I have always thought it odd that truffles (the sweet decadent kind) shared a name with the super-expensive pig-found fungus.
Chef Sarah explained:
Chocolate truffles get their name from the famous rare fungus because the rustic look of the truffles resembles the fungi’s appearance.
She is talking about handmade chocolate truffles here, not the perfectly round manufactured kind. I have always been intimidated by truffles (ever since I threw away a whole tray of ganache because it was grainy and unmanageable). Chef Sarah made it look so easy and gave us lots of tips.
Chef Sarah’s Truffle Tips:
- Be creative! Infuse your cream with all sort of flavors. She used a handful of dried hibiscus flowers to turn the cream “freakishly pink” with the batch she made for us.
- The truffle mixture should be just a little thicker than peanut butter.
- Use a pastry bag with a large tip to initially form the truffles. (You will have to put some muscle into it here.)
- To coat, use your hands. She gloved up (recommended) and held a truffle in her left hand, dipping it and her fingers into the melted chocolate. Using both hands, she then gently rolled the chocolate until she got her desired coating thickness. (For thicker coatings, chill and repeat this process.)
Here is her recipe for Classic Chocolate Truffles.
Classic Chocolate Truffles
By Chef Sarah Leavell of The Canebrake
1 c. heavy cream
2 T. corn syrup
1 lb. dark chocolate (finely chopped)
2 T. soft butter
Dark chocolate, melted and tempered, for coating
Bring cream and corn syrup to a boil. (Infuse cream at this point.)
Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and allow to sit, without stirring for 2 minutes.
Gently stir the mixture using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until fully blended, melted, and smooth. If necessary, heat over a hot water bath to melt all of the chocolate.
Add the butter and stir until melted and smooth.
Allow the ganach to set until it reaches room temperature.
Stir occasionally until the ganache reaches a piping consistency.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip.
Pip the truffle onto a paper-lined pan.
Place pan in the fridge to set up all the way.
Remove truffles from fridge when they are set.
Roll each truffle by hand until it is perfectly round.
Depending on how warm your kitchen is, you may have to place the truffles back in the fridge to allow them to set up again.
When rounded truffles are set, coat them in melted chocolate.
For different variations she suggests the following:
Caramel Sea Salt Truffles: Add 1 c. butterscotch caramel sauce (stay tuned for this recipe) and 1 T. sea salt crystals to ganache. (Coat in plain tempered dark chocolate.)
Oklahoma Pecan Orange: Add 1 c. finely ground Oklahoma pecans and the zest of one orange to ganache. (Coat in plain tempered dark chocolate.) May roll in finely chopped pecans.
Dried Cherry Bourbon: Place 3/4 c. dried cherries and 3/4 c. Maker’s Mark in a sauce pan and let simmer until cherries are soft. Place soft cherries in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add to finished ganache. Coat in plain tempered dark chocolate and roll in equal parts cocoa powder and powdered sugar.
Alas, we were only able to try one of her hibiscus infused truffles. These dried cherry bourbon balls are calling my name though. What’s to come? Almond chocolate cups and marbled dipped strawberries.