I have been working on making truffles for a while. What keeps stumping me is making a tempered coating for the exterior, but we recently purchased David Lebovitz’s Ready for Dessert, a long-overdue purchase. We are avid readers of his blog, and we have tried many of his recipes, and I have to say, none of them have ever failed us. I recently stayed over at a friend’s place and her husband is allergic to gluten, so I needed to come up with a hostess gift for them that was gluten-free and travel-friendly (I was flying to said destination).
What piqued my interest with this recipe was that there was no need to temper chocolate to finish the truffles. While I am determined to learn how to temper, I just didn’t have the time or patience that week, so this was the perfect solution. I also had a lot of chocolate at home– all I needed was to buy some heavy cream.
I started off with a block of Callebaut semi-sweet 54% cacao chocolate. I think the next time I do this, I’ll go with the higher percentage cacao block, which is about 70%, but the level of bitterness you choose should depend on the sweetness of the liquor you choose to pair with it. In his recipe, Labowitz recommends ruby or tawny port, but I used crème de cassis, a blackcurrant liquor, and I think Cointreau (orange), Chambord (black raspberry), Kahlua, Bailey’s Irish Cream, or Cognac would all be fantastic. First up: ganache. Chocolate ganache consists of chocolate, heavy cream, and butter (and, in this instance, liquor).
The key to this recipe is time and patience. Once the ganache is ready, pour it into a shallow container, cover, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
After you’ve let the ganache chill, use either a melon baller or two teaspoons into balls about 1 inch in diameter. You can use your hands to smooth out the ganache, but it is MESSY. It’s okay if they’re irregular in shape– they look more homemade that way. You should have 25-30 balls. Place them all on a plate and put them in the fridge for about 30 minutes to let them re-solidify.
I told you they were messy! They even look messy on the plate. The ganache balls are then dipped into melted chocolate to coat them, and then rolled in cocoa powder.
After a little rolling around, they look like this:
Mmmmmmmm. They are amazing–smooth, creamy, chocolatey ganache in the center. I would have liked the blackcurrant flavor to be more prominent, so the next time I might increase the amount of liquor, but I have no problem with completing repeated experiments in chocolate-making!