Saturday, December 19, 2009
Chocolate Truffles with a Hard Outer Coating
The recipe is adapted from The Pioneer Woman (http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2009/10/chocolate-truffles-with-sea-salt/), but I've changed some of the essentials.
8 oz bittersweet chocolate. Depending on what you like, you can use 60% cacao, but I bought 70% at the store because I'm not as much of a fan of 60%.
8 oz semi sweet chocolate.
Small can of Sweetened Condensed milk
Over a double boiler of simmering water, add the chocolate and the sweetened condensed milk. Keep mixing until totally melted. Put in the refrigerator for about 2 hours so it can become workable. After 2 hours, take chocolate out of the refrigerator and roll chocolate into small balls. This will become the middle of the truffle.
Once all the chocolate is rolled into small balls, it is time to temper the chocolate. Tempering means heating and cooling chocolate to dip or coat things. Tempering will also give chocolate a nice shine and won't melt in your fingers. Those truffles from Godiva and Lindt have a tempered chocolate coating. When you temper, it just means that you are distributing the crystals evenly in the chocolate. For tempering, you need a candy thermometer. Make sure it measures temperatures under 100 degrees as well as over.
While the process of tempering is easy, you have to remember that chocolate is very very picky.
Here is the method I use to temper chocolate as adapted from Ghirardelli's website:
Grate or chop the desired amount of chocolate. Place two-thirds of the chocolate in the top pan of a double boiler. Heat over hot, not boiling, water, stirring constantly, until chocolate reaches 110°–115°F.
Place the top pan of the double boiler on a towel. Cool to 95°–100°F. Add the remaining chocolate to the top pan, stirring until melted. The chocolate is now ready to be used for molding candies, coating, or dipping.
When you take the chocolate off the stove and start dipping, it cools very quickly. Stay near the stove and warm the chocolate on the double boiler every so often so it does not harden as you dip. It is very hard to get the chocolate as perfect as the store bought truffles, but that's what makes these special. Let them sit out for awhile to harden. Immediately after dipping each truffle, you can add a topping to it, like toasted coconut or nuts or anything else. You might want a friend to help you with this part because like I said, properly tempered chocolate will harden quickly. So irresistible!