I fell in love with truffles approximately a year and a half ago. On my very first date with my Chief Culinary Consultant, he gave me a bag of Lindt dark chocolate truffles as a gift. During one of our conversations prior to going out for the first time, I had mentioned how much I love dark chocolate. He remembered, and he brought me dark chocolate truffles. What a man :) I savored that bag of truffles for well over a month. Trying in earnest to eat only one a day so that they lasted as long as possible. Sure, I had eaten chocolate truffles before, but these were especially fabulous. Not only did I enjoy how smooth, creamy and delicious the truffles were, but they held a special place in my heart. Fast forward to my 30th birthday a little less than a month ago. After I was done getting ready for the hockey game we were going to, I found this basket waiting for me:
A huge Lindt chocolate gift basket full of goodies that I could.not.wait to rip into. Truffles, chocolate sauce, huge dark and milk chocolate bars, smaller dark chocolate and white chocolate bars, and… a cookbook! A cookbook full of chocolate recipes. This man certainly knows the way to this woman’s heart. These dark chocolate truffles were the first recipe that I tried from the book and as I expected, they were fabulous.
I always like to coat my chocolate truffles in chocolate, so I typically melt additional dark chocolate with 1 teaspoon of shortening per cup or 6 ounces of chocolate and dip each truffles and place on a wax paper-lined baking sheet. (The shortening thins the chocolate a bit and gives it a shiny finish when it dries. I use it anytime I dip something in chocolate.) Alternately, you could roll the truffles in cocoa powder, powdered sugar, coconut, chopped nuts, whatever you’d like!
♦ When you stir together the chopped chocolate and the cream, do not use a whisk, as it will incorporate air into the mixture and make the truffle filling crumbly instead of smooth. Be sure to use a rubber spatula to stir.
♦ Make sure that the chocolate is chopped finely so that it melts evenly and completely in the cream.
♦ Ensure that the butter is at room temperature so that, again, it melts evenly and completely into the chocolate mixture.
♦ Work quickly with the ganache when shaping and dipping them, making sure that they do not get too warm and lose their shape.
♦ If you want to make rum, whiskey or any other alcohol-flavored truffles, replace 1-1/3 tablespoons of the cream with the liquor or brandy of your choice.
1. Heat the cream until it just comes to a boil, add the chopped chocolate, and remove the saucepan from the heat.
2. Stir the mixture with a rubber spatula until the chocolate is completely melted.
3. Stir in the butter until the ganache is smooth.
4. Put the ganache in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, ensuring that the plastic makes contact with the entire surface of the ganache.
5. Refrigerate at least one hour (or overnight) until the ganache is set.
6. To form the truffles, use a melon baller to scoop the ganache into a ball and place on a wax paper-lined baking sheet.
7. Finish the truffles by dipping in your ingredient of choice. If dipping in chocolate, place the balls of ganace in the refrigerator or freezer for at least one hour or until thoroughly chilled before dipping.