I recently purchased a Groupon for a Chocolate Truffle making class. I didn’t know anyone in the class, but had a wonderful time. The class was taught by Now We’re Cookin’, specifically by Chef Mary, the former pastry chef at Trio in Evanston, IL.
I’ve always loved chocolate truffles, but found them so intimidating because they seem so fancy. Surprisingly, the truffles were very easy to make (patience is most definitely required). Throughout the class, Chef Mary provided additional tips on making other chocolate dishes (specifically ganache). She even let us try some ice cream that she made with some fresh chocolate sauce.
- 1 1/8 Cups Bittersweet Chocolate (7 oz. by weight)
- 1 Tbsp. Unsweetened Cocoa
- 1/2 Stick of Butter
- 1/3 Cup Heavy Cream
- Pinch of Salt
- Flavoring (see below for the options we used)
- 2 Tbsp Cocoa or Powdered sugar for finishing
- Sea Salt – I made these with 1 tsp of sea salt. I’d recommend closer to 3/4 tsp.
- Vanilla – 1 tsp
- Cinnamon – 1/2 tsp (and extremely delicious)
- Citrus Oil/Extract – 1/2 tsp (think orange)
- Peppermint Extract – 1/2 tsp
- Other possibles: Hazelnut, Raspberry, the possibilities are endless
NOTE: If using whole spices, tea, citrus zest, or other flavorings, you will need to infuse them into the cream. To do this, stir the spice/flavor into the heated cream before you add it to the chocolate. Remove the pan from the heat to steep 10-15 minutes (infuses the flavor). When enough flavor has developed, reheat the cream to boiling, then strain and add to the chocolate. Stir well before chilling. If using liquid flavorings, add after chocolate has melted. Stir well before chilling. If using nuts, dried fruit, etc. stir in at the very end before chilling.
Chop chocolate and butter into small pieces, place in stainless steel bowl and set aside.
In a small nonreactive saucepan, heat cream to a boil. Remove from heat, strain, and pour over chocolate. Let sit about 2 minutes, add flavoring, and then begin stirring. Continue stirring until the mixture becomes a smooth shiny mass. If the mixture still has lumps of chocolate, place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and stir until the lumps disappear.
Chill about 30 minutes, until solidified enough to work. To form the truffles, pipe (with a pastry bag), scoop, or roll into balls by hand. We piped our truffles on to parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
NOTE: I opted to pipe with a pastry bag, which took a little bit of practice. It was easier to work with the ganache as it warmed in my hands while piping (so the end truffles came out nicer). You can also use a mini-scoop or melon-baller to create the truffles. If using one of those tools, have a cup of boiling water nearby to dip the tool in every or every other truffle so that the ganache is smooth on the baking sheet.
To finish, place the truffles in a zip lock bag with cocoa or powdered sugar and shake to coat. Store in the refrigerator.
Truffles will last a couple weeks in the fridge, or a couple months in the freezer.
Contact Info for Now We’re Cookin. (They offer sweet, savory, and skills classes)1601 Payne St Evanston, IL 60201-2232 847-570-4140 http://www.nwcookin.com