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December 11, 2007

Dark Chocolate Truffles

So this month Duff's ABC and I chose to learn how to make Truffles. I started my experimenting by reading about truffles. The kind most people feel safe making is with a cream cheese base, but the classic truffle (that you spend lots of money for at a store) is a ganache base. Here was one description I thought said it well. "Chocolate and small amounts of liquids do not mix well - the chocolate clumps up in what is called seizing. However, when a substantial amount of liquid is added to the chocolate, we can make chocolate syrup. A ganache is simply a syrup of chocolate and cream that does not contain enough cream to be liquid at room temperature. Once this mixture cools, it will form a hard ganache that can be molded into shapes." It turns out that the ganache is really quite easy, but now I know why they cost SO much. It takes lots of chocolate, and we know how expensive lots of good chocolate can be. I tried 2 recipes and liked them both, but neither one was FANTASTIC. I'll keep looking.

Dark chocolate truffles
makes 40-50 depending on size of balls

1 pound (455 g) of dark chocolate, a flavor you enjoy
1 cup (235 mL) heavy whipping cream

Cut the chocolate into pieces. Pour all the pieces into a medium heat proof bowl.
Bring the cup of heavy whipping cream just to a boil. (This is called scalding)
Pour the scalded heavy cream onto the chocolate and allow it to sit for five minutes
Stir the now melted chocolate with the cream. Stir until the chocolate melts and the ganache is smooth.
Let the ganache cool down and chill for about an hour in the refrigerator to harden. Using a melon baller or small ice cream scoop (such as a #70), scoop out balls of hard ganache and roll each ganache ball in the cocoa powder to coat.

It really could not have been simpler. I did a half batch and it turned out just fine. Actually the shaping of the balls was much more time consuming than making the ganache! And much messier too. I tried using a melon baller, but the ganache didn't come out very well. In the end I used a spoon, and shaped them with my hands, quickly. they weren't perfect balls, but I guess they looked homemade! They were nice and dense. And tasted just like the Dove Dark Chocolate bars I used in Truffle form! I think I'll use a different dark chocolate that's less creamy next time to see if I like it better. Or maybe add a bit of flavoring... Or roll in crushed Candy Cane (I love this time of year)