Perfect holiday gift
This recipe makes 90 truffles at ≈ 8g each. A chocolate truffle is a type of chocolate confectionery, traditionally made with a chocolate ganache. The French chocolate truffle is a mixture of heavy cream & chocolate. They are often flavored with Grand Marnier, dark rum, tawny port, or Cognac. For the non-alcoholic version, heavy cream can be infused with vanilla, or orange extract. They can be finished rolled in cocoa, or coated in tempered chocolate first, and cocoa. The truffle chocolate shell improves mouthfeel and shelf life. Chocolate truffles can be kept refrigerated for up to 2 weeks, or frozen for 3 months. Many variations exist though, rolled in coconut, or chopped toasted nuts etc... The American chocolate truffle was first created by Joseph Schmidt in San Francisco in the mid-1980s, is a half-oval-shaped, chocolate-coated truffle, a mixture of dark or milk chocolates with butterfat. Since the taste of a truffle depends on the quality of the chocolate, pick a good chocolate couverture from 55 to 70% cocoa liquor content. Chocolate couverture is the name given to a certain class of high-quality chocolate. Unlike regular chocolate, is ground to a finer texture during the production process and contains a greater percentage of cocoa butter relative to the other ingredients. These two differences produce a superior flavor and texture that makes couverture the preferred chocolate for tempering and enrobing truffles, bonbons, and other fine candies. Although many excellent chocolate brands could be used for ganache, the Valrhona Guanaja 70% remains one of the best.
As it goes for a mayonnaise, chocolate ganache itself is an emulsion. Its final texture depends on the making process. An overheated ganache will separate – In most cases though, it can be fixed using an immersion blender, or it may not. Melt dark chocolate half way through, and let sit on the countertop. Meanwhile, bring to a boil heavy cream along with the honey. Remove hot cream from the stove and let sit for 5 min. Pour less than a third of the hot heavy cream into the partially melted chocolate. Mix until completely homogenized using a rubber spatula, or a whisk. Repeat this step with half of the heavy cream left in the pan. Add remaining cream, and scrape off the bottom of the pan with a rubber spatula. Finish mixing using an immersion blender. Cool ganache to 122ºF/50ºC, throw in butter and blend. Then add warm alcohol (To taste). Blend well without incorporating air. Cover ganache with plastic wrap in contact, and let sand at room temperature overnight. If the room temperature is above 80ºF/27ºC, chill. Pipe out room temp ganache into 8 grams balls; chill. Slightly squeeze sides of each truffle and smooth out. Keep refrigerated.
For better handling, a fair amount of melted chocolate is preferred when tempering. Leftover chocolate should be spread over a sheet of parchment into a 1/4''/6mm chocolate sheet. Once set, break into pieces and store in container for later use. Melt chocolate slowly over a water-bath. The simmering water should not touch the bottom of the pastry bowl. Stir up chocolate every so often using a rubber spatula. The chocolate temperature should not exceed 130ºF/55ºC. Remove bowl from simmering water, wipe off bottom and refrigerate for about 15 minutes stirring every so often. When the temperature reaches 80ºF/26ºC, rewarm for a few seconds, or until temperature of the chocolate reaches 92ºF/33ºC. Keep water to a simmer stage to rewarm tempered chocolate as you go.
Drop a couple of truffles in the tempered chocolate, and coat using a chocolate dipping fork (Look up at Store Page). Transfer truffles in cocoa to set, then roll. When it gets crowded, shake off excess cocoa using a tamis. During the coating process, the tempered chocolate will begin to cool down and thicken, quickly rewarm keeping it at 86/92ºF/30/33ºC. Store truffles refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks. Like red wine, French chocolate truffles are best enjoyed at 60ºF/15ºC.