Friday, 12 February 2016

Valentine's Day - Chocolates: Chocolate Truffles

Valentine's Day Chocolates, Salted Caramel Ganache, Make Your Own Chocolate Truffles

Yesterday I posted a recipe for making your own moulded chocolates. It's one of the trickier chocolate to make at home, but will sure impress the giftee. They are called artisan chocolates for a reason.

However, if you lack the time or don't want to over complicate things, chocolate truffles can be equally pleasing. The texture is dreamily buttery and melts in your mouth, oppose to moulded chocolate's thin and crispy shell with smooth filling inside.

I've used the same Salted Caramel Ganache recipe you can find in my Moulded Chocolates post, purely because I have a big batch of it. You can of course make any flavour you like, and you can even coat them in melted chocolate (you can also find out how to melt chocolate properly in yesterday's post) before dipping them in cocoa powder or icing sugar. That way you won't need to keep the truffles in the fridge.

Yes. One thing I found very annoying is that you need to store homemade chocolate truffles in the fridge until you are ready to serve them, because the ganache melts really quickly (imagine it doing that in your mouth!). So by the time I get these to my family to enjoy, they might have turned into a big puddle of gooeyness! Oh well.

If you decided not to coat your truffles with a hard chocolate shell (I think it'll affect the texture of what chocolate truffles should be like so I didn't), I'd recommend using top grade 100% cocoa powder. The colour of the powder is incomparable (you can find a comparison picture here), and the texture of the cocoa powder needs to be fine and smooth to make eating the truffles a truly luxurious experience. I used Valrhona 100% Cocoa Powder here, but there are other brilliant ones out there as well of course.

My hubby, who dislike bitter chocolate, tested one of the truffles and loved it! He said that it wasn't bitter at all and the truffle is very buttery. I'll have to find a way to keep them cold for the 2 hours drive this Sunday!

Valentine's Day Chocolates, Salted Caramel Ganache, Make Your Own Chocolate Truffles

To make chocolate truffles, simply get your ganache to a piping consistency (you can find more information about this from yesterday's post), then pipe blobs of it on a lined baking tray. It doesn't really need to be widely spaced, just make sure that you are quick as it'll melt and not hold its shape.

Note: The smaller blobs in the picture is harder to roll into a rounder ball, so it's better to pipe them higher to form an uneven ball shape first.

Cover and chill until they have hardened.

Valentine's Day Chocolates, Salted Caramel Ganache, Make Your Own Chocolate Truffles

- In another lined baking tray, pour a good amount of good quality 100% cocoa powder in the middle.

- Remove the ganache from the fridge and working quickly, form them into a rounder ball shape, then quickly drop them into the cocoa powder.

Note: Our palms are very warm and can melt the ganache balls really quickly, so it's best to roll them between your fingers (both hands), and roll gently.

- Keep adding more ganache balls to the cocoa powder without letting them touch each other.

- Once you are running out of space, cover the tray of piped ganache and place it in the fridge to firm them up again.

- By holding the edge of the greaseproof paper, gently move the whole paper left and right to make the ganache balls roll in the cocoa powder, until they get a good coating (you shouldn't see any dark brown spots).

- Prepare an air tight container, adding some of the cocoa powder inside. Use a metal teaspoon to gently scoop the truffles, one by one, into the container. Do scoop some of the cocoa powder with it, and try not to scar the truffles with the spoon.

Valentine's Day Chocolates, Salted Caramel Ganache, Make Your Own Chocolate Truffles

- Close the container and put it in the fridge.

- Remove the tray of piped ganache again and repeat until it's all done.

It is important to keep refrigerating the ganache, and make small batches in one go to keep the truffles in shape and fresh.

Chocolate Truffles can be kept in the fridge for about 3 to 5 days, and a bit longer in the freezer.

And that sums up my Valentine's Day sweets posts! You can also find my Jelly Belly jelly beans and how to make an entirely edible Valentine's Day card post here, and Haagen-Dazs Strawberry Cheesecake and how to serve it post here.

So what will you be serving for sweet/ dessert this Valentine's Day?