There's nothing I love making more than chocolate during the Winter, and a dark chocolate truffle is a great starting assignment for beginner chocolatiers. Making bonbons and truffles is always a time-consuming, ambitious project that takes the better part of the day, but when it's cold outside, there's nothing I'd rather be doing than hovering over a bowl of melted couverture chocolate to watch its every move and monitor its temperature like an overprotective mother.
See the step-by-step photos for making truffles.
Here's the number one rule regarding chocolate: you must follow the measurements and temperatures like a mad scientist. Even a few more grams of butter than the recipe calls for or a degree or two over the recommended temperatures, and you'll end up with a messy waste of chocolate. If you don't own a scale already, buy one. You'll grow to love measuring ingredients by their weight rather than by their volume.
This truffle recipe begins by heating up heavy cream and corn syrup to create a creamy, rich chocolate ganache center.
The boiled cream mixture is poured into a bowl of couverture chocolate, which slowly melts the chocolate wafers.
There are many old
wives' chocolatiers' tales regarding how to emulsify ganache properly. Whether or not it holds true that you can only stir it in one direction, here's what you need to know. Only use unmelted chocolate. Do not attempt to combine melted chocolate with the hot cream mixture.
Make sure to emulsify the chocolate and cream completely before adding the butter. Make sure the ganache is at the right temperature before adding the butter. The butter should be softened to room temperature but not melted. Also, avoid overstirring, which can also cause the mixture to break (the oils will separate and seep away from the chocolate).
If all of those rules haven't sent you running to the other room, take a look down at your bowl of luscious, emulsified ganache. It should look thick, fluffy, and heavy like mayonnaise. Here's where the hard part comes in: you must let it cool. Set it out for about an hour, then transfer it to a piping bag. Pipe out 30 one-inch "Hershey's Kisses" and allow those to dry overnight.
The next day, as you prepare to finish the chocolate truffles, remember that it takes about two hours to temper the chocolate that you will use to coat. Dipping the ganache in tempered chocolate will create a snappy chocolate shell around the smooth, creamy interior. It adds a nice textural contrast that elevates your truffles to professional status. On a practical level, the tempered chocolate acts as glue to help the mixture of cocoa powder and powdered sugar stick to the truffle.
Yes, making truffles is a several-hour project that requires the utmost resilience and patience, but you get to be the proud maker of 30 beautiful baby truffles, which makes that hard work so worth it. Once the chocolate shell has hardened (which only takes around five minutes), you won't have to wait any longer to dig in! The sweet cocoa and sugar powder will hit your taste buds first, followed by the quick snap of the tempered chocolate shell that releases the oozing ganache. Are you ready to release your inner chocolatier?
Adapted from Making Artisan Chocolates by Andrew Garrison Shotts
Classic Dark Chocolate Truffles
To easily fill a piping bag, fold the piping bag around a round, quart-size tupperware container. But, If you don't have a piping bag, use a large resealable plastic bag and snip off the corner.
4 1/2 ounces (119 grams) dark couverture chocolate coins, like TCHO 68 percent
1/2 cup (112 grams) heavy cream
2 teaspoons (14 grams) light corn syrup
1 tablespoon (14 grams) softened salted butter, cubed
1 1/8 cups cocoa powder
1 1/8 cups powdered sugar
2 pounds (906 grams) dark couverture chocolate, tempered
- To make ganache: Place chocolate in a medium-size bowl. Set aside.
- In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine heavy cream and corn syrup. Over medium-high heat, cook while stirring the mixture continuously until it comes to a rolling boil. Pour directly over chocolate and let sit for two minutes. Slowly stir ingredients together with a whisk, until fully incorporated. Position a candy thermometer in the center of the bowl to monitor the temperature. Once the ganache reaches 95°F, add butter and stir well. Let ganache sit for 45 minutes or until it is firm enough to pipe.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Pipe 30 ganache drops that are about one-inch tall. Set aside to dry overnight.
- Cover your hands with powder-free gloves and roll the ganache into smooth, round balls. Return each ball onto the parchment paper.
- To finish truffles: Sift cocoa powder and powdered sugar together in a small casserole dish or shallow bowl with a flat bottom.
- Dip each truffles in tempered chocolate, using a fork. Tap the side of the bowl to let the excess chocolate run back into the bowl, then transfer each truffle to the cocoa powder and gently shake the container back and forth to evenly coat each truffle. Allow the chocolate to set (harden completely) before transferring the truffles to an airtight container.
Makes 30 truffles.