Ring in the New Year with Chocolate Truffles!

1 Jan

I’m really sorry to do this to you. Truly, I am.

However–some things need to be said. Some recipes just HAVE to be shared. The love must be spread.

Okay, I’m just going to shut up now and let the chocolate speak for itself…

 

Chocolate Truffles

(adapted from my idol, Pioneer Woman!)

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate (or semisweet if you prefer a slightly less dark chocolate)
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 can (14 Oz) Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • a splash vanilla or peppermint extract (be sparing with the peppermint–that stuff is strong!)
  • 7 ounces good quality milk chocolate
  • sea salt
  • plenty of crushed candy canes

Instructions–Short Easy Version

Heat dark chocolates and condensed milk in a double boiler over medium low heat until chocolate is melted. Stir—mixture will have a slight marshmallow texture. Stir in vanilla or peppermint extract.

Remove from heat, cover and refrigerate for at least two hours. (Can be longer.)

Once chilled, roll into balls, then roll in melted milk chocolate coating. Either leave them plain, sprinkle with sea salt, or roll them in a bowl of crushed candy canes.

Instructions–Long, Drawn-Out, Eye-Candy version

Start off with the greatest ingredient list known to man.

Ghiradelli….Ghiradelli…..Ghiradelli…..ahhhhhh……

It’s..it’s SO BEAUTIFUL! *sniff*

And hey, while we’re at it, why not invite my dear friend Scharffen Berger to the party?

Ah, yes.

(Why a goat? Just wondering…)

MUCH better now.

I love chopping chocolate so much. It’s a problem.

Do we need a recap of this? This is 3/4 of the package of bittersweet chocolate chips, the whole bittersweet bar, and the 2 ounces of unsweetened chocolate (chopped). If you don’t want such a dark chocolate mixture, I’m sure you could use the same amount of different intensity chocolate.

But not me. I’m a chocolate purist.

We’re going to boil ourselves up some water in a medium size pan and set up our double boiler! Over the top of this goes the chocolate in an appropriately-sized glass bowl…

And it should start to melt in pretty short order. *sigh of longing*

Now, in goes the whole can of sweetened condensed milk.

(I don’t understand it either. I don’t ask questions, because sweetened condensed milk makes many things very delicious.)

Mix gently to combine, using a folding motion. It’s actually sort of pretty!

(Is that chocolate dripping down the lens of the camera in the upper left-hand corner? God, I hope so…)

Keep mixing, till the texture gets kinda funky. It’s all good, that’s what its supposed to do!

Now would be when you would add the vanilla or peppermint extract, if you wanted all one type. But me? I’m stubborn and I like lots of flavors.

So I split it up into two and did both.

Now: into the fridge they go. Or, if your fridge is as crowded as mine with delicious leftovers…..

Outside! It’s cold out there too, you know!

 

…and now, we wait. We admire our trash.

The only thing better than multiple wrappers full of Ghiradelli chocolate is multiple wrappers that USED to be full of Ghiradelli chocolate.

But WAIT! What is that on the back of the chocolate chip bag?

Oh, my. I never saw that.

…anyway! Fast forward one dinner outing to Chevy’s later, and the chocolate comes back inside and is painstakingly formed into balls.

Look at those beauties! (And perched on my absolute favorite thing in the world, a silicone baking mat–in festive green!)

We want to coat them, right? Right. So we get a new bowl and pull out the pot of boiling water again. Into the bowl goes A LITTLE MORE THAN HALF of the milk chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli again), and the remaining 1/4 of the bittersweet chips whose friends you used in the filling. (I used this mix to get a slightly darker than milk coating because I’m not such a fan of milk chocolate….but I suppose you could do whatever you want. I just want to impose my will on you.)

Over the heat till melted. Now comes the slightly tricky part: we want to temper the chocolate so that we get the ultimate coating. (Tempering means that we heat the chocolate to a specific temperature–105° if you must know–and then quickly cool it down to 90° in order to get the chocolate crystals in the right configuration. Once hardened, tempered chocolate will be shiny and have a nice snap when broken….

…like this.) So in order to temper our chocolate, what we want to do is wait just until the chocolate is melted, and then remove it from the heat and quickly add the remaining chocolate chips. Then, you stir, and as the new chocolate melts, it brings the temperature of the overall mixture down to the happy 90° temp. (If you have a candy thermometer, that’s helpful, because you can make sure that the chocolate reaches the 105° and then 90°, but it’s not necessary.)

Ready to coat!

Throw the balls into the milk chocolate and use a fork to get them completely coated.

If for some insane reason you think that the coating is too thick, roll the balls around on the upper inside edges of the bowl. The chocolate will stick to the bowl and leave the truffle alone. Use a toothpick to help you drop the truffles onto your silicone baking mat.

Before the chocolate hardens, take this opportunity to sprinkle the tops of some of the truffles with coarse sea salt.

…OR….instead of plopping the truffles straight onto the baking mat, you could drop them into a bowl of crushed candy cane…

…and then you could use your fork to toss them around and coat them completely, and then, like me, take a horrible picture of the coated truffle….

…and onto the festive green baking mat they go!

So pretty!

And you’re done! With that, you now have around 45 rich, fudgey truffles to do whatever you want with! Give them away…share them with your family…eat them all yourself…

And they have delicious sea salt, or crushed candy canes! How classy!

(The inside of my candy-cane ones was mint-flavored, which I thought was nice.)

And the sea salt ones were very interesting too. Altogether, making these was a great experience.

…even if my kitchen may have had the kitchen version of a hangover the next morning.

(Oh, and by the way, I was able to use some of the leftover milk chocolate for coating to make a pseudo-peppermint bark thingy.)

Happy New Years, everyone. Here’s to a year filled with laughter, good cheer, and–most importantly–abundant amounts of chocolate. 🙂

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