Chocolate Truffles

Pastries and desserts really ain’t my thang. (Although, let me be clear: that would be the making of that ain’t my thang, not the eating of. I’m all about the sugar high and the chocolate coma.) I do love to make cookies, and I have my cache of recipes that are always a hit with the peeps. (And I seem to have an odd affinity for pie-making. Not sure where that came from.) But beautiful cakes completely elude me – fondant is an unravelable mystery. Brownies – even the ones that come in a box, fer cryin’ out loud – have a 50-50 shot of coming out with over-crispy edges.

So, I enjoyed a really good belly laugh at my own expense at the thought that I could make truffles. Those ultra-rich things that Godiva sells in a gold box for $15 a pop? Ho ho hee hee, that’s a good one, Karen. I don’t know where these ideas come from. (I must’ve eaten lead paint chips as a child.)


But, I prowled around the Food Network’s web site and landed on a recipe that seemed pretty straightforward. “Why not?” I thought. Worst that could happen is that I blow $6 in chocolate and continue the disintegration of my pastry creation self-esteem.
I needn’t have fretted. It’s been some years since I’ve bitten into a Godiva truffle, but I thought these were pretty darn good. Messy as all get out to make, but good. (I suspect, though, that at least part of the messiness can be blamed on my general baking clumsiness.) I’m not sure this is my one-and-only recipe (I’ll be experimenting with others over the holiday weekend), but it was an interesting first try.

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Chocolate Truffles
Alton Brown, Foodnetwork.com
  10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
  3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  1/2 cup heavy cream
  1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  1/4 cup brandy (Note: I used Kahlua instead of brandy – personal preference)
  1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa powder, finely chopped nuts, and/or toasted coconut, for coating truffles (Note: I used finely chopped pecans because I love them so)
  8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine

 

Place the 10 ounces of chocolate and butter in a medium size glass mixing bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds. Remove and stir, and repeat this process 1 more time. Set aside.

Heat the heavy cream and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Remove from the heat and pour the mixture over the melted chocolate mixture; let stand for 2 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, stir gently, starting in the middle of bowl and working in concentric circles until all chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth and creamy. Gently stir in the brandy. Pour the mixture into an 8 by 8-inch glass baking dish and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Using a melon baller, scoop chocolate onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and return to the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Place the cocoa powder, nuts, and/or toasted coconut each in its own pie pan and set aside.

In the meantime, place the 8 ounces of chocolate into a medium mixing bowl which is sitting on top of a heating pad lined bowl, with the heating pad set to medium. Depending on the heating pad, you may need to adjust the heat up or down. Stirring the chocolate occasionally, test the temperature of the chocolate and continue heating until it reaches 90 to 92 degrees F; do not allow the chocolate to go above 94 degrees F. If you do, the coating will not have a nice snap to it when you bite into the chocolate. Once you have reached the optimal temperature, adjust the heat to maintain it.

Remove the truffles from the refrigerator and shape into balls by rolling between the palms of your hands. Use powder-free vinyl or latex gloves, if desired.

Dip an ice cream scoop into the chocolate and turn upside down to remove excess chocolate. Place truffles 1 at time into the scoop and roll around until coated. Then place the truffle into the dish with either the cocoa powder, nuts or coconut. Move the truffle around to coat; leave truffle in the coating for 10 to 15 seconds before removing. In the meantime, continue placing the chocolate-coated truffles in the cocoa or other secondary coating. After 10 to 15 seconds, remove the truffle to a parchment lined sheet pan. Repeat until all truffles are coated. Allow to set in a cool dry place for at least 1 hour; or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Truffles are best when served at room temperature.


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