Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Melting Middles Truffles


Chocolate Truffles are a rich and elegant, bite-sized petit four (appetizer) made with a creamy mixture of chocolate, cream, and butter to which various flavorings are added (liqueurs, extracts, nuts, coffee, purees, spices, candied or dried fruits). This mixture is really a Ganache that is rolled into misshaped rounds to look like the real truffle fungus that grows around the roots of trees in France and Italy. Once the truffles are formed they are then rolled in cocoa powder to simulate the 'dirt' that the real truffles grow in.
 
This is a variation of the recipe that was published in BBC Good Foods back in 2008.  It received some good reviews aside from that there is a LOT of middles left over after you make the truffles, I hope that I have fixed this problem by having a larger truffle recipe than the original had stated.

Middles:
2/3 cup dark chocolate (70% cocoa), chopped
1c dulce de leche caramel

Make the middles first.
  1. Heat the Dulce de Leche in a pan for 1 min until warmed and runny, then stir in the chopped dark chocolate and leave to melt. Stir until smooth. 
  2. Cover a dinner plate with saran wrap, oil the saran wrap well, then pour the mix onto it. 
  3. Cool, then freeze for 2 hrs or until very firm.

Outer Truffles
8oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
3/4c heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2T unsalted butter

  1. Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized stainless steel bowl. Set aside.  
  2. Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil.  
  3. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth.  
  4. Cover and place in the refrigerator until the truffle mixture is firm (this will take several hours or overnight).

Once both mixtures are chilled:
  1. Spread cocoa powder over a large baking tray. Remove the truffle mixture from the refrigerator and the middles from the freezer.
  2. Peel the caramel from the saran wrap, then snip into thumbnail-size pieces; wet kitchen scissors work best. Keep this mixture chilled, return to freezer if necessary. 
  3. Spread cocoa powder over a large baking tray.
  4. Take a heaped tsp of the truffle mix then, with cocoa-dusted hands, poke in a caramel chunk. Squash the mix around the caramel to seal, then roll into a ball.
  5. Immediately roll the truffle in the coating and place on a parchment lined baking sheet or tray. 
  6. Cover and place in the refrigerator until firm. Truffles can be refrigerated for a couple of weeks or else frozen for a couple of months. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Makes 30 small truffles.

Review:
there are a TON of middles left.  I used a rounded 1/4 tsp of the mixture for the middles of my truffles and after I had 30 portioned out, there was still a good 2/3 of the recipe left.  Also after 5 hours in my deep freezer they were never frozen, which is why I actually opted to just use my measuring spoon and a knife. They were melting by the time I had portioned out the 30 pieces so I placed them back into the freezer so that they could firm up.  Once they were firmer I pressed them into the ganashe, which was also quite soft and melting extremely quick, Im not sure why, but I think next time I do this recipe I will be measuring everything by weight just to make sure that there's enough chocolate to  harden the mix. Its the only reasonable thing I can think of as to why it was happening.  I must admit though, even after all that work, I'd do it again because they tasted AWESOME!

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