Not to sound like too much of a snob, but THIS is what chocolate truffles should look like.
Not that I really have anything against the perfectly round and smooth confections that most commercial chocolatiers (even very high-end ones) sell as truffles, as many of them can be quite excellent.
But for me, truffles should look like the gnarly little fungi that inspired their name, and not something so perfectly formed that they look like they were machine made. There….I'll step down off of my soapbox now.
Homemade truffles are dead-simple to make save for the tempering of the chocolate for the shell which can take a bit of trial and error, and patience the first few times you attempt it. To be honest, tempering is not 100% required, especially as you are going to roll your coated ball of ganache in cocoa powder as a final step, but for a properly made truffle I encourage you to give tempering a try.
The tempering of chocolate is all about texture, so if you want the shell of your truffles to "snap" as you bite into them to reveal their creamy ganache center, then tempering is a process you should make your friend. You can learn how to temper chocolate for this little truffle project from the awesome food blogger, David Lebovitz, here.
These are the most basic kind of truffle (and I think the best), just chocolate ganache, dipped in melted chocolate, rolled in cocoa powder, a triple threat if there ever was one. Alternatively, you can dress up your truffles by adding flavorings to your ganache such as citrus or mint oils, and roll the dipped balls into something other than cocoa powder, such as crushed nuts, or toasted coconut. The possibilities are endless! make a bunch of these for the holidays and keep them in the fridge so that they stay fresh. Let them come to room temperature before serving though, because there is hardly anything in life sadder than cold chocolate.
Cheers – Steve
for the ganache:
- 4 1/4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (72%), chopped
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon salted butter, at room temperature
for finishing the truffles:
- 2 cups cocoa powder (preferably Vahlrona)
- 1 pound 60% bittersweet chocolate, tempered
for the ganache:
- Place the finely chopped chocolate in a medium sixed bowl.
- Combine the heavy cream and the corn syrup in a small sauce pan. Heat over a medium flame, stirring ocassionally, until it comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and pour over the chopped chocolate. Let sit for 3-4 minutes, then slowly stir to incorporate the ingredients. Continue stirring until the ganche comes together and is shiny and smooth. Let the ganache cool to about 90-95℉, then add the butter and stir to incorporate.
- Set the bowl of ganache aside for an hour (or more) until cool enough to scoop. Line a baking sheet with parchment, then take a Norpro Stainless Steel Scoop, 1 Tablespoon, 35mm , or a teaspoon and scoop evenly sized balls of the ganache onto the parchment. Set aside overnight on the counter to dry.
- To finish the truffles, roll each dried ganache blob between your palms to form a rough sphere. Place the cocoa powder in a large, shallow bowl. Using a fork, dip each ball in the tempered chocolate. Immediately after dipping, roll each truffle in the cocoa powder until fully covered. Let the tempered chocolate shell fully set before removing the truffles from the cocoa powder.