For a while there I was making truffles for Christmas gifts, but then I moved far away from my family (the truffle recipients), and the idea of busting out truffles the day before traveling home for Christmas did not appeal. My Dad still requests homemade truffles every year, but I haven’t obliged in the past four or so years. Pretty cruel of me.
The dead of winter is a slower time for me, so is a better time for making truffles. It just so happens that my Dad’s birthday is in the middle of February…and he’s getting truffles this year!! (Dad, I don’t think you read this blog that regularly, but if you see this before you get a box in the mail, you got truffles!)
I’m gonna be ballsy and just go ahead and say… these are the best truffles I’ve made so far!
I follow the Joy of Cooking’s recipe for truffles ( ½ cup heavy cream and 8 ounces of bittersweet chocolate) to make the truffle part, and I live by the philosophy of “mo’ chocolate, mo’ better,” so prefer my truffles enrobed in chocolate instead of rolled in cocoa, nuts, or other ingredients.
Colored Fiestaware helped keep the flavors straight, especially when the cream was mixed into the chocolate.
I made four types of truffles by adding ingredients to the cream, or infusing the cream with flavors before adding chocolate to make the ganache that gets rolled into truffle balls. This is what I made:
I didn’t think I’d like the port truffles, but once they were coated in chocolate, the flavor was subtle and enhanced by the bittersweet chocolate shell. Very classic!
I loved the basil ice cream I made last summer so much, I had to try making a basil truffle. These truffles have the same unexpected, mysterious, herbal flavor of the basil ice cream. For the adventurer, not weenies! Bittersweet chocolate enrobes the magic flavors.
Curry was made for chocolate! My favorite chocolate bar is the Naga bar from Vosges – so aromatic, spicy, and sweet. These truffles are a close replica. I like a milk chocolate casing on these truffles.
Earl Grey Tea Truffle
I’m torn between honoring the curry or the Earl Grey Tea truffle as my favorite. The Earl Grey is sweetly floral, and reminds me fondly of my Granddad’s tall glasses of cold sweet tea mixed liberally with evaporated milk. Milk chocolate covers these tea truffles!
makes about 35 truffles
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
½ cup heavy cream
- Scald heavy cream in a small saucepan on the stove.
- Add hot cream to chopped chocolate, and stir until chocolate is melted and thoroughly incorporated.
- Store in refrigerator until chilled (1-2 hours).
- Scoop out a small portion of chilled chocolate ganache, and, with your hands, roll into balls about the size of…a truffle!
8 ounces chocolate (your choice), chopped
- Melt 2/3 of chopped chocolate in a double boiler, stirring constantly.
- To temper, use a candy thermometer and bring chocolate to 110-113°.
- Remove from heat, and add remaining 1/3 chocolate, stirring constantly for about 8-10 minutes, or until the chocolate cools to 79-80°.
- Re-heat chocolate to 90°, and dip truffles quickly in chocolate.
- Place on wax paper-covered tray to cool.
Instead of ½ cup heavy cream, use 1/3 cup heavy cream, then add port to heavy cream until the liquid reaches the ½-cup mark.
Tear about 10 large basil leaves into pieces, and add to hot, heavy cream. Set aside to steep for about 30 minutes. Remove basil before adding to chocolate.
Add 1 teaspoon curry powder and about 15 cardamom seeds to hot, heavy cream. Set aside to steep for about 30 minutes. Remove cardamom seeds before adding to chocolate. Add 2 teaspoons curry powder to melted chocolate used to enrobe truffles. Dust finished truffles with curry powder when chocolate shell is completely cooled.
Earl Grey Tea Truffle
Steep two or three Earl Grey tea bags in hot, heavy cream for 30 minutes. Squeeze out tea bags, and remove.