wedding and party favors. I do miss certain aspect of the industry, like plating desserts, the availability to order great quality chocolates, butter, produce, molds and pans. I mean, who would not love to say: "and please add a 5o ppound box of that Valrhona couverture you (vendor) recommended last week"?! If I were to do the same desserts here I would be broke buying equipement and supplies, that's why I stick to more homy concotions.
My husband did not understand my transformation into Mr. Hyde when "truffle time" came around at the restaurant, until he came by one afternoon, and saw that I was like a kid again, hands deep in chocolate and a big smile on my face. Making truffles makes me truly happy. Many an argument with the ex. chef or the husband have been settled around a plate of them.

I am getting excited again and I disgress....
Playing with chocolate (and yeast and sugar) here can get quite tricky because of the high temperatures outside and the high level of humidity, so after a few batches of not so right chocolates some years ago, I purchased "The Art of Chocolate" by Elaine Gonzales, and it has been one of my best technique books so far. The woman knows her stuff! She will guide you from basic hand rolled to tempered and molded chocolates, to beautiful chocolate boxes, roses and more.
I have adopted her techniques for rolled truffles after one summer in South Carolina when no matter what I did, the cocoa powder would sink into the truffle and disappear. If you follow her instructions for hand dipped or molded chocolates, you will become a master in no time.

Classic Hand Rolled Chocolate Truffles:

8 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream

Heat the cream over low heat unil bubble form around the edges of the pan. Pour the cream into a bowl and let cool 1 minute. Ass the chocolate. When the pieces are soft, start stirring until the ganache mixture is smooth.
Cover loosely and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.
Spoon the ganache into a pastry bag and squeeze mounds, 3/4 inch in diameter. If you want really nice round truffles, use your hand to form them. Refrigerate, uncovered for a day. The trick is to let the truffle form a skin so that when you roll them in the cacao, the powder does stay on for a long time, regardless of the temperature in the room.
Dip into cocoa powder to cover.

For the 3 different hand rolled truffles that I made I doubled the recipe and divided the ganache in 4.
1/ remained plain
2/ I added 1/2 cup crushed up pecan praline
3/ I added 1/2 cup chopped candied ginger
4/ I added 1/2 cup pumkin puree and 2 tsp. pumpkin spice (I used it in the molded chocolate)

Molded Chocolate Truffles:
Source for the molds: Kitchen Krafts

Tempered Chocolate for the shells: (classic method, only used if you don't have the tempered chocolate chunks required in the seeding method)

1 pound semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped.

Over a double boiler, melt the chocolate to 115 F. Let cool to 84 F. Reheat until it reaches no higher than 90F. If you exceed this temp. you must reheat the chocolate and start all over again. The remp. may be 2 or 3 degrees lower but not higher.
Your chocolate is now tempered.

Making the Molded Truffles:

Line your work aread with parchement paper. Make sure wyour molds are clean and free of particular. Pour enough tempered chocolate to fill the cavitites completely with chocolate. Tap your mold on your counter to remove any air bubbles. Invert the mold over the parchement paper. Shake it in a circular motion to coax most of the excess chocolate to run out. Using a large spatula scrape the the excess chocolate off of the top and edges. Invert and let the chocolate harden. Fill with your desired ganache or filling.

Seal the cavities: remelt and retemper the chocolate. Spoon chocolate over the filling, going slighty over the rim. Tap the bottom of the molds on the counter. Using a large spatula, scrape the excess chocolate. Refrigerate until set.

To unmold: tap the bottom of the mold once on the counter, and flex the mold a little if necessary.

For the Coffee Buttercream filling:
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
8 oz. butter (2 sticks) room temp.
2 Tb. strong coffee

Whip the egg yolks until light and fluffy with a stand mixer. Combine water and sugar in a saucepan over low heat. Stir occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat and bring the syrup to 238 on a cansy thermometer. Pour over the yolks and quickly stir to combine. Return the bowl to stand mixer and whip at high speed until completely cold. Add the butter and mix in on medium speed. Add the coffee and mix .

For the Dulce de Leche: (prepare one day in advance)

Submerge a small can of sweetened condensed milk in water in a big pan. Bring to a boil and let boil for a couple hours, making sure the can of milk is ALWAYS under water.
Let cool for one day, before opening.
I know there is a cooked method out there on the internet but could not locate it.

I brought this assortment to Thanksgiving dinner to be enjoyed with coffee. I was a bit worried about how the pumpkin ganache would be received but everybody loved it.
Making molded truffles is a lenghthy process but I had plenty of time on tuesday with the cold and rainy day we were having (read: I got lazy and stayed home)


Anonymous said...

I am a vegan but WOW!!! I really wish I was your neighbor so I could pop on in for a delicious treat. These truffles look so scrumptious. Wince their made with bitter and semisweet chocolate, I probably have a good start. I just need to find some vegan fillings. These are going to be on my mind until I make these.

Lis said...

Helen.. you never cease to amaze me! Both rolled and molded, your truffles are beautiful. I'm especially intrigued by the coffee and pumpkin flavors. Yum!

You did a wonderful job! I can just see you in your kitchen, hands covered in chocolate and a big grin on your pretty face! :D

Fabienne said...

Waou, quelle excellente idée, je cherche des idées pour les petits paquets de Noël que je destine à mes collègues-amis ...
Je copie-colle immédiatement

Anonymous said...

Salut Helene...
Et oui je suis de retour...j'ai eu un petit moment d'absence dû à un boulot monstre mais je suis bien décidé à remettre des commentaires sur les blogs que j'aime ...(je les lisais quand même mais je n'avais pas le temps de laisser des coms ...)
Bientôt Noël, et ces petites douceurs sont parfaites pour proposer aux invités....
Au faite, j'ai fait le Tiramisu Cake ...un délice....:)))


Hélène (Cannes) said...

Je suis passée par le blog de Fabienne, et je découvre le tien. Je vais me mettre aux truffes un peu plus tôt que d'habitude. Tu m'as fait trop envie. Ravie d'être passée par là. je reviendrai.
A bientôt.

Brilynn said...

I'm so impressed with the truffles people are coming up with. You even did molds!

The problem for me is that truffles are little and cute and I can't seem to master either of those things.

Edith said...

awesome awesome. I am now yearning for these. Great work!

Anonymous said...

wonderful truffles! you did an impressive job making those truffles. I wonder if those are mostly gone by now? :)

Rachel said...

These are so amazing! I can't imagine making molded truffles!

thepassionatecook said...

Wow! the things I have learnt in this round-up! I have never some across such chocolate moulds... glad you finally had a reason to get them out of the attic - I'll have the dulce de leche truffles, thank you very much!

Helene said...

Vivacious: I realized these would be difficult for vegans, but I agree that it gives you a start as far as technique goes.

Lis: the pumpkin flavor was really good! I am still in chocolate bliss!

Fabienne: ca fait toujours plaisir de recevoir des chocolats maison.

Emma: welcome back!

Helene: merci de ton passage et j'espere a bientot!

Brilynn: that and the fact that they are so easy to pop in your mouth, one after the other and the other...

precious moments: thank you for your visit!

Eliza: they are gone, or so I hear!

Rachel: they take time and patience but they are so worth it.

the passionate cook, Johanna: thank you for organizing. There are tons of great molds out there and relatively cheap too. I had a great time!

Anonymous said...

Here's a link to several methods to make dulce de leche.

Lauren said...

OH MY! I wish I had a seat for coffee and truffles at your Thanksgiving table. They all look so uniquely delicious.

confituremaison said...

Moi, je suis tres n'ai jamais fait ca! J'adorerais gouter ceux a la pumpkin en particulier.

Caribbean Dreamer said...

I recently tried my hand at molded candies and while mine weren't nearly as beautiful as yours, I thought it was a really fun thing to do. I'm itching to make more...I'm definitely trying your technique instead of the one that was demonstrated to me....

Jessica Brogan said...

Thank you for including where you got the molds...for me, a very, very amateur but passionate baker, that was a nice touch.

Anonymous said...

Truffles are just not something I would ever think of as fun until I read you doing a happy little dance covering yourself and your kitchen in chocolate! The coffee butter cream and the dark chocolate pumpkin both sound earth shakingly brilliant!

wheresmymind said...

What a great idea...I so am gonna give this a whirl ;)

Anonymous said...

What a treat! Such a variety of delicious looking truffles, you have clearly done an amazing job here, very impressive!!

Meeta K. Wolff said...

WOW! Gorgeous creations and such a variety. I make truffles this time of year in huge loads as little presents for family and friends. Thanks to you I think I will be trying a few new types and flovours.

Anonymous said...

These truffles are all absolutely breath-taking! Your kitchen must have had the most delicious heady chocolatey scent whilst you made these! said...

I am impressed. It looks good and taste I am sure is amazing

keep it up!


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