I know what you’re thinking…chocolate truffles for Christmas – how truly innovative. And yes, you’ve seen them all before. But scroll down and take a gander at them. Aren’t they a sight to behold? Silky. Creamy. Luscious. Are we still talking about chocolate? Yes. Right.
Though I’m no choco-holic, this week has been a real tug o’ war for me lately. Should I make these, these, or, oh la la, these. Let me start by saying that I’m all for bucking traditional flavors when it comes to chocolate — hot chiles with chocolate (fabulous); smoked salt with chocolate (why didn’t I think of that before?); tea-infused chocolate (caffeine+more caffeine = oh joy!); and even bacon with chocolate (piggy, chocolate-y — mmmm).
In the end, I decided to buck my inclination to buck traditional flavors and made a classic truffle recipe. There’s not too much of a recipe as it is a ganache made from equal parts cream and dark chocolate, which is allowed to chill for a couple of hours before it is rolled into little truffles. With so few ingredients, I reached for some of the good stuff — Callebaut chocolate and Calder Dairy’s heavy cream, one of the loveliest, richest creams this locavore’s tasted in a long time.
If you’ve never made truffles, you can click on the video link in this article to see Mark Bittman of the NY Times demonstrate the minimal (pardon me) effort involved in making truffles. Now, do I really need to tell you how these turned out? Chocolate plus Cream. Cream plus Chocolate. Come ON.
FOR MY GANACHE:
- 500g Callebaut dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 500 ml heavy cream
- In a medium to large saucepan, heat the cream until it begins to steam. Remove pan from heat and add chocolate to the cream. Stir until the chocolate is melted and fully combined with the cream. Allow to cool before placing in the fridge to cool for about 2 hours.
- Once chilled, you can use a small melon baller or a small spoon to scoop out the ganache and quickly roll it into a ball. You can then roll the truffle in cocoa, nuts, powdered sugar, etc.
My conformist turns notwithstanding, I opted to make another batch of truffles, this time adding a little booze. That always helps things, you know…something my mother taught me. Okay, really, my aunt taught me that.
Rose‘s trio of truffles sure did thrill me, particularly since they use butter instead of cream. They turned out a bit more dense than the cream ganache above yet smooth and every bit delicious. It was also great to use the Cointreau that I had bought during a visit to the original distillery, located on the outskirts of Angers, France. These truffles give those liquor-filled chocolates you find at the market a run for their money. They’ve got just enough orange liqueur and orange zest to brighten the cocoa flavors of the chocolate.
TRUFFES AU COINTREAU – CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES WITH COINTREAU
recipe adapted from 64sqftkitchen
- 170g (~6oz) chocolate
- 2 egg yolks
- 75 g butter (~1/3 stick, unsalted butter) softened
- 1 ½ tsp Cointreau
- Zest of 1 orange
- To make the basic mixture, melt the chocolate in double boiler until the chocolate is melted and lukewarm. Remove from the simmering water and add the egg yolks. Stir with a whisk for a few seconds. It will probably tighten and lose its shine.
- Add the butter in small pieces and whisk well. The mixture may become smooth or it may remain somewhat separated. Do not worry about it. Add the orange zest and Cointreau and whisk.
- At this point the mixture should become smooth. If it doesn’t, add 1 tsp of hot water to each bowl and whisk until it does. It should not require more than 1 tbsp of water at most. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Get the truffles out of the fridge at least 15 minutes before starting shaping them; this way it will be easier to shape them. With a small spoon, scoop out the chocolate and, with the palms of your hands, form into little balls the size of extra-large olives or smaller.
- They will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. Serve at room temperature.