Monday, February 7, 2011

Silky Dark Chocolate Truffles

I've been baking like it's going out of style lately.

There's a lot of chocolate-melting happening.


Can you tell?

This is my kitchen right now.


I go through a lot of butter, chocolate and sugar. I'm talking lbs of each per week. The sad part is that about 75% of that butter, chocolate and sugar ends up in my belly. Did I say "sad"? I meant scary. Man...

See the scale? I really think you should go out and get one. It's really useful for getting perfect results everytime. I'm a scientist...so that means I'm a little crazy. But it also means that I weigh everything, kinda like this: 1/2 cup butter is 113 g, 1 cup sugar is 180 g, 1 cup flour is 160 g, 1/3 cup butter is 75 g and so on....

I love it.

Wanna know what I don't love? Doing the dishes.


Dishwashers are useless to a home baker. I mean the machine kinds...the manual labour kind is totally welcome! PS - I need new oven mits.

Putting my springform pans, french tart pans, baking trays, muffin pans and measuring cups in the dish washer is not an option for me. They're too precious.

I guess I'm saying that my hands and lower back are not as important to me as my baking tools are. Ouch.

Guess what though! Underneath all this I actually managed to make these luscious  
Dark Chocolate Truffles and I dressed them up for your Valentine.


They're the most incredibly delicious things you could ever make with only 3 ingredients.

I'm not kidding. Only 3 ingredients.

I bet you have some bittersweet chocolate in your pantry. If not now, then perhaps after Valentines' Day you will. My mom always gave me chocolate on V-Day. My mom's a sweetheart.

Bittersweet chocolate has a minimum of 70% cocoa solids...and cocoa solids refers to the ground up and defatted cocoa nibs that grow from the cocoa tree (Theobroma cacao).

You might have some 35% whipping cream in your fridge. No? If you don't then I bet you're low on milk anyway. So, when you run out to the store to get milk, grab some cream while you're at it. Please, thanks!

And if you have chocolate, then you probably have some cocoa powder too. So, good. We're all set.

All you need to make truffles is ganache. What the heck is ganache? It sounds like some sort of monster.

Wellllllllll......ganache is an emulsion of cream and chocolate. There's actually quite a bit of science that goes into it. The cream lowers the melting point of the chocolate so that it is lusciously silky and smooth at room temperature - it's probably the most remarkable texture on the planet. If you've ever had ganache turn gritty, grainy or separate on you, then you can learn why here.

These truffles start with equal parts of chocolate and cream. Here's a recipe to get you on your way to chocolate paradise:

Silky Dark Chocolate Truffles
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, very finely chopped
6 oz (3/4 cup) heavy 35% whipping cream
1/2 cup cocoa powder

Place chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. 

Bring cream to a boil in a small saucepot over medium-low heat and pour immediately over chopped chocolate. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir gently with a rubber spatula, starting in the center and working your way out to the edges until completely melted, smooth and glossy. 

Pour mixture into a shallow glass baking dish and let it stand at room temperature about 30 minutes. Refrigerate until firm and use a melon baller to scoop teaspoons of ganache into balls. Roll balls in cocoa powder to coat and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

These truffles are super soft at room temperature, so they're best served cold or cool! Good luck eating just one.
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