Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Easy Chocolate Truffles Recipe Perfect for the Holidays

Taste & look is everything when it comes to food. I am that very picky person when it comes to food. Experimenting different recipes are fun, relaxing and enjoyable. One of my favorite base recipes are from Cook’s Illustrated. Their recipes taste great without making any adjustments for some people. However, since I am not that some people, I, of course, end up making adjustments to every recipe to my liking. I thought maybe I should share some of the recipes with my readers, so they enjoy this experimenting process with me and share their successful outcome with others.

This is a good recipe for the holidays. Happy Cooking!

Easy Chocolate Truffle
from Cook's Illustrated

Chocolate Centers
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
9 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons brandy, Cognac, rum, or liqueur

Chocolate Coating
12 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted into baking pan

1. Combine cream, butter, and corn syrup in small saucepan and bring to simmer over low heat. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes.

2. Melt 9 ounces chocolate in large bowl and whisk in cooled cream mixture until smooth. Whisk in alcohol. Cool mixture to room temperature, 1 to 2 hours.

3. Whip chocolate mixture with electric mixer until it thickens a bit, about 30 seconds. Do not overwhip or mixture will harden and become grainy. Scrape mixture into pastry bag fitted with 1/2-inch plain tube. Pipe out 1-inch spheres onto baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper. Refrigerate centers until firm, at least 1 hour.

4. To coat truffles, melt 12 ounces chocolate and allow to cool to 90 degrees. Coat centers with thin layer of chocolate by dipping hand in chocolate and rubbing centers across palm. Deposit truffles in pan filled with sifted cocoa. Use fork to roll truffle in cocoa; leave in pan until outsides are set, about 2 minutes. Transfer truffles to clean pan. When completely firm, place several truffles at a time in strainer and roll to remove excess cocoa. Place in airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

NOTE: Although brandy or Cognac is traditional, use rum or any flavored liqueur, such as Amaretto, Frangelico, or Kirsch, in the chocolate centers. Melt the chocolate for centers in a bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water or in a microwave at 50 percent power, stirring every minute or so, until smooth. This recipe makes three or four dozen small truffles. See figures 11 through 17, for tips on shaping truffles.

Figure 11.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with 1/2-inch plain tube with whipped chocolate mixture. Holding bag perpendicular to and about 1 inch above a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper, squeeze top of bag to push out a small sphere of chocolate. After the sphere forms, stop squeezing and pull tube away to the side to avoid leaving a long tail.

Figure 12.
If you don't have a pastry bag, use the bowl on a melon baller or a small scoop that measures just under a tablespoon to scoop out pieces of ganache and carefully set them on the paper-lined baking sheet. Scooped truffles will be knobby, not round like piped truffles.

Figure 13.
Dipping truffle centers into melted chocolate often results in a thick coating of chocolate. The following method is a bit messy but guarantees a thin, delicate coating. Start by arranging a baking sheet with chilled centers, a bowl with melted chocolate, and a baking pan filled with sifted cocoa on a work surface. Dip flat palm of one hand about 1/4-inch deep into bowl of melted chocolate.

Figure 14.
Pick up truffle center with clean hand.

Figure 15.
Transfer truffle to chocolate-covered hand, and close hand around center to coat it with chocolate. Drop coated truffle into the cocoa. Do this with 2 or 3 more truffle centers before redipping hand in chocolate.

Figure 16.
As soon as truffles are in the pan with the cocoa, roll them around using a fork in your clean hand. Better yet, have a second person do this. Leave truffles in pan with cocoa until set and then transfer with fork or clean fingers to clean pan.

Figure 17.
When completely firm, place 5 or 6 truffles in a strainer and gently roll around to dislodge any excess cocoa. Place truffles in airtight container and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Easy Chocolate Truffles recipe is from Cook's Illustrated
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