Chocolate is a personal favorite of mine. Not a big surprise, since the past several years have involved me working with it on a daily basis and eating copious amounts of it. When beginning pastry school, I waited eagerly for the chocolate courses and when it came time for my first pastry job I made sure that it involved chocolate (and every job thereafter). My curiosity and passion for it has never changed. People used to ask me how it was that I didn’t weigh a million pounds working with pastry and chocolate. I told them it was because I wasn’t consuming it all day long. Which is true to an extent, but it wasn’t until recently that I realized that I do eat a lot of chocolate. Not quantity wise, but variety. All the different percentages of high quality chocolate, all with different countries of origin, different flavor profiles, and from various companies. Professionally, it was expected of me to know the differences and lucky me for having to try them. Outside of work, during my travels, no trip was successful without a visit to a chocolate shop or touring a chocolate factory. I honestly can’t think of a single plane ride without a box of chocolate being in my hands. Apparently, it has been so ingrained in my adult life that I didn’t even notice. Not a sad revelation to have.
Recently, I had the opportunity to contribute to the online food publication Food52. A fantastic food community that shares excellent recipes, kitchen expertise, and home goods. Of course the recipe I developed to be shared had to do with chocolate. These Silky Chocolate Truffles to be exact. Incredibly smooth and creamy. They are simple and quick to create, with the help of a food processor, and hand rolled in cocoa powder. If the idea of using a food processor seems strange or scary, don’t be afraid. Traditionally, small batches of ganache are normally made using an immersion blender (or a spatula or whisk). Which I also highly recommend and use primarily myself in most cases; however, a food processor works exceptionally well and is completely appropriate to use. It doesn’t require the chocolate to be melted down and it only uses the one bowl. It doesn’t break the food processor blade or damage it in any way (which I feared most when trying it the first time). Unconventional techniques can be scary, but give this different method a try and you’ll see that there was nothing to worry about. Of course, if you don’t have a food processor on hand, just melted down the chocolate and use an immersion blender or spatula to combine. Have fun and experiment with this recipe by adding any of your favorite spices, liqueurs, or roll the pieces in other textures such as chopped nuts or coconut flakes. It’s perfect for an anytime treat, to share with dinner guests, or to gift to a fellow chocolate lover.
Silky Chocolate Truffles
Makes 50-60 truffles
510g high quality semi-sweet or dark chocolate, up to 65%, such as Valrhona or Guittard
412g heavy cream
50g glucose, light corn syrup, or honey (optional)
110g unsalted butter, such as Plugra, cut into small cubes
100g high quality cocoa powder, such as Valrhona, for coating
Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper, wax paper, or plastic wrap.
Roughly chop the chocolate into medium sized or smaller pieces and place it in a food processor bowl that is fitted with a stainless steel blade. If using chocolate pistols or chips no need to chop it up, just add it in. Securely fasten on the food processor lid, with the top spout open.
Bring the heavy cream and glucose to a boil (make sure it is a full boil since it needs to very hot to melt down the solid chocolate). Once boiling, turn on the food processor and allow it to pulverize the chocolate a few seconds.
Next, steadily pour the hot cream through the food processor spout and onto the spinning chocolate. If you prefer, you may also stop the food processor and remove the lid. Pour in the hot cream, reattach the lid, and start processing again (with the top spout closed). Allow it to process until it just comes together, but is fully combined. Processing it too long can cause the ganache to become grainy and also incorporates too much air into it, which will take away from its silkiness.
Remove the lid and add in the butter. Process for several seconds to combine and no butter streaks remain. Pour out the ganache into the prepared baking pan and spread out evenly. Allow the ganache to cool and crystallize for up to 24 hours or until set.
When fully set, place the baking pan in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to firm up the ganache. This will make it easier and cleaner to cut. Remove the ganache from the baking pan and peel off the parchment/plastic wrap. Cut into 1×1 cubes, cleaning your knife after each cut (this keeps them perfectly square and clean). Roll in the cocoa powder and lightly shake to remove the excess powder. Serve truffles at room temperature and enjoy.
Store the truffles in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week or in the freezer for up to one month.