Monday, October 25, 2010
Shirazi Chocolate Truffles
No one in our house likes truffles! I don’t get it, they all love dark chocolate, even the 5 year old but when it comes to these decadent petit fours, I have hardly any takers. I on the other hand love chocolate truffles, I find them exquisite and if flavoured well, they can be way more heart warming than store bought exotic chocolates. The one thing I personally avoid is ‘peppermint’, I don’t like the marriage of mint and chocolate, I can hear some of your scream bloody blasphemy but seriously, mint is toothpaste... I have a hard time convincing my palate that I like After Eight’s when I actually don’t. The other flavour I avoid in chocolates is orange though my mother believed that only the evolved can understand the pairing of citrus and chocolate, she loved this one centre filled chocolate that a local lady in Dubai made, it had grapefruit jelly inside, that oozed like weak blood when you ate a piece! Not very nice!
However, we are huge chocolate people. Andy only eats chocolate ice cream, I need a piece of chocolate after meals, preferably all meals and when it comes to birthday cakes, we order only chocolate truffle cakes. Chocolate is so sacrosanct that we rarely try new places unless they come with good reviews (personal reviews, I don’t trust the papers!) and we have been ordering our birthday chocolate cakes from the same place for the last 7 years. This is in the DLF Phase II market, it is a bakery called ‘Bisque’ formerly known as ‘Hot Breads’, their truffle cake is the best in Gurgaon! So anyway, I had the weekend and I had a 500 gm slab of dark chocolate that was definitely on the verge of blooming. Mainly because I took it out on 3 occasions to use and put it right back in the fridge, big mistake!
What you really need for making simple truffles is a double boiler, I don’t have an actual one, I just boil 4 inches of water in a large vessel and hold the chocolate pieces in a saucepan over it. Chocolate is very heat sensitive, so it actually curdles and is then rendered completely useless. I use a brand called Morde and I usually use dark chocolate because I can manipulate it better in terms of lightness and flavouring. Whenever I use the milk chocolate, I end up keeping most of it for icing cupcakes and cookies... I hardly ever use white chocolate, if I do make a white chocolate ganache it is almost always for decorating or coating.
500 gms slab of cooking chocolate
250 ml of fresh, thick cream
100 gms of unsalted butter (I use salted if I am using liquor flavours, it seems to work better!)
I made these truffles with 2 separate flavours, roasted almonds as an outer coating and dark rum in the chocolate ganache.
So keep 2 tbsp dark rum and a cupful of almonds, you can lightly roast them in a non stick pan for about 4-5 minutes ...then sliver or crush them into fine pieces.
Heat water in a large vessel. Use a saucepan to heat the cream and butter together, once the butter melts and the cream bubbles on the sides, take off the boiler. Break the chocolate into small pieces in another bowl, pour the warm butter and cream mixture on the pieces and leave it for 5-10 minutes, this will start the chocolate melting process. Shift the bowl with the chocolate over the double boiler and stir gently with a whisk. I keep taking the bowl of the heat to scrape the sides with a spatula, so this whole process takes me about 7-10 minutes. Once the ganache is ready, separate it into two batches, add the rum to one half and keep the other half as is. Cool and refrigerate for around 4-6 hours, depending upon the chocolate used, is the ganache is runny, you may need more fridge time. Once the ganache is set, remove and the next process needs to be quick so the chocolate doesn’t melt with all the handling, these actually turn out better in cold weather! Take teaspoons full of the now set, gooey and thick ganache and quickly roll into balls. This batch will make roughly 3 dozen. Refrigerate while you get your finishing material ready (if it isn’t laid out already!). Put dark cocoa powder (unsweetened) in a small plate and the roasted almond slivers/coarse powder in another. Roll half the truffles in the cocoa and the other half over the crushed almonds. Serve on a pretty platter after meals! You can store these for up to a month. Enjoy!