Wednesday, February 11, 2009

For my valentine: chocolate truffles

On most Saturday nights, we have dinner with my in-laws, cooked by my in-laws. Even though this coming Saturday is Valentine's Day, I kind of figured they didn't have plans to go out. Much like us, they're avoiding unnecessary expenses--and a nice meal out definitely qualifies. So we'll all be dining together. I offered to bring dessert, wanting to do some small thing to mark the day.

My first thought was chocolate. Not only because it's fairly traditional for Valentine's Day, but also because Trillian is a chocoholic. (And both of my in-laws also enjoy their chocolate.) I was going to go with fondue, but decided it would be hard to transport all the bits I'd need and would require cooking on the spot, possibly getting into others' way.

So I went with chocolate truffles. Seriously, what could be better than a good, dark chocolate truffle?

There are a lot of recipes out there and all sorts of opportunities to experiment with flavor. But at their base, truffles are cream and chocolate, a basic ganache. I found an "Easy chocolate truffles" recipe and went from there.

  • A bit more than 1 1/4 cups of finely chopped chocolate. It was supposed to be 8 ounces, but I guesstimated. I cut a bunch off of a block of semi-sweet dark chocolate (the stuff in plastic wrap) and a little from the unsweetened Ghirardelli bar. I used a very sharp knife and found it cut the chocolate very nicely.
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream.
  • 2 Tbsp butter.
  • Whatever you want to cover the truffles.
  1. Cut the chocolate and place in a bowl that can hold at least twice as much as the chocolate.
  2. Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan. Stir frequently to avoid scorching and to mix the butter in. You want to get it up to a simmer/low boil.
  3. Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate. Cover the bowl and let sit 5 minutes.
  4. Whisk the cream-chocolate mixture until it starts to thicken a little.
  5. Cover the bowl tightly and put it in the refrigerator. I left it there overnight.
  6. Prepare your dusting ingredients. I put some hot cocoa mix (also dark chocolate, the type that usually needs milk to prepare), chopped walnuts, and shaved chocolate (from the bar I used for the truffles themselves) on small plates.
  7. Scoop small amounts of ganache and roll into balls. I used our cookie-dough scoop. The truffles were a little big, but the scoop makes it easy and less messy.
  8. Roll the balls in the topping of choice. Set on parchment paper.
I set aside a total of 12 and placed them in silicone cupcake holders--red, as it happens, so perfect for Valentine's Day. Plus, putting three of them in a holder almost makes a heart shape.
I had enough left over to set 3 aside for Trillian to have before Saturday.

And one to try right now. Smooth and chocolatey.

The dangerous thing is that they're not at all hard to make. Perhaps too easy. And we frequently have the basic ingredients on hand. Trillian's not at all opposed to this development.

1 comment:

Aliki2006 said...

I would never have thought to try and make truffles, but you're right--these do seem easy!