This year, for the holidays, in light of my new-found free time, and one of my sisters’ requests, I decided to make truffles. Now, having never made truffles before (I know, I can’t believe it myself!), I looked up a recipe online and found one on a blog called My Baking Addiction. The recipe is pretty simple:
yield | about 30 truffles
12 ounces chocolate, chopped (semisweet or bittersweet)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons liqueur, optional
Step 1: Make the Chocolate Mix
Basically, you melt the chocolate, then add the butter, cream, vanilla, and any other flavouring agents you would like. I decided to double the recipe and make six different types of truffles: matcha (green tea), espresso, fleur de sel, chili, Frangelico (a liqueur which tastes primarily of hazelnuts), and Grand Marnier. I made my basic mix, then separated it into six parts, each of which I subsequently labelled.
Step 2: Season Your Mix
I then proceeded to flavour my divided mixture with my chosen flavouring agents. I used instant espresso powder for the espresso mix, matcha from Cha Noir for the green tea mix, cayenne for the chili mix…and- well, I guess the remaining ingredients are pretty self-evident. I started with small amounts of the flavouring agents, and added more to taste.
Step 3: Shape the Truffles
Even after chilling the chocolate mixture, it’s still difficult to work with because it starts to melt (due to the warmth of your hands) as soon as you try to roll it into a ball. I tried dunking my hands in ice water to cool them between truffles, but it was still very messy, and I ended up just accepting the fact that a) the truffles are not supposed to be round, and b) my hands were going to be covered in chocolate (there are worse things in life).
Some Thoughts on the Process
I think that the next time I make truffles I may just spread the mixture out on a rectangular tray before chilling it so that I can simply cut it into squares (which would probably be the easiest thing) or use cutters to cut it into little shapes.
I would have liked to differentiate all six sorts of truffles by rolling each type in something different to finish them off, but ended up sticking with the standard cocoa powder for most of them, simply because I wasn’t sure what else to use. I did, however, roll the Grand Marnier truffles in a mixture of cocoa powder and ground dried orange peel (that I blitzed in the coffee grinder, then sifted), roll the green tea truffles in some matcha, and roll the Frangelico truffles in some crushed toasted hazelnuts.
I had briefly considered maybe rolling the chili truffles in a bit of cayenne, but the flavour would have been way too strong. The same logic applies to the fleur de sel truffles and the espresso truffles and their respective flavouring agents.
To go a bit furthur in terms of final flavour analysis, I really liked the matcha truffles due to the way the initially bitter flavour of the matcha powder both complemented and contrasted with the bittersweet chocolate.
I may try a flakier salt for the salted truffles next time to play a bit more with the contrast in textures.
I’d like to try using something other than cayenne to flavour the chili truffles, perhaps a mildly smoked hot pepper powder…?
Anyway, that’s it for now. ‘Til next time,