I have made fake chocolate truffles before and thought I was super awesome. This time around, I wanted to make something special for my husband, so it needed to be the real deal.
Chocolate truffles coated with tempered chocolate…without losing your temper. Once you learn how to temper chocolate, you can use it to coat other things, too. Tempering is nice because it is what gives your candies a snap when you bite into them, it keeps longer at room temperature, it looks prettier (shiny and smooth!), and it’s not super hard. I recommend it when you are making candies. I don’t think you need to do it all of the time with chocolate, but it’s great for truffles.
For fake truffles, my first version was using frosting–store-bought–and mixing it with some stuff. I can’t remember exactly, but I want to say that I took the frosting and added confectioner’s sugar to it (because, you know, chocolate frosting needs more sugar in it) or it might have been whipped topping. Whatever it was, you made little balls and chilled them. They did set up nicely and people loved them, so I guess it wasn’t a total loss.
Next, I graduated to Oreo truffles, cookie dough truffles, and buckeyes. Those are all the same idea of a chocolate coating over something softer and yummy. Not that any of them are bad. In fact, I haven’t made the Oreo ones for a while and now I have a bit of a craving. But, they still never quite worked as true truffles because (1) I didn’t temper the chocolate for the coating, and (2) my hands weren’t messy enough like they get when you see people making truffles.
So, on to the next challenge…
I used Absolutely Chocolate: Irresistible Excuses to Indulge to make the truffles, although I cut the recipe in half because it makes a ton of truffles!!! Almost enough to start a shop for them!
Below you will find the original, and it’s supposed to make about 80 truffles. You start by making a ganache, then you will shape the truffle insides before dipping them.
Chocolate Truffles with a Tempered Chocolate Coating
- 2.75 pounds bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 8 Tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup liqueur (I used a small amount of vanilla extract instead)
- 8 oz Dutch-processed cocoa powder (optional)
Chop 12 oz of the chocolate to get peanut-sized chips. This will be for the ganache.
Heat the cream just until it comes to a boil (in the microwave or on the stove). Pour the cream over the 12 oz chopped chocolate. Using a wooden spoon, stir quickly in the center of the bowl so that you get a viscous, shiny emulsion. Gradually use larger circles, enlarging the center to incorporate all of the chocolate. Stir until there are no lumps, then stir for one minute longer. Set aside to cool.
Beat the butter in a bowl until it’s very soft. When the ganache has cooled to room temperature and thickened, add the butter in small pieces, a few at a time. The butter should blend without melting. Stir until no butter bits remain. Add the liqueur, stirring constantly.
You can either chill the ganache for 10-15 minutes before piping, or cover with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for up to one day.
When ready for piping, the ganache should be like peanut butter, but not sticky. Fill a pastry bag with the ganache and pipe onto parchment-lined baking sheets. You want roughly one-inch drops. Refrigerate for one hour.
Pull them out of the fridge and roll the shuffles into smooth balls. You can re-chill them as necessary if they start to melt. When finished shaping, refrigerate for at least one hour.
For dipping, you will need to set up your space. If you want to roll the truffles in cocoa powder at the end, get a bowl ready with the powder. You will also want a parchment-covered sheet to put the finished truffles. You will also want several forks.
Next, it’s time to temper the chocolate:
Chop the remaining chocolate, but 1/2 a pound of it should be very tiny pieces. Simmer an inch of water in a medium saucepan. Put the 1.5 pounds of chopped chocolate in a stainless-steel bowl that can sit above the water. Remove the pan from the heat and set the bowl on top. Stir with a wooden spoon to melt the chocolate. Continue until the chocolate reaches a temperature between 120 and 125 degrees. (I used a meat thermometer for this and it worked perfectly.)
Remove the bowl from the heat, dry the bottom if necessary, and cool the chocolate to 86 degrees by adding the reserved chocolate, a little at a time, stirring constantly. (This is the “seeding” method.) When you reach that temperature, flash the bowl over the simmering water (you might have to put the pan back over the heat) to gently raise the temperature to get between 88 and 91 degrees.
You can test the chocolate to see if it is tempered, but to be honest, it takes long enough that it will be hard to keep the chocolate at the right temperature. But, basically, if you spread some of the chocolate on the parchment and let it cool for a few minutes, it should set quickly. If not, you have to start the whole tempering process over.
Remove some of the truffles from the fridge (do this in batches). Drop them into the tempered chocolate and use a fork to coat them. Then, drop them into the cocoa powder (if using) and after you get a few in the bowl, toss them to coat with the powder before placing them on the baking sheets.
Continue this process until you use all of the truffles. If you need to, you can bring the chocolate back to temperature by putting it over the simmering water.
Store the truffles at a cool room temperature. They will keep for a while, although the recipe only said 3 days.
You can also dip other things with the leftover chocolate. Like strawberries…
You can also make chocolate designs on parchment.