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Truffles, the chocolate ones, just like their namesake, truffle, the fungus one, have become synonymous with luxury and decadent indulgence. With whole stores dedicated to offering these little bites of flavored chocolates, you would think there is a grand mystery to making them. No, there isn't. You can make them fairly easily in your own kitchen, spiced up with your favorite flavors. Let's first review what a truffle is.

Basically, a truffle is ganache covered with tempered chocolate.

  • What’s ‘ganache’ (ga nahsh)? It’s a mixture of melted chocolate and cream.
  • What’s tempered chocolate? It’s chocolate that has been melted to a certain temperature, cooled to a certain temperature, then melted again.

The ganache is formed into a ball and then dipped into the tempered chocolate: this gives it a hard covering that provides a crunch as you bite into the chocolate ball, while the ganache stays soft and silky in the center.

So, as you can see the ‘hard’ part of the truffles is the ‘hard’ part of the recipe because tempering chocolate can be kind of tricky. But that particular step can be skipped without too much loss in flavor or consistency.

Et voila, la recette:

 

Classic Chocolate Truffles Recipe

This recipe makes about 24 truffles.

Ingredients:

•    1/2 cup heavy cream
•    2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
•    1 teaspoon light corn syrup
•    8 oz. chopped, semi-sweet chocolate + 6 oz. for dipping
•    about 1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted

Preparation:

1. Mix the cream, butter and corn syrup together in a saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring to a full boil. Turn off heat.

2. Add 8 ounces of the chopped chocolate, and gently swirl the pan. Do not stir. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.

3. After 5 minutes, whisk slowly to combine.

4. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and refrigerate for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. In the meantime, line baking sheets with parchment paper.

5. After 45 minutes, the mixture will start to thicken quickly, keep refrigerated another 11 to 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.

6. Using a mini ice cream scoop or two spoons, form the mixture into 1-inch balls and and place on the prepared sheets.

7. Chill until firm, about 10-15 minutes. While the balls are chilling, melt the remaining 6 ounces of chocolate. After it is completely melted, allow to cool slightly before continuing.

8. Place cocoa in small bowl. Remove the balls from the refrigerator. Using one hand, dip the balls into the melted chocolate. Roll it around in your hand, allow the excess to drip back into the bowl. Place the truffle in the cocoa. With your clean hand, cover the truffle with cocoa.

9. Lift it out and place on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining truffles. Place back in the refrigerator for 5-8 minutes to set.

10. Be creative. This is the basic recipe, but you can change the flavor of the ganash by adding different flavor to it. You can use white chocolate or milk chocolate in step 8 to change the color of the outside, and use sugar or other decoration instead of the cocoa…

Storage:

May be stored up to one week in an airtight container, and makes a wonderful home made gift !

Debra Fioritto

Debra Fioritto is a winner of the 2006 Culinary Trust's Julia Child Endowment Fund Scholarship and specialises in culinary travel and tours to France. She is an expert in the history, legend and lore of French cuisine and has eaten her way through most of the regions of France.

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