Monday, February 27, 2006

Chocolate Truffles

A few weeks ago I went to see a demo at Surfas how to make chocolate truffles. The basic recipe is very simple, the whole procedure a bit time consuming though. I'm not much of a patissier, but they came out pretty well so I thought I'd share my first experience.

for about 20 truffles:


8 oz bittersweet chocolate (Valrhona is a very good and expensive brand for truffles, you can buy smaller portions if you visit the store)
4 oz heavy cream (as heavy as you can find it)
1 oz high quality unsalted butter (President brand or any other European style butter)
anything you feel like for flavoring (I used fresh ginger and allspice for half of the chocolate, lavender for the other half)


Before we begin, the most important rule: Chocolate and water are worst enemies! Always make sure that no water touches the chocolate at any time.

Chop the chocolate into small chunks, put it into a bowl (split into two bowls if you're making two different flavors for the truffles). In a saucepan, heat the cream and butter and add your flavors. Taste the cream to see if you like the flavor. If you use something like lavender, you want to filter your cream to not have any lavender pieces in the ganache. After filtering, make sure you still have 4 oz of liquid, otherwise fill up with more cream. Pour the hot liquid over the chocolate and stir until smooth. A rubber spatula (Le Creuset are the best) works great for this.

Once melted, pour the liquid into an airtight container and let it sit for about 2-4 hours until it has firmed. I used a portion disher from Surfas to form the ganache into little balls. Size #100 worked great for that. I would also suggest that you wear plastic gloves to do this. It will get pretty messy and the gloves will also prevent the warmth of your hands to melt the chocolate too much.

You can decorate the truffles as you wish. I got some special molding chocolate from Surfas (that type of chocolate is supposed to make it a lot easier for melting in a double boiler). Dip your truffles into liquid chocolate and move them around with a plastic fork until covered all around. Instead of covering them with liquid chocolate, you could also sprinkle some very high quality cocoa powder over your truffles.

I made some candied ginger for decoration which turned out very nicely. Cut fresh ginger into small pieces, put about same amount of water and sugar in a skillet and add the ginger. Bring to a boil until the ginger caramelizes with the sugar. Remove the mass from the skillet, let it cool and cut into small pieces. Pestle and mortar worked great for me to get nicely shaped ginger crystals.


At 9:40 PM, Anonymous jenny said...

wow, those truffles look amazing! what a great gift idea. where did you get the lavender, by the way? have you used it for other cooking before?

finally had a chance to try the roast chicken with grapes. perfect for a cold, rainy night...delicious and so easy!

At 10:09 PM, Blogger Dan said...

hey Jenny,

the only place where i found lavender in a small amount was at world market.

Nicole's Gourmet (link on the sidebar) sells HUGE bags full of lavender. since lavender has such a calming scent, you could get a lot of it and fill small bags to put in your car or wherever you like to have a nice and fresh smell.

in terms of cooking, it's the first time i used lavender. it works really well with chocolate though.

At 10:52 PM, Anonymous Joey said...

I have invented an oyster recipe that rocks my socks!
Ill write it up sometime in the next day or two and post it for you to try!


At 11:38 PM, Blogger Dan said...

Hey Joey,
sounds great! let me know, I'd be happy to try it out.


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