Sunday, December 15, 2019

Chocolate Gingerbread Truffles

Here's another OG recipe from Scientifically Sweet cookbook, and a treat that I make every year to (eat them all) give them away to friends and family.

All the flavours of gingerbread are here:
- molasses
- ginger
- cinnamon
- clove
- nutmeg

I decided to make these with bittersweet chocolate - it's all 70% here because I like the bitterness against the sweet spices and molasses. It also contrasts very well against the white chocolate coating. It also makes a very firm truffle.

This recipe absolutely works great with dark chocolate that is around 60%.

If you chose to use semisweet chocolate (50%) then you'll find that they will be a bit softer and that's great too. I do not recommend using milk chocolate because it will not set firm enough and the flavour will be too sweet.

Truffles are such a great edible gift and they always impress. And pssssst... they're a cinch to make! (don't tell anyone).

The trick is to steep the spices in the cream to infuse the flavour with whole spices. If you use ground spices, then the actual spice goes into the ganache as opposed to the flavour just infusing. This is fine, however it means that the spices will dry out the ganache and you'll find the texture of the truffle to become stiff and almost dry/crumbly. If you want to make this recipe with ground spices (such as ground ginger, cinnamon and clove), I would suggest increasing the cream by 1-2 tablespoons to make up for the moisture bound to the spices.

Whichever way you make these - I'm sure you will love them! xo

Gingerbread Truffles
Makes about 36 truffles

For the ganache:
7 oz/200 g bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa), chopped into very small pieces
⅔ cup 35% whipping cream
1 tbsp (15ml) fancy molasses
10 whole cloves
1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
3-inch piece cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
⅛ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of salt

For coating:
8 oz/227 g pure white chocolate, very finely chopped
1 oz/28 g pure milk chocolate

To make the ganache, place chopped bittersweet chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl and set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine cream,
molasses, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and bring it to a simmer. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for about 20 minutes.

Reheat cream mixture until it just about comes to a boil and immediately pour it through a sieve and over the chopped chocolate. Press against the sieve to squeeze all the cream through the ginger fibers. Let stand without stirring for 2 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir the mixture in one direction until it is smooth and glossy. If not all of the chocolate has melted, you can heat the ganache gently by placing the bowl over a pot with ½-inch of barely simmering water. Stir very gently until there are no lumps. Let cool for 1 hour at room temperature. Refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours.

Line two baking sheets with parchment or wax paper. Use a melon baller or spoon to scoop teaspoons of ganache and roll between palms to form roughly-shaped balls. Place balls on one of the prepared trays and freeze until firm, about 20 minutes.

Place white chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pot with ½-inch of barely simmering water. Stir constantly until almost completely melted (some small pieces of solid chocolate should remain). 
Remove bowl from over pot and stir until smooth, allowing the residual heat to melt the rest of the chocolate. Do not over-heat the chocolate (it should not reach over 88°F).

To begin dipping, retrieve ganache balls from freezer. Balance one on a fork and submerge in melted chocolate, letting excess drip off and scraping the bottom of the fork against the rim of the bowl if necessary. Gently slide the truffle off of fork and onto the second lined baking tray using a toothpick. Continue like so, coating remaining balls, and re-warming chocolate periodically for a few seconds over hot water as necessary if chocolate becomes too thick. Let truffles set at room temperature until hardened, about 1 hour. I like to work in 3 batches, freezing the ganache balls for about 5 minutes and reheating the chocolate just barely between batches.

Let truffles stand until chocolate coating has set. If your kitchen is warm, you can place them in the fridge. Once hardened, gently melt milk chocolate in a small bowl set over a pot with ½-inch of simmering water (or do it very carefully in the microwave, stopping to stir every 15 seconds). Fill a small resealable plastic bag with melted chocolate and push it into one of the corners. Snip the tip off of that corner and drizzle a thin stream of chocolate over each truffle in a zig-zag pattern.
Once set, store truffles in an airtight container in the fridge but serve at room temperature.
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