Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Since I can't actually give you truffles for Christmas, I can at least give you some recipes. These are from my holiday truffle sale, featuring four seasonal flavors. I ended up making over 400 hand-rolled, hand-dipped truffles. Kinda crazy!

I expect you don't want to make quite that many, but fortunately the recipes scale down easily. For all these recipes, you should let the ganache set up at room temperature for about 12 hours, then scoop them into balls. If you are dipping in tempered chocolate, it's especially important to let the balls set for 24 hours to dry out a bit and develop a crust. This will help limit cracking and leaking. But if you just want to coat with melted chocolate and cocoa powder, you don't have to wait that long.

Chestnut Truffles (about 90)
12 oz dark chocolate
24 oz chestnut spread (sweetened chestnut puree, basically)
6 oz unsalted butter
1 tbsp brandy

These turned out to be my favorite. Rich and decadent. Easy to make because I went with a commercial chestnut spread. To make, melt the chocolate and let it cool to near room temperature. Mix with softened butter, then stir in chestnut puree and brandy.

Cranberry Truffles (about 90)
18 oz dark chocolate
12 oz cream
2 tbsp unsweetened cranberry concentrate

This concentrate is really potent stuff. You can find it in health food stores. It's liquid, in a bottle - mine was in the juice aisle. Use any standard ganache method: pour hot cream over finely chopped chocolate and let stand for a couple minutes before stirring to emulsify, or melt the chocolate and combine it with the warm cream. Add the cranberry concentrate after the ganache is fully emulsified.

Egg Nog Truffles (about 70)
24 oz white chocolate
4 oz egg nog
1 vanilla bean
3/8 tsp nutmeg
2 oz rum

Steep the vanilla bean and nutmeg in the egg nog. Reheat and strain, and combine with white chocolate using your favorite ganache method. Add the rum. If you're dipping in tempered chocolate, garnish with some white choco

Gingerbread Truffles (about 80)
21 oz milk chocolate
7 oz cream
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ginger powder
2 tsp cinnamon
4 tsp molasses
1.5 tbsp ginger juice

Black pepper was the magic ingredient to make these actually taste like what I was looking for. And the combination of powdered ginger and juice from fresh works really well. Bring the cream to a boil and combine with spices. Let steep for about 10 minutes. Reheat, then remove from heat and stir in molasses. Combine with chocolate in whatever ganache method you prefer. Add ginger juice when fully emulsified. (To make ginger juice, finely grate fresh ginger, then squeeze it through cheesecloth or a towel.)

1 comment:

Mazenbloo said...

Those look and sound amazing! You are a very talented woman!!