I’ve been interested in truffles for a year or so now. My husband got me the book Pure Chocolate a while back and the recipes are amazing and beautiful and intricate but the simple tempered chocolate recipe is what caught my eye. Tempering requires a couple of hours – you must get the dark chocolate up to 115 degrees and then cool it down (by just simply waiting) to 82 and then bring it very cautiously back up to between 88-92 degrees – this is optimal dipping temperature for say, creating that lovely snap! of a chocolate shell around a delicate ganache center. Tempering is definitely an art and so far, I’m alright at it. I dip with metal dipping forks, but I think I am going to try the even more traditional method of hand-rolling. I want to try hand rolling because when you dip, you almost always get the little “feet” or little base effect. I think this looks a bit tacky. However delicious.
I love thinking of new truffle flavors and am always trying something new. I like to give truffles as gifts for birthdays or weddings because I know they will be immediately enjoyed (you never know if the happy couple will actually use the fondue set or the quesadilla maker)
The butterscotch ganache and white chocolate truffle was born from my love of Buttershots. I know, I know. Cheap? Cheesy? Whatever – that stuff is liquid gold and I don’t care what you say. In Pure Chocolate, the recipe for a simple chocolate ganache has a little note below the recipe of different liquors you can add in for flavored truffles. I’ve made the classic combinations like dark chocolate and creme de cassis, dark chocolate and Grand Marnier, milk chocolate and whiskey (is that not classic? I thought it was ) And not so classic flavors like dark chocolate cheesecake, white chocolate-agave nectar and tequila, Nutella, Cinnamon and Honey. They’ve all been good, but these Butterscotch White Chocolate versions are a personal favorite. The consistency of the ganache center is just right and the creaminess of the butterscotch flavor gives the whole thing a liquid feel once it begins to melt in your mouth. Oh, and for funzies, I tap a bit of gold edible glitter on the tops to remind you of the butteriness underneath.
I will make and ship truffles to you. $25 a dozen. Any flavor you can come up with! Email me if you’re interested! I’ll post below the basic ganache center recipe and a tip on how to make your own variations.
*Pure Dark Chocolate Truffles (no shell – you can roll them in cocoa or nuts for more presentation)
12 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (I like using Lindt or Scharffen Berger)
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
(you can make a recipe of tempered chocolate for a shell if you want-go get Pure Chocolate – the recipe is REALLY long and I frankly don’t want to write it out)
Place finely chopped chocolate in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
In a small pot, bring the cream to a boil. Pour over the chocolate in the bowl. Let sit approximately 30 seconds without disturbing.
With a rubber spatula, beginning in a small area in the middle of the bowl, start stirring with small, gentle strokes. As the puddle in the center turns dark and smooth, begin making broader strokes, moving to the edges and gradually incorporating more of the cream and chocolate. Continue stirring until the mixture is smooth and dark. The emulsion should be very smooth and glassy. (have faith – just when you think it will never all melt, it suddenly looks gorgeous. The key here is to really chop your chocolate up well. Don’t get chocolate chips – they have a coating on them that makes it harder for them to melt evenly).
This is where I deviate a tad from the Pure Chocolate recipe in that I like to incorporate my butter here. Whip up your butter until it has a similar consistency to the ganache. Then fold the butter into the ganache with your spatula, making sure it’s entirely incorporated.
Cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the ganache (this prevents a skin from forming). Let set at room temp 8 to 12 hours for it to firm up.
Once the ganache is firm enough (if it isn’t firm enough to hold shape when you form a ball, stick it (covered) in the fridge for a few minutes) use a small melon baller (the spring loaded scoops are the greatest) and scoop out truffle centers and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Once you have scooped all your ganache, place your sheet of centers in the fridge for a few minutes to firm up. (if your centers have gotten soft and lost their shape, just cool them down in the fridge and roll them back into ball shapes with your palms.
This is the point in which you either coat your centers in either a tempered chocolate shell, or you can simply roll them in cocoa or chopped nuts.
Makes between 40-50 pieces.
Prepare a ganache following the above recipe, except add an extra ounce of chocolate (so 13 oz total). Once your emulsion is smooth, stir in 3 tbs whatever liquor you desire and continue with the recipe as written. If I add a liquor, I will usually omit the butter. I find that both make the centers too runny.
*recipe adapted from Fran Bigelow’s recipe in Pure Chocolate.