Today I made 95 chocolate truffles with a friend. She had tasted them at a party and wanted to learn how, so we experimented together. There was a haze of chocolate over the kitchen by the time we finished.
We made halvah truffles, Amaretto rolled in hazelnuts, chocolate caramel with sea salt, Lapsang Souchong tea, vanilla bean and Kahlua with cinnamon. Dunava rehearsed here and tasted them all. The biggest hits were the halvah and caramel.
If you try any of these, be sure to use the best-tasting chocolate you can find. The truffle flavor depends almost exclusively on the chocolate. We used Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate.
We made the more generic truffles from a basic ganache:
Heat 1/4 cup whipping cream with 1 tablespoon liqueur until gently simmering. For vanilla bean, heat bean in cream, remove and scrape seeds into cream. For tea, heat loose tea in cream, then strain out tea leaves.
Melt 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate and stir into flavored cream. Transfer to a bowl and chill until set and thickened, about 2 hours.
Scoop by small teaspoonful, form into balls and roll in cocoa or finely chopped nuts and chill. To cover in chocolate, melt a few ounces of finest quality chocolate. Working over a baking sheet lined with waxed paper, dip each truffle into chocolate. Chill on lined baking sheet. Transfer to small paper cups to serve. Keeps about 1 week in the refrigerator and 1 month in the freezer.
I found the halva truffle recipe online:
Crush 4 ounces of halvah into powder and heat with 1/4 cup of heavy cream. Stir in 4 ounces of melted bittersweet chocolate, one teaspoon of vanilla and a tablespoon of dark rum. Chill the mixture for an hour, roll into balls, and chill for at least two hours, and then coat with melted chocolate as above.
For chocolate caramel truffles, I adapted a recipe from Bon Appetit Magazine:
3/4 cups packed golden brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons whipping cream
3 ounces melted bittersweet chocolate
Combine brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, water and salt in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over medium eat until sugar dissolves. Bring mixture to boil, then boil 2 minutes without stirring (mixture will bubble up and thicken slightly). Remove pan form heat. Add cream (mixture will bubble vigorously) and stir until smooth. Add melted chocolate and stir until completely smooth. Line an 8x8 inch pan with foil and grease. Pour caramel into pan and set 3 hours until firm. Turn out onto a cutting board and cut into squares. Cover with melted bittersweet chocolate and sprinkle lightly with sea salt (an idea I stole from Fran's Chocolates. Yum!