May 14, 2010

Chocolate Truffles

After a couple weeks in Spain it's been nice getting back in the kitchen and especially baking.  I've made some lovely uber-light chocolate butter cookies, churned up a batch of strawberry flecked ice-cream, whipped up a little strawberry jam, and made these fabulous truffles.  You could say I went through a case of withdrawal and I didn't even realize it.

And just to clarify, it isn't all for me...hehe, though I have tried it all. Yum.

The truffles were actually for a friends birthday party.  The only request from the host was to bring something chocolaty and not cake-like.  Truffles seemed like the perfect solution.   Just to warn you, they are a bit messy, as in all over my hands can't take a picture messy, but as you can imagine well worth it.  As truffles go these were fairly light and worked well as a compliment to the strawberry pie and cupcakes also sat on the dessert table.  I used Cognac as a light flavoring, however they would probably be good with any number of liqueurs.  I can definitely see making a peppermint version during the holidays.

Or using Frangelico as a flavoring and then coating the outside in toasted hazelnuts, that would be nice too.  The base is easy enough which allows for room to play with the other flavors.  If you come up with any good ones please pass them along. 

Chocolate Truffles
from Chez Panisse Desserts

6 ounces semisweet chocolate (either weighed or measured from the bar)
1/2 ounce unsweetened chocolate
5 tablespoons whipping cream
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
3/4 teaspoon Cognac, Chartrueuse, Grand Marnier or other flavoring (I used Cognac)
walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, chocolate, or cocoa powder for coating the truffles (optional)

Coarsely chop the chocolate and put in a double broiler (or glass bowl on top of a pot of simmering water) with the cream and butter.  Melt the mixture over hot water (not boiling), stirring until it is smooth and glossy.  Remove from the heat and stir in the Cognac (or other flavoring).  Set aside and chill thoroughly.  Once chilled, line a small cooking tray with parchment paper and prepare a cup of hot water.  Use a melon baller or a small cookie scooper to scoop out the truffles.  Dip the scoop your using into the hot water between each truffle.  This can be somewhat messy, but I found that making sure the chocolate is cold and keeping the water hot helps a bit.  If the chocolates break apart in the process, either pinch or roll them together to keep them as round as possible.

Though the original recipe said it would make 3 dozen, mine only made about 2 dozen - I think my scoop was larger than a melon baller.  Once you've made all of the balls chill them again before serving and before rolling them in fun toppings or they can be served as is.  I rolled my in toasted walnuts and cocoa powder for the party.

Stats: Made 2 dozen 1 inch round truffles
Time: 4 hours, but less than an hour of that was hands on
Seasonal Ingredients: I didn't use any seasonal ingredients, but they were all local (the chocolate was a mix of Guittard and Scharffen Berger) and organic. 

have a wonderful, chocolate-filled, weekend!


BobBlesse said...

Yum! Sounds wonderful (for someone else). Vicki and I are off to Italy for three weeks, will try these when we return. Ciao!

Alison Clayshulte said...

Hi Bob, Hope you and Vicki have a wonderful trip to Italy. 3 weeks sounds just glorious.