Chocolate Truffles

Note: This is about a 2-day operation: Make and freeze the ganache the first day. Roll the ganache balls and freeze early on the second day. Dipping the ganache balls takes the longest time. Just thought I'd warn you.

The following is a "half" recipe that makes about 20-30 truffles. Doubling is easy to do, if you have a large enough double boiler. Don't dip more than one "whole" recipe at a time (twice this recipe), unless you have a really good way of keeping the chocolate melted.

The Ganache

200g (7 oz) bittersweet chocolate
6 fl oz heavy whipping cream
flavoring (see below)

First, you ask, why the mixing of measuring systems? Well, Trader Joe's sells 500g blocks of good bittersweet chocolate, scored in 10g increments, that is perfect for this task, so I give measurements assuming you'll use that.

  • Chop the chocolate with a food processor or chef's knife, put it in a bowl with the flavoring (see below).
  • Heat the heavy whipping cream until it just begins to boil.
  • Pour the cream over the chocolate and mix very thoroughly with a wire whisk.
  • Refrigerate at least an hour, or over night if you want to spread the work out over a few days.
  • Flavorings:

    Vanilla: 1-2 tablespoons of good vanilla, Tahitian is particularly good.

    Cinnamon: 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

    Orange: Zest of one (small to medium sized) orange and juice of half an orange.

    Almond: 1 teaspoon almond extract.

    Anything else you want: if the liquid content gets much above 2 tablespoons, reduce the cream accordingly.

    Prepare for Dipping

  • Put some un-sweetened cocoa on a plate, and get a second clean plate to recieve the ganache balls.
  • Coat both palms with the cocoa. Be prepared to replenish regularly.
  • Scoop out heaping teaspoons of the ganache and form into balls with your hands.
  • Freeze the plate of ganache balls shortly before you are ready to dip.
  • Assembly

    450 grams (about a pound) bittersweet chocolate.
    Some roasted un-salted nuts of your choice (about a pound will do).

    Break the chocolate up and put all but about 60g (3 oz) into the top of a double boiler over hot but not boiling water. Stir frequently. When the chocolate is just melted, remove from heat, and add the remaining 60g of chocolate (which is broken into small chunks) and stir in the last few chunks until they are melted. Set on your work space on top of a heating pad set to low, over which you've put a plastic bag. Alton Brown's chocolate truffle recipe uses just a heating pad and a good thermometer.

    Using a dipping fork, a regular fork, or a combonation of a wooden spoon in one hand and a fork in the other, dip the ganache balls in the melted chocolate until just covered. Remove any excess chocolate and place on a cookie sheet on which you've put waxed paper or aluminum foil. Decorate before the chocolate sets. When you've filled the sheet, put it in the refrigerator or freezer for a minute or two to set the chocolate.

    When you've finished with the ganache balls, pour in your nuts and dip out nut clusters to finish off the dipping chocolate.

    Wrap each truffle with Saran Wrap if you want to send them through the mail. Keep refrigerated or frozen in an airtight container.

    If you had the time to make these, you'll have the time to make cheesecake, or some nice chewy chocolate chocolate-chip cookies.
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    URL: http://www.stanford.edu/~dru/truffles.html