At the bakery, we were known for our chocolate. Among the favorites were the Chocolate Chocolate Truffles. We only offered these from October to May when the weather was cooler. We had one client who was so funny. I could count on her to be the first call to get these truffles. She used to hide them in a purple box in the back of her refrigerator – until her boys got old enough to figure there was something special in the box. Then she had to start sharing the truffles. She would tell me she ate truffles all over the world but these were the best. I have always remembered her kind words.
The secret to these truffles is to freeze the centers before coating. We had a chocolate tempering machine and I really miss it. But there is a way to approximate the finish. The truffles themselves are really easy to make and finish. A bit of practice will make you an expert. The first coat almost always goes out of temper, meaning they will be really dull with white streaks. After dipping the first coat, let them come to room temperature.
When they have come to room temperature, reheat the chocolate letting it get no hotter than 88 to 90 degrees. If it gets too hot cool it down before using. To speed the cooling, you can add a bit more chocolate to the mix and let it melt. Dip them again and let them set up. These are fine at room temperature for a day but should be refrigerated after that. Bring them to room temperature before serving.
There are tools to dip chocolate but I was never successful with them. We used the hand method. Wearing vinyl gloves makes this much easier. However, they have to fit really well. I did not have gloves that fit and as a result the fingertips got in the way resulting in truffles that had rather large feet. Having feet refers to excess chocolate at the bottom of the truffle. I’ll tell you a story. When I first started, my truffles had really big feet – so I did what any self respecting pastry chef would do. I chilled them down and cut the feet off with scissors. Nobody ever said, “I won’t buy these because you cut the feet off the truffles”.
I am not a fan of cocoa dipped truffles. After a while the cocoa is absorbed by the filling and doesn’t look great. You can re-cocoa them but when picked up some of the cocoa inevitably drifts off onto your clothes.
The box of truffles above displays the logo of my bakery. These are truly a fine truffle and I hope you give them a try.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
the mixture should be very hot, but not boiling. Submerge the chocolate under the cream and let sit for 4 or 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth.
Add vanilla and whisk to incorporate. When choosing a bowl into which to pour the chocolate, make sure the chocolate will be as deep as possible as long as your fingers can get into it. You need plenty of chocolate to coat the centers. Pour into a container, cover the surface with film and chill until cold.
Quick Tempering Chocolate
3/4 pound chocolate (340 grams or 12 ounces)
3 tablespoons crisco or cocoa butter
Melt semisweet chocolate with the crisco or cocoa butter either over a double boiler or in the microwave at half power. Do not let it get really hot, just melted. Drop a truffle center into the chocolate. Separate your first and middle fingers into a V. Submerge the filling under the chocolate. Dip you V shaped fingers below the truffle and bring it up on your two open fingers. Knock your fingers on the side of the bowl several times to take off excess chocolate. Drag your fingers across the top of the bowl to get the the excess chocolate off your fingers . Move the truffle to the parchment, still on your fingers. Place it on the parchment and shove it off with your thumb. Repeat for all of the remaining truffles.
Allow the coated truffles to come to room temperature. Melt chocolate coating to 88 to 90°F and re-coat as above.
Store in the refrigerator. For best flavor. bring to room temperature to eat.