With Christmas around the corner, I decided to whip up a batch of chocolate truffles. Aside from the usual family log cakes my mum and I would make together for our families on Christmas day, there was one particular year I made some assorted chocolate truffles as well. So sinful, so boozy, so ideal for a joyous and festive occasion when families come together and have a jolly time. And what better way to celebrate such a day other than with chats, hot chocolate, stews, candy canes and assorted truffles for you to pick from?
Charming in its own rustic way and superbly moreish, truffles are almost quite irresistible especially when you’re in the mood for indulgence. And when it’s Christmas, everyone’s pretty much in that mood. So to kick start this year’s Christmas, I thought I’d share one of my truffle recipe with you guys should you like to start a “truffles for Christmas” tradition, comme moi ;) Easy, fun to make and delicious, truffles are so great as gifts for sharing this Christmas.
These raspberry-dark chocolate truffles are divine. Not too sweet and with a slight tang from the raspberry to balance out the richness of the chocolate. I use Valrhona chocolates because I’m the sort of person who doesn’t skimp on quality ingredients. That’s kinda like my personal motto. Especially when an ingredient is the star of whatever you’re making, you can really tell the difference. In this case, the contrast between a good quality chocolate and commercial brand chocolates is pretty big.
I coated my truffles with a layer of tempered chocolate only because I’m annoying and I like to give myself extra work. Haha, kidding. I just love textural contrasts. And the snap from the exterior layer of chocolate that leads to a smooth and creamy ganache centre is just phenomenal! But if you’re the type of person who prefers the instant melt-in-your-mouth ganache as soon as you pop one in, by all means do it without the chocolate coating!
Here’s a little tutorial for the tempering of the chocolate:
Tempering chocolate basically means encouraging and changing certain fats in the cocoa butter to fat crystals that are stable and gives a high gloss. When tempered correctly, it will set hard, with a protective surface, a good gloss and a brittle snap.
So for dark chocolate (as in this case), you melt it to about 55C, bring the temperature down to about (28-29)C, and then up again to 31C. At 31C, you can start coating your chocolates. This is called the working temperature.
You can do this by two ways; the first is called the marbling method, and the second is called the seeding method. I took some snaps for the marbling method cause it’s slightly more complicated and you don’t really need a pictorial demonstration for the seeding one.
For the marbling:
Because marble/granite tops have such wonderful cooling qualities, it allows you to bring the temperature of the chocolate down pretty fast. You pour about 3/4 of your melted chocolate onto your marble surface. Spread it out with your spatula, pull it back in, repeat till it’s pretty cold. Put the cooled chocolate back into the bowl and mix it together with the remaining warm chocolate and it should balance out to be of about (28-29)C. If it’s still too warm, slightly cool a portion of it down again. Once it’s at (28-29)C, you need to bring the temperature of it back up to 31C. This is the working temperature where you can dip/coat whatever you want in chocolate, or make chocolate designs should you want to. Be sure to always keep the temperature at 31C.
For the seeding:
The seeding method is basically feeding your melted chocolate smaller pieces of unmelted chocolate to bring the temperature down to (28-29)C. Once that is achieved, you can just bring the temperature up again to 31C and use it.
Always have all your tools prepared before tempering! A thermometer is needed too, I forgot to snap a photo.
Cocoa powder sifted and ready for coating
Balls of the chocolate-raspberry ganache piped and rolled a day before and left to sit in a cool room (18C) overnight.
I don’t recommend putting them in the fridge because when you remove them, there will be lots of moisture and the first rule about chocolates is that it hates water and humidity.
And then it gets fun!! Dunking them in the tempered chocolate, and rolling it around the cocoa powder. A mess but a fun mess! Totally worth my time.
I know this is a butt ugly shade of green but it was the only small plastic bowl I had! I transferred it so the tempered chocolate wouldn’t drop its temperature too fast :)
Dump it in the bed of chocolate powder. Yum.
Coat it as if you’re shoveling the earth to bury someone. Okay bad analogy.
How. to. resist.
And repeat, till all them balls are coated! If you opt out the tempered chocolate, you can immediately toss them in the cocoa powder after rolling them.
I would have already packed these in Christmas boxes if I had any. I’ll get down to making some soon!
Highly encourage you guys to try these delectable treats! It’s a winner. And play it up if you don’t like raspberry. Substitute it with something else. Or maybe even add in some booze or salted caramel. Coat it with nuts, it’s completely and entirely up to you. I realise I like treats that are rather fun and versatile. Have fun, guys!
Natalie’s Dark Chocolate-Raspberry Truffles:
raspberry purée (I used Boiron) – 100g
cream – 40g
trimoline/invert sugar – 20g
milk chocolate 40% (chopped) – 120g
dark chocolate 70% (chopped) – 120g
unsalted butter (r.t.p and cubed) – 50g
Combine the purée, cream and trimoline in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Mix the two types of chocolates together in a separate bowl.
Once the mixture boils, pour it in in 2-3 additions, stirring using a spatula starting from the centre and emulsifying it till you get a smooth homogenous ganache.
Using an immersion blender, blend in the butter cube by cube until further emulsified, super smooth and creamy and free of any bubbles.
Spread it onto a tray, clingfilm it upon contact and set it in a fridge for an hour or till hardened and of a pipable consistency.
Prepare a tray with a silpat.
Using a plain nozzle of 15mm, pipe equal rounds of 2cm and then set it in the fridge till firm. Once it is hard enough, wearing gloves, roll them between your palms till you get round balls. At this stage, should you prefer truffles without the tempered chocolate layer, you may coat it in cocoa powder straight away. Set it in a cool room (16-18)C overnight till it’s dry on the surface and semi-hard. Package as gifts or store in a cool dry place.
Should you want the tempered chocolate coating, dip the round balls in your tempered chocolate and let the excess drip off. Toss it gently in the cocoa powder mixture and and let the tempered chocolate layer harden. Package as gifts or store in a cool dry place.