Friday, February 25, 2011

Truffles: Not Just For Pigs!

I'm going to come out and say that I've never been a fan of fungus (though I am, frequently, a fan of alliteration). I don't like mushrooms and don't really see what the fuss is about with truffles.  A coworker of mine loves mushrooms so much that he actually baked some into a cheesecake.  He said that it was to taste like maple.  I thought it tasted like the ground, seasoned with a hint of death.

However, no matter how much I dislike the fungus, I can completely get behind its chocolate doppelganger. When it comes to quick and easy desserts, chocolate truffles are as good as you can get.  All it takes is a little prep, overnight in the fridge and rolling/scooping.

The basic ingredients are heavy whipping cream, semisweet chocolate and butter--how could you go wrong? Everyone seems to have a slightly different preference for quantities but it really comes down to taste.  I use extra unsweetened chocolate because I like my truffles like I like my and kind of bitter.

Dark Chocolate and Awesome Truffles

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbs UNSALTED butter
Heat the cream and butter until just under can even boil a little bit if you don't catch it in time.  Then, dump in:
  • 12oz semisweet chocolate 
(I like making it with Ghirardelli.  Wow...did everyone else know about that second "R" in Ghirardelli?)
  • 1.5 oz unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped.
  • dash of salt.
Let the chocolate melt for about 5 minutes and then stir until smooth and add:
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (or almond/rose/coconut...or your liqueur of choice)
Stir until fully mixed and pour into a small bowl to refrigerate.  You can probably take it out after an hour or so, but I usually leave it over the night and roll the truffles the next day.

If you have a melon baller, forming the round truffles is as easy as scooping.  If you don't have a melon baller, it's still fairly simple to use a tablespoon and scoop out a portion and then roll it round with your hands.  Once you have your truffles scooped/rolled, you can coat them with whatever you want.  Personal favorites are: finely chopped pistachios, coconut and cocoa powder.

Final result

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