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I wrote this last year. We’d had three days of snow and ice in Oklahoma City. There’s only so much TV and internet to absorb before I was going absolutely gaga stir- crazy.
Luckily, I had visited one of my favorite baking shops (Sweet Cherry’s Bakery )on Monday before the snow hit and picked up some supplies to make truffles. Valentine’s Day is approaching so I thought I’d knock some chocolates out ahead of time!
Now, you can use your imagination here – make milk chocolate or dark chocolate truffles. Add in a flavored liquor or some orange zest to kick things up a notch. Add in some ground cayenne for a Mexican chocolate kick. Roll in a variety of ingredients or just dip them in some more melted chocolate (my personal favorite) then sprinkle with colored sugar or sea salt.
Today I decided to make Espresso Truffles, because I’m a big fan of adding anything coffee to anything chocolate. Coffee brings out the flavors in the chocolate oh-so-well.
Truffles really aren’t that hard to make. You could actually make them using ordinary stuff you can get at your local grocer. Let me show you how.
Measure out 3/4 cup of heavy cream into a pot.
Now, don’t turn this on high. You need to heat cream gently, so it doesn’t scorch on the bottom of the pot. Turn your burner on low to medium-low and just barely bring this to a simmer.
While, that’s heating, dump one bag of dark chocolate chips into a bowl. I used Ghirardelli.
Now, let me just say - I am NOT a professional candy maker! You can get as fancy as you want with your chocolate. I just wanted to use one that everyone could get a hold of locally.
Anyway, dump these into a bowl and when your cream is heated, pour it right over top of these.
Add in 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
Use a whisk and gently begin to stir this all together until it gets nice and glossy and smooth.
Add in one teaspoon of good vanilla extract.
And also add in 2 tablespoons of expresso powder. If you can’t find any, put some coffee into a coffee grinder, and grind it into powder.
Stir it up again with your whisk, really mixing well.
Then pour it into a 9 X 9 baking dish or pan and pop it into the freezer for about 30 minutes. Or you could put it in the refrigerator for several hours.
Or you could put it out on my porch for 5 minutes. Cuz it’s stinkin’ frigid here this week!
I kind of shake it with my hands just to level it out real nice.
What we’ve just made is chocolate ganache. You could pour this warm over a cake or brownies and it would be fabulous! But we’re making truffles, so let’s get on with it!
Now, there are a few ways to make your truffles – the clean way, or the messy way.
The clean way (which is highly unlike me) is what I did today. I used a small cookie dough scoop to scoop mine. But you could just use a teaspoon and roll the truffles in your hands, letting them melt all over your palms and making a huge gooey, but fun mess.
It’s all about what type of personality you are I suppose.
Mr. Wonderful would never, ever want to roll them in his hands. It goes against the grain of all that’s good and right in his world.
Anyway, scoop out a bit of the now-fudgy-like chilled ganache.
Place your truffle on some wax or parchment paper or a Silpat mat lining a baking sheet.
Continue to scoop out balls until you’ve emptied the entire pan.
Then it’s time to be artful (not one of my strong points).
I decided to melt two different bowls of chocolate to dip my truffles in – one white chocolate, and the other milk chocolate. Melt about one cup of the chips in a microwave safe glass bowl, starting at 30 seconds, then stir, and if needed, continue to microwave for additional periods of 20 seconds, stirring after each time.
Once they’re melted, let them cool down for a couple of minutes. You don’t want super hot chocolate melting your truffles when you dip them.
I have this little dipping thing I got from Pampered Chef that works well.
But a fork works just as well, if not better.
Now, while the chocolate coating is still wet, you can sprinkle on some sea salt or colored sugar.
You can also put a couple of tablespoons of your melted chocolate into small baggies that zip shut.
Snip off just a small sliver off the corner.
And use this to pipe some pretty lines across the milk chocolate dipped truffle (once it’s cooled from the dipping).
For something different, try using cocoa powder or powdered sugar to roll them in instead of dipping in chocolate.
Another option is using colored sugars to roll the undipped chocolate in.
Just drop the scoop of ganache right onto the colored sugar and roll to coat.
I used pink and red for a Valentine’s Day effect.
I love having the varieties to display.
Get some different colored little candy liners to display them in to really show off your Valentine spirit.
And for just a quarter or so, you can buy boxes at Sweet Cherry (or your local candy store) to box them up and tie with a red bow for all the people you love.
Your family and friends will think you’re so special.
Try making truffles before Valentines for someone you love. Bring your kids in for the rolling fun.
And above all else…
- 1 (12 oz) package Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips
- ¾ c. heavy cream
- 3 T. unsalted butter
- 1 t. vanilla extract
- 2 T. expresso coffee (or fine ground coffee granules
- Bring heavy cream to very low simmer over medium-low heat. Remove from heat and pour over dark chocolate in glass bowl. Add butter and whisk until all is melted and glossy. Add in vanilla and espresso. Mix well and pour into 9 x 9 square dish (ungreased). Place in freezer for 30 minutes or until consistency of fudge. Scoop out in round balls with cookie dough scoop or use teaspoon and roll in hands to make balls. Roll in cocoa powder, powdered sugar or colored sugar.
- To dip – melt 1 cup of desired chips for 30 seconds in microwave, stir, and keep microwaving for 20 second increments, stirring after each time. Let cool 1-2 minutes before dipping. Dip ganache ball into melted chocolate with fork and let cool on parchment or wax paper or Silpat mat placed on cookie sheet.
- To roll: Roll separately in cocoa powder (don’t dip in chocolate at all), powdered sugar, or colored sugars to coat.
- Sprinkle: dipped truffles with sea salt or colored sugar
- Place finished truffles in freezer for 10 minutes to set. Best served at room temperature
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