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Truffles: Take Two December 26, 2006

Posted by Sarah in Candy/Snacks.
3 comments

After my first truffle making episode, I couldn’t fight back the urge to create more. After my first attempt at a basic truffle, I wanted to take a few more steps out there and do something more. When I was looking at the Sugar High Friday round up there were a lot of great entries to provoke my sweet tooth. However, one caught my eye and inspired me… and that was Nemisbéka’s Triple Chocolate Truffles. I really wanted to make those … but I also wanted to make other kinds. It was so perfect! So, I made the Triple Chocolate Truffles, but made extra ganache of each chocolate to make Milk Chocolate-Cashew Truffles, White Chocolate-Nutmeg Truffles, and Dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffles, too!

I have to say that they turned out quite well. I think my biggest problem was that the white chocolate ones were not as firm as I would have liked, making them very difficult to coat in chocolate.

Here they are in all their glory!

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This is the Triple Chocolate one that I rolled in crushed chocolate wafers.

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That was a yummy first bite!

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Here is the Milk Chocolate Cashew…

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And that fussy White Chocolate-Nutmeg…

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It is always important to make sure there are no holes in your dipping or that ganache will try to find a way to escape… and it isn’t very pretty!

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And, last but not least, the Raspberry-Dark Chocolate Truffle! For some reason, my camera didn’t want to capture the true beauty of this truffle, but it was very fine looking. This was the one that most people said they liked the best. In second place was the Triple Chocolate ones. Third, was the White Chocolate-Nutmeg and fourth was the Milk Chocolate Cashew. I loved them all!

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It took me part of Saturday the 16th and most of Sunday the 17th to make these beauties, but they turned out great! People loved them and I truly have plenty to give out as gifts. I made well over 100!

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Dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffles

2 lbs quality dark chocolate, finely chopped

1 2/3 cup heavy cream

2/3 cup seedless raspberry jam, melted until pourable

1 tablespoon raspberry liquor

1 lb. dark chocolate chopped, (reserve 1/4 of a pound un-chopped for tempering)

Directions: Place finely chopped chocolate in a large bowl. Heat cream until it boils. When it starts to boil, pour it over the chocolate. Stir until all the cream is incorporated. Add melted jam and liquor. Stir. Chill overnight or until firm. Scoop the truffles and roll to make a nice ball. Temper the chocolate and dip your truffles (see tips on how to do this from the last time I made truffles or by reading about it in The Joy of Cooking or another trusted source). This time, I dipped the truffles twice and it made a huge difference. I didn’t think it would, (or maybe I was too lazy…) but it really made them a lot nicer. There was an excellent snap to the chocolate and just created a better finished product.

White Chocolate Nutmeg Truffles

2 lbs. quality white chocolate, finely chopped

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

freshly grated nutmeg (I didn’t measure but you could start with 1 teaspoon and go from there)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1-2 lbs. white chocolate, reserving 1/4 lb. for tempering

Directions: Place finely chopped chocolate in a large bowl. Heat cream until it boils. When it starts to boil, pour it over the chocolate. Stir until all the cream is incorporated. Add the vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. Stir. Chill overnight or until firm. Scoop the truffles and roll to make a nice ball. Refrigerate while you get the chocolate ready, if the ganache is too soft. Temper the chocolate and dip your truffles (see tips on how to do this from the last time I made truffles or by reading about it in The Joy of Cooking or another trusted source).

Milk Chocolate-Cashew Truffles

2 lbs. finely chopped milk chocolate

1 2/3 cups heavy cream

1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups finely chopped cashews

1-2 teaspoons salt

Place finely chopped chocolate in a large bowl. Heat cream until it boils. When it starts to boil, pour it over the chocolate. Stir until all the cream is incorporated. Stir in vanilla. Stir. Chill overnight or until firm. Scoop the truffles and roll to make a nice ball. Mix together the salt and cashews. Roll the truffles in the cashews to coat.

Triple Chocolate Truffles

(see Nemisbéka’s site for the recipe)

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Sugar High Friday #25: Truffles! November 23, 2006

Posted by Sarah in Candy/Snacks.
5 comments

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This will be the first, and not the last, time that I participate in a Sugar High Friday. I was pretty excited when I read that the challenge was to make truffles. I’ve made truffles before, but it had been a long time.

I was quite eager to try a recipe used at the hotel where we got married. They had the absolute best truffles I have ever had. A long time back they shared the recipe online and I copied it and saved it for another day. Saturday, November 19th was that day! I decided to make them for my best friend’s birthday, as well as for Sugar High Friday.

However, making these only reinforced my idea that sometimes it is best not to follow the recipe. The original recipe tells you to let the filling refrigerate overnight. However, when I got the filling out the next morning to shape and dip my truffles, it was entirely too hard to shape! I knew I should have trusted my instincts when I checked the filling after a couple hours of it being in the fridge. I thought that it was probably firm enough to shape and dip at that time, but I decided to follow the recipe!

I had also been reading in the Joy of Cooking about chocolate dipping and truffles. They offered several tips about dipping truffles, and all of them were correct. I will share them in my version of the recipe below.

These truffles are rich and super chocolate-y. They have a distinct dark chocolate flavor and are definitely good with cup of coffee. All the ingredients meld together and complement the chocolate nicely. There is not a distinctive maple or Kahlua taste. Just rich chocolate-y goodness!

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Dark Chocolate Truffles

Adapted from a recipe from the Gateway Hotel

1 c. heavy cream
2/3 c. maple syrup
1/3 c. unsalted butter
1/3 c. Kahlua (or your favorite liqueur)*
*if you don’t user liqueur, substitute with 2 tbsp. extract & additional 2 tbsp. cream
2 lbs. bitter or semi sweet chocolate (I used a mix of bittersweet and semisweet)
1 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup powdered sugar

Dipping ingredients:
1 lb. semi-sweet chocolate

8 oz. milk chocolate

Filling Procedure
In heavy saucepan, heat cream, butter syrup and Kahlua. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and set aside. In a glass bowl, microwave 2 lbs. chocolate until melted, about 2 minutes. Add the cream mixture and stir until well blended. Pour into metal pan and chill until firm and scoop-able (2-4 hours). Mix the cocoa and powdered sugar.  Using a 1-oz scoop, scoop truffle mix and release into a bowl of powdered sugar/cocoa powder mix. Roll between palms of your hands to make a smooth round ball.

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Dipping Procedures Melt 3/4 lb. semisweet chocolate in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave for 20 seconds longer. Stir until smooth and then check the temperature. You want the chocolate to be around 87 degrees (definitely no higher than 90 degrees). If the chocolate is too hot, add the reserved chocolate and stir. When the chocolate is at the correct temperature, remove the remaining chunks. The chocolate is now tempered and ready to use.

The Joy of Cooking offered this way of dipping truffles that I was quite skeptical of at first. They suggested that you smear tempered chocolate on your hands and roll the filling around in the chocolate to coat the truffle. Then place it on a rack to dry.

After trying to dip the chocolates unsuccessfully with a fork, I decided to try it. It worked beautifully. It gave the truffles the perfect amount of chocolate and it went quickly.

They also suggested that the chocolates be dipped a second time, but I was happy with just one coating of chocolate.

Then, I melted some milk chocolate using the same method as above (however for milk chocolate, the temperature should be no higher than 88 degrees) and drizzled it onto the truffles after the first chocolate layer set up.

Another important tip that the Joy of Cooking offered was to let the filling reach room temperature (or at least not to dip cold truffles) because as the center warms it expands and will crack the chocolate. I let my centers sit for quite awhile before I dipped them. They were still a little cool, but it still happened a tiny bit. If I dipped them straight from the fridge they would have cracked a lot, I’m sure.

All in all, I was quite pleased with my amateur truffles (as were many of my friends and family… it made about 60 truffles!) They did not taste amateur at all, even though they kind of looked that way. I’m sure with more practice working with chocolate candy making, they will begin to look better. The more truffles I make, the better!

Slashfood’s Candy Creations Day: Sweet Mix October 23, 2006

Posted by Sarah in Candy/Snacks.
1 comment so far

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When I saw that Slashfood was having a day devoted to candy, I knew that I had to submit something. Candy is a staple at our house, which may not be a good thing, but we just can’t seem to give it up!

I work as a teacher in an elementary school. In working at my school, I have found out that teachers will eat just about anything. Some of the older teachers told me about a time several years ago when they decided to play a joke on everyone else. Earlier that day someone had left some frosting and graham cracker sandwiches in the lounge and they were gobbled up before 9:30 that day. So these two particular teachers decided that they would take some graham crackers and put fake frosting in them … Elmer’s glue! They made their treats and laid them on the same plate the others had been on. When they came to check back later, there was nothing but crumbs!

These types of jokes still happen so one should always be careful about what they decide to eat from the teachers lounge! However, you can always count on the following treat to be safe to eat. Whenever there is a special day at school, our media specialist assistant brings this sweet/salty mix. It is basically a caramely covered mix of pretzels and Chex. Add in some dry roasted peanuts and M&Ms and you have a snack mix that will be gone by noon at any school!

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Connie’s Sweet/Salty Snack Mix

Ingredients

1 1/3 Cups brown sugar

1/3 cup white Karo corn syrup

2 sticks butter or Parkay

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 box Rice Chex

1 bag M&Ms

1/2 bag pretzels

1 jar dry roasted peanuts (optional)

Directions

Mix the Rice Chex and pretzels with your hands in a large brown paper bag or large bowl (make sure it can fit in your microwave first!) Set aside.

Bring the brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup to boil in a saucepan. Boil for 4 minutes. Take the syrup off the burner and stir in ½ tsp. baking soda. It will bubble up, but keep stirring. The mixture should change color.

Pour the syrup over the Chex and pretzels in three sets, stirring between each addition of syrup. Put the bag or bowl in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir. Put in the microwave again for 1 minute, the stir. Put the bag or bowl in the microwave for a third and final time, then stir again. Empty the bag or bowl on a flat surface lined with waxed paper. Spread it out and break it up so it cools, about 10 minutes. Put the cooled mix in an airtight container and mix with the M&Ms and peanuts if desired.

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