Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dark Chocolate Truffles

I have this bad little habit... it's called chocolate. I require it. Every day, around 3 o'clock in the afternoon, then after dinner and on occasion, in the middle of the night. I don't need a lot of it, but it does have to be good quality and as of late of the darker variety.  I am actually eating chocolate now as I type, I've had a long day and chocolate has this remarkable ability to make it all better. In addition, I read somewhere that certain polyphenols in cocoa and chocolate are thought to have an anti-oxidant affect, just like the polyphenols in red wine.  This of course makes me feel better about eating it, not that I was really needing an excuse.  When I don't have truffles lying about I've been eating these great little 100 calorie bars for Bissingers chocolates, they are wonderful. However,  I seldom eat just one little bar so I just as soon indulge in what I really want and eat a truffle.  

In my effort to have more chocolate lying about, I've been on a truffle making frenzy. I came up with a good base then have been changing the liqueurs I use as flavoring.  Today I made Amaretto, Champagne (my very favorite so far), and Framboise.  I am no chocolatier, tempering chocolate is something that I have not really mastered and acquiring a tempering machine is nowhere in my near future.  As a result my truffles are simple and easy to make, a sort of modified ganache which I then roll in cocoa powder.  I'm using Callebaut dark chocolate right now since I just happen to have a 10 pound block of it at work, but any high quality chocolate high in cocoa solids and low in sugar will work fine. I have not tried using milk or white chocolate yet, but have a feeling the cream ratio will be a little different. (I'll keep you posted).  As for the flavorings, next on the list is Frangelico, Grand Marnier, Corvousier, and Bailey's. With white chocolate I think limoncello and Calvados are going to be amazing. I also want to make Lavender infused dark chocolate truffles, oh, and sea salt, and chili. Clearly I could go on and on here, the combinations are endless. I would love to hear your combinations!

Dark Chocolate Truffles

21 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1-1/3 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup liqueur of your choice (see above)

Cocoa powder, powdered sugar or other desired topping.

1. Combine chocolate and cream in a large heat proof bowl.  Set bowl on a bain marie over medium low heat.  Whisk occasionally until chocolate is melted and combined with the cream. 

2. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.  Once it begins to solidify, place in the refrigerator and chill for at least several hours or overnight.  The chocolate should be thick and easily scooped with a small ice cream scoop.  (I used a small scoop to keep an even size). 

3. Scoop out a ball of chocolate then roll between your palms until perfectly round.  Place in on a plate generously filled with the topping of your choice, I used cocoa.  Roll the truffle until generously covered.  

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