Simple Chocolate Truffles
● By Curt Guillory
These truffles are a simple, decadent, slice of heaven.
This one is for chocoholics. Not people who just kinda, sorta like chocolate…no. This is for people like me who love chocolate. The truffles are rich, smooth, bitter, sweet, dark, and oh so chocolate.
Truffles are simplicity defined
During my office secret Santa week I received an issue to Food Network Magazine, the December issue. It’s a very thick issue with all sorts of interesting articles, but while skimming through the contents I spot page 209. What’s so special about page 209 you ask? That’s the page where the truffle recipes are.
I have never made chocolate truffles, mostly because I didn't want to go through all of the ill perceived hassle I thought it would entail. Much to my surprise, and delight, I discovered that chocolate truffles are dead easy. Because they are so easy they lend themselves to much customization.
Let’s face it, truffles are a bit intimidating. Big chocolate companies present us with these perfectly formed spheres of chocolate delight all beautifully wrapped in shiny, colorful papers and foils. Adding to the wow factor is the elite chocolatiers on television presenting their painstakingly crafted truffles rich with exotic flavors.
But wait a second, that’s a bunch of food snobbery. Yes truffles, like any other food, can be elevated to any level sophistication, but that doesn't mean that you can’t make a rightfully decadent and delicious truffle for yourself, in your own kitchen.
Here is the big truffle recipe. Are you ready? Truffles are made of chocolate, cream, butter, and a pinch of salt. I’ll stop a bit and let you take that all in. Surely there must be more to it than that right? Nope. That’s it. Now of course the quality of the ingredients used has a direct impact on the result of the truffles, but you can get very good quality chocolate locally. I used Ghirardelli semi and bitter sweet chocolate chips. So use whatever chocolate you like, but there is no need to hike to the Swiss Alps or trek on over to France. Your local grocery store will have a very good selection to satisfy your inner choco-beast.
This recipe is a simple, straight forward, intense chocolate truffle dusted with Hersey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder. I used the Hershey’s because it is half Dutch processed which means it has some alkali added to counter act the natural acidity. This gives a nice bitterness in the mouth, while reducing the pucker factor that usually accompanies straight cocoa powder. Again, do whatever you like.
Once you realize how simple these truffles are to make, you can easily add all sorts of flavoring such as, chopped nuts, orange, raspberry, coffee, pomegranate, lemon, vanilla, any sort of alcohol, etc. Truffles really are a blank slate.
It is very important to let the truffle mixture cool completely before forming them. Trying to form them too quickly will result in a chocolate mess. A minimum of three hours and up to overnight in the fridge is called for.
Some truffle recipes call for shortening instead of butter. I use butter. Yes it has a lower melting point, and it gets a little messy while forming them because of that, but it tastes so much better.
Use whatever strength of chocolate you like from milk to 80% cacao .
- 12ozs. Chocolate ofyour choice
- 1C Heavywhipping cream
- 1tbsp Unsalted butter
- 1pinch Kosher salt
Place the chocolate in a heat resistant bowl.
Heavy the cream and butter in a heavy sauce pan until the cream is simmering.
Add the salt to the cream and butter mixture, and then pour over the chocolate.
Stir with a whisk until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is silky smooth.
Place in a shallow dish and chill for at least three hours or overnight.
Form into half inch balls and dust with Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Power if desired.
So there it is. They mysterious truffle demystified. Be sure to have these elegant little balls of intense chocolate goodness at your next gathering. Your guests, or host, will be very grateful.