A Culinary Journey
Category Archives: Truffles
The overall feedback on my mint truffles was that these are my best truffles yet! I’m not actually a big fan of anything mint flavored, but friend of mine requested these and when I came up with a recipe that seemed right I had to try making them. Originally, I thought I would have to put mint extract into a chocolate ganache, but I was hoping for a filling that wasn’t chocolate based so I kept looking. The mint filling is actually adapted from a mint brownie recipe that includes a similar mint layer on top of the brownies, but the filling doesn’t actually include any chocolate itself.
One difficulty of this approach is that the filling is quite soft. It must be frozen before it is handled, both to roll the truffles and to dip them. Even after spending hours in the freezer, the filling will not be frozen solid. This makes dipping particularly tricky; the entire truffle must be coated in warm chocolate, the excess removed, and the product safely transferred back to a hard surface. I began dipping using a dipping spiral, but the filling melted into the spiral too much to be reasonably easily or presentably removed. I had the most success with a two-pronged dipping fork. I still wasn’t able to tap off excess chocolate as much as I would usually like to after dipping these, but once the chocolate cooled and hardened, I just went through and broke off the “feet” where it had made a little puddle around the bottom of each truffle.
An observation I made about the finished product was that some of them seemed to ooze a little bit if there was a crack in the chocolate or any place where the filling was exposed. I’m not sure what caused this, but it’s something to look out for. I’ll have to see if it happens again next time and investigate further.
Just one last note about an ingredient. I had to check around at few local stores before finding mint extract. Even the more “specialty” grocery stores didn’t carry it. For once, Wal-Mart saved me! If you can’t find it locally it is available online, but is generally more expensive if purchased that way.
Makes 25-30 truffles.
Ingredients:2 .5 cups powdered sugar 3 tablespoons butter, softened 3 tablespoons whipping cream 2 ounces cream cheese, softened 1/4 teaspoon mint extract 2 drops green food color 7 ounces dark chocolate
- Mix all ingredients except chocolate. Freeze until firm.
- Use scoop to form mint filling into balls. Freeze until firm.
- Break chocolate into small pieces and place in a microwave safe bowl. Melt chocolate in microwave at medium power. Use dipping fork to coat mint balls in chocolate. Place on wax paper on cookie sheet and refrigerate until firm. Store in fridge for up to 2 weeks.
These truffles are great if you like dark chocolate. I couldn’t really taste the Godiva Liqueur, so next time I plan to omit that and just add a little more heavy cream instead. It could also be replaced with a flavored liqueur to give it a little extra taste (like something hazelnut or berry flavored). It’s a pretty standard plain chocolate truffle recipe.
Makes about 30 truffles using 1.5 teaspoon scoop.
Ingredients:7 ounces dark chocolate (Nói Síríus, 70% extra bitter) 1 tablespoon butter 1/2 cup heavy cream 1.5 tablespoons Godiva Original Dark Chocolate Liqueur unsweetened cocoa powder
- Break chocolate into small pieces and melt in double boiler.
- When chocolate is melted, stir in butter and heavy cream until uniformly mixed.
- Remove from heat and stir in liqueur.
- Refrigerate until firm.
- Scoop out truffles and roll in hands to make round (these don’t have to be flawless spheres, the cocoa powder will cover up a lot of imperfections in shape). It helps to coat hands in cocoa powder first to reduce the stickiness of the chocolate as it melts between your hands. I also found it easier to scoop a few truffles, then roll them all instead of scooping and rolling each one individually because of the mess they made on my hands.
- Roll truffles in cocoa powder, tap to remove excess, and refrigerate until firm. Store in fridge for up to 2 weeks.
I’m way behind on my posts. I made these pumpkin cake truffles for a Thanksgiving Potluck in early November and they were a big hit, even with people who aren’t too crazy about pumpkin things. The inner texture turns out similar to a pumpkin pie but maybe a little bit more firm and I think a lot more flavorful. I tried to make the truffles a bit more festive by dipping them in a white chocolate that I had colored orange with some gel food coloring and then was planning to do them up like pumpkins with thin lines for the ridges around the pumpkin and a little green leaf and stem. Unfortunately I have little experience working with white chocolate and it seized pretty quickly. I only got a few dipped and they certainly weren’t pretty. I was so disappointed! I finished the rest by just dipping in a semi-sweet chocolate. They didn’t look distinctive at all, so I left out a picture this time. I’ll have to look into how to work with white chocolate to avoid such a mishap again!
The recipe for these truffles is included below, but I found it here: http://crepesofwrath.net/2010/10/15/white-chocolate-pumpkin-spice-truffles. This website has wonderful step by step detailed instructions with pictures. I made the cake in two 8×8 pans thinking maybe I would keep one as a cake and make the second into truffles, but the cakes fell and were quite dense (I think as a result of the pumpkin) so I made it all into truffles because the cake didn’t look proper for serving.
Makes 100+ truffles using 1″ scoop.
For the cake:3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1 14 oz. can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
For the frosting:4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (plus another 2-3 cups as necessary)
2 teaspoons milk or cream
2/3 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the truffles:16 oz. (1 bag) white chocolate (I used white chocolate chips – it’s probably best to have 2 bags on hand, just in case)
orange and green gel food coloring (do NOT use liquid food coloring)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Begin by browning the butter. Place the butter in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat. It will foam at first, but just keep stirring occasionally. When it is a golden amber color, remove from heat, strain, and set aside to cool a bit.
- In a medium bowl, combine your flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and allspice. Set aside. In your large mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Beat until combined, then add in the butter, mixing until combined. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and mix until combined. Gradually add in the flour mixture, finishing by hand if needed so as to not overmix.
- Spread the batter into a greased and/or lined 9×13 cake pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until set and just slightly golden brown. Allow to cool completely before removing.
- While the cakes cool, make the frosting. Beat together the butter and cream cheese until combined, then add the 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, 2 teaspoons milk or cream, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Beat until light and fluffy, as least another 3 minutes, then scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in another cup of powdered sugar, beat until fluffy, then another, and beat again until fluffy. The frosting should be firm but not stiff. Add another cup of powdered sugar if you feel that the frosting is not firm enough (it should hold peaks for a moment or two).
- When the cake has cooled, place it in a large bowl with half of your frosting and mix until combined. If the cake is not holding together in ball shapes, add half of the remaining frosting, mix, and check the consistency again. If you want, add the rest of the frosting, but you probably won’t need to. On a lined baking sheet, roll the cake into balls using a scoop, then place on the sheet. Continue until you have used up all of the cake, then place in the fridge or freezer to firm up for 20-30 minutes.
- To make the truffles, now you will have to melt your chocolate. Use a double boiler to do this. Heat over medium heat. Add 3/4 of the white chocolate into the top pan, maki stir ng sure there is absolutely no way that any water will ever come in contact with it, and stir gently until melted.
- When the chocolate has melted, add in a few drops of orange gel food coloring, and until you have the color you want. Take one cake ball at a time and roll it in the chocolate with a fork or dipping spiral until covered, then remove and place back on the baking sheet. Repeat until you have done all of your cake balls. Place in the fridge or freezer to firm up for 15-20 minutes.
- Now melt the rest of your white chocolate and add green food coloring to decorate the truffles with stem and leaf. Spoon the melted, colored chocolate into a piping bag with appropriate tip. Decorate truffles with a stem and leaf. Return to fridge or freezer until ready to serve.
Someone brought a box of salted caramels to a Girls Night I was at last spring. None of us had seen them before, but once someone braved the first one and said how delicious they were the whole box was devoured in no time! I had to have more. I asked for purchasing information and bought the very last box from the store before they discontinued them. Then I searched online and couldn’t find that brand anywhere. Sure there were others, but I wanted what I had tasted and knew was good. That’s when I decided that I would learn to make them.
Salty sweets seem to be the new trend. A few months ago I tried a salted chocolate caramel recipe from some random website and found that a chocolate-caramel center doesn’t really taste like caramel at all because the flavor and consistency are obscured by the chocolate. This time I got them right: make a soft, chewy caramel, then just coat that in chocolate and sprinkle some salt on top. Perfection!
I poured the leftover caramel from dipping caramel apple truffles from my last recipe into a buttered pan and just sliced those up to use in this recipe. If you want to just start with making caramels please look back at that posting for instructions. You can use any variety of chocolate or salt you prefer for these truffles. I used the Nói Síríus 56% bittersweet chocolate and sprinkled them with either a traditional white sea salt or Hawaiian Alaea Red Salt for a little exotic color. Red Alaea is sea salt is created through natural evaporation when it is trapped in tidal pools and mixes with red volcanic clay. The red color itself comes from the extremely high amount of iron in the clay. I didn’t really notice a difference in flavor and was expecting to get more of a bright red to contrast against the color of the chocolate. That said, they did look nice and were quite good but I am not convinced that it is worth the investment to put a specialty salt on these.
Ingredients:Caramels 7.05 ounces chocolate 1 tablespoon salt
- Measure even rows of caramel in pan and cut. Roll each caramel into a ball and refrigerate.
- Fill bottom of double boiler with water (not enough to touch bottom of second pan).
- Heat water on low to medium heat until simmering, but do not boil.
- Place chopped chocolate in top of double boiler. Stir until smooth.
- Remove from heat.
- Dip caramels using dipping spiral. Tap off excess chocolate. Place on wax paper-covered cookie sheet.
- Cool briefly and sprinkle with salt before chocolate hardens.
- Refrigerate until firm. Store in fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Instead of starting with something easy, I decided to make my first attempt at truffles seasonal by getting a little creative. What says fall like a bright red apple, dipped in caramel and rolled in chopped nuts? Okay, I can think of a few ideas, but I’m saving those for another weekend.
These truffles are rather non-traditional (perhaps I shouldn’t be calling them truffles?) as the ganache filling is dipped in caramel instead of a firm chocolate coating or rolled in confectioner’s sugar or cocoa powder. The flavor is unique, but everyone who has tried these has loved them! The center is an apple and milk chocolate combination paired with a sweet, soft caramel coating, and the nuts sprinkled on the outside lend both a hint of flavor as well as a little crunch. I was hoping the center would have a little stronger apple flavor, so I might try using apple extract next time instead of a reduced juice concentrate. I’m also looking forward to making salted caramels with the caramel left over from this recipe, so look for that coming soon!
Yield: 60 truffles using 1.5 tsp. scoop
Filling:2/3 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed 1/3 cup heavy cream 12 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
- Simmer apple juice concentrate in small saucepan until volume is reduced by half. (~15 min).
- While stirring, add cream to apple juice concentrate and bring to boil.
- Place chopped chocolate in large bowl. Pour boiling juice/cream mixture over chocolate and gently stir with whisk until smooth. –tasted them here, apple flavor not as strong as I’d like; they taste more like caramel it seems than apple.
- Cover and refrigerate until firm. (I just left them overnight)
- Once firm, use scooper to form balls of filling. Roll between hands for more spherical shape, place on cookie sheet, and refrigerate (or freeze) until firm.
Caramel Coating:1 cup butter 2 cups packed brown sugar 1 cup light corn syrup 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk 2 teaspoons vanilla 1 cup chopped peanuts
- Melt the butter in saucepan. Add brown sugar; stir till thoroughly combined. Stir in light corn syrup; mix well. Gradually add milk stirring constantly. Cook and stir over medium heat till candy reaches firm ball stage (245 degrees) about 30-40 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
- Cool slightly, but must still be liquid enough for dipping.
- Using a dipping spiral, dip filling balls into caramel then tap off excess. Place on wax paper, sprinkle with chopped nuts, and place in fridge to harden.
- After all balls are dipped, pour excess caramel into buttered 8×8 pan and cool to harden.
- Store in fridge for up to 2 weeks.
I can not claim to be an expert, but my preferred chocolate is Nói Síríus (http://noi.is/English/English), an Icelandic brand that can be found at Whole Foods stores or at select online vendors. It is sold in 7.05 oz. packages of two bars and comes in four different varieties: 33% milk, 45% semi-sweet, 56% bittersweet, and 70% extra bitter dark chocolate. One quality of particular interest to some is that this chocolate is vegan (though just to clarify, my recipes are not). It seems to quite reasonably priced in comparison to other specialty brands. I don’t have enough experience with luxury chocolates to give a proper assessment of how this matches up in flavor. However, this is currently my favorite chocolate and thus I will be using it for all of my truffle recipes unless otherwise noted.