I’ve made truffle 3 or 4 times down at the South Pole so far and they seem to get gobbled up much quicker than other desserts. Since it’s been relatively popular in Antarctica, I thought all my readers would enjoy a tutorial on how to make chocolate truffles in there own home.
If you live under a rock and have never seen a truffle before, it’s a luscious treat that has a soft chocolate ganache center and some kind of coating on the outside. Ganache is a form of chocolate that many pastry chefs use while making decadent desserts. It’s much more pliable than hard chocolate and soft enough to melt in your mouth quickly.
Some truffles have coffee in them. Since I love coffee, I naturally veer on the coffee side. If you do, make sure you use a good brand. I brought good coffee down to Antarctica for my days off and for cooking purposes so I don’t have to worry about that. 🙂
Here’s one of my favorite brands from back in the states:
Koa Coffee sells Kona Coffee, the only coffee grown in the US. It’s a good brand of coffee that I feel is as good, if not better, than the Colombian coffee I bought from a plantation in the middle of Colombia.
With a truffle, the ganache is traditionally covered in a high-quality cocoa powder such as Valrhona Cocoa Powder. This is my preferred chocolate to use in any situation in general but since we’re in Antarctica, I don’t have that luxury. It is a harsh continent, after all.
You don’t have to cover the truffle in cocoa powder, though. If you buy truffles from the store, they’re usually covered in a thin layer of regular chocolate that creates a nice shell. When you bite into it, you break the shell and bite into the ganache. The ganache instantly starts melting in your mouth while the outer-shell takes a bit longer.
For this strange combination of cracking into a velvety center of chocolate, truffles are widely revered as a delicacy. Also, since I know from experience, they can be a pain to make in large quantities. If you’re going to make some though, you might as well make a bunch and store some in the freezer for a stressful day at work, a break-up, or a rainy Sunday afternoon.
Make sure you store them in a freezer-grade ziplock bag to keep the moisture out, though. Chocolate’s worst enemy is water.
Ok, onto the recipe:
- Chocolate Truffles
- 1/2 lbs. good quality 60% dark chocolate, preferably Valrhona or Lindt brand
- 1/4 lbs. good quality 35-40% chocolate (or your favorite milk chocolate brand)
- 3/4 Cup Heavy Cream
- 1/2 Tbsp. Grand Marnier (if you don’t like the orange flavor, this is optional)
- 1 Tbsp. good quality prepared coffee (save some from your morning cup of joe)
- 1/2 tsp. good vanilla extract
- Chocolate Coating: 1/2 lbs. good quality chocolate, your choice (white, dark, milk chocolate, whatever)
- Chop the chocolate up finely, using a food processor or a knife, and put in a bowl that won’t melt from heat.
- Heat the vanilla extract, coffee, cream, and Grand Marnier in a sauce pan until it just starts to boil. Let it cool down for a minute or two and pour over a sieve onto the chopped up chocolate.
- Stir the chocolate and cream together SLOWLY or you’ll slosh your hands with very hot cream. Put the bowl in the fridge or just set aside somewhere cool for an hour or two.
- Using a melon baller or two teaspoons, spoon chocolate onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and roll each ganache ball between your hands to make it uniform.
- While the ganache is setting in the fridge, place a metal bowl over a sauce pan of boiling water on the stove. Add the chocolate you chose for the coating and melt down. Pull off the heat and cool slightly for a few minutes
- Add the uniform ganache balls into the chocolate and let them sit for 10 seconds. Using a fork (or if you’re handy with chop sticks), pull each ganache ball out and put onto the parchment paper again. At this stage, I like to sprinkle a little sea salt or toasted coconut on top of each. Let the truffles set in a cool place for an hour.
- Devour your beauties any time you feel like a delicacy.
Truffles are best served at room temperature. If you used dark chocolate for the coating, I like to drizzle a little caramel or white chocolate on top of each and vice versa.
If you’d like a different experience with your truffles, try rolling them in powdered sugar, good quality cocoa powder, slivered almonds (really, any kind of nut), or toasted coconut.
If you have a good idea for a coating, place them in the comments below! I’ll try them out and use the South Pole community as guinea pigs to test out your ideas 😉 haha
Also, my good friend that’s working on a yacht in Alaska at the moment tried my kaiser roll recipe while sailing on the open ocean. Now I know the recipe works while sailing! Here’s a link to that recipe if you’re interested:
I made the Baklava recipe I posted 3 weeks ago today again, also! Just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke, I didn’t experiment with anything like I usually do 🙂