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Truffles, Truffles, Truffles

Truffles, Truffles, Truffles

For a spectacular splash, make your own chocolate truffles.

By Familytime

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Making your own candy is a luxury. There are numerous options for buying these treats on specialty store shelves and from internet companies, but nothing beats those you make at home. And, best of all, they are surprisingly easy

You need the best chocolate you can find — most often bittersweet or semisweet — sugar, and heavy cream. Most recipes call for pure vanilla extract as well and perhaps a few grains of salt. Some recipes use butter, which makes the finished truffles extra luxurious. Finally, the truffles are coated in cocoa powder.

The Ganache

To begin, put chopped chocolate in a metal bowl. Heat the cream until bubbling hot but not at a rolling boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate. It’s best to pour it through a fine-mesh sieve so it’s as smooth as smooth can be. Whisk the chocolate and cream so that the chocolate melts and the mixture is blended and satiny.

At this point, stir in the vanilla and salt, if using, into the chocolate mixture, which is now called ganache. Set the bowl aside to allow the ganache to cool to room temperature. Don’t put the hot ganache in the refrigerator, as the fat could separate if you do. Let it cool first.

Put the room temperature ganache in the refrigerator until it's cold and firm.

The Method

It’s a good idea to wear Latex gloves when you make the truffles, mainly because the chocolate will melt even a little between your warm palms. If you don't have gloves, rinse your hands in cool water and dry them well to keep them cool.

Pluck walnut-sized (or smaller) pieces of ganache from the bowl and roll them between your palms into balls. They don’t have to be perfectly spherical, but should be ball-like. A little irregularity adds to their charm.

As you make each truffle, put it on a cool, clean plate.

Coating the Truffles

Some home cooks like to dip the truffles in melted chocolate as a first coat. Once they are covered with melted chocolate, they are next rolled in cocoa powder. And they are done!

Whether you are rolling the truffles directly in the cocoa or covering them with a little melted chocolate first, put the cocoa powder on a plate or in a shallow dish large enough to give the truffles room to roll around.

Flavoring the Truffles

If you choose to flavor the truffles with liquor, coffee, fruit, herbs or spices, add these flavorings to the cream as it heats. For coffee, brew a little strong coffee or use espresso powder. Don’t use fresh herbs or citrus zest.

If you want to experiment, start with a cautious hand. Don’t overload the cream with a lot of rum, brandy, coffee, raspberry preserves, or anything else. Use a little and taste the ganache. If you want to accentuate the flavor, do so in your next batch of truffles.

You can also choose to coat the ganache centers with finely chopped nuts or flaked coconut instead of cocoa.

You can use milk chocolate or white chocolate to make truffles, too. If you decide to make white chocolate truffles, cut the amount of cream in half (if you follow the recipe below).

Classic Truffles

1 pound bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

2 cups heavy cream

10 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened

Unsweetened cocoa powder, for coating

Put the chopped chocolate in a heat-proof bowl.

In a large saucepan, heat the cream and sugar, whisking to mix, over medium-high heat until gently boiling. Slowly pour it over the chopped chocolate, whisking to blend and encourage melting. Stir in the vanilla.

Add the butter, a tablespoon at a time, whisking until the butter is mixed and emulsified into the ganache. Whisk until smooth and set aside until the ganache cools to body temperature. Cover the ganache tightly and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.

Pinch off pieces of ganache and roll them between your palms to make truffles about the size of walnuts. They do not have to be perfect rounds. Arrange the truffles on a plate or tray and refrigerate again just to chill a little (about 20 minutes).

Spread the cocoa powder on a flat plate or in a shallow bowl. Roll the truffles in the cocoa and then set them on a clean plate or tray. Let them set for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 25 to 30 truffles

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Tagged With: chocolate, truffles, home cook, luxury, candy

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