Thursday, February 14, 2008

Truffles - The process

To answer the various questions regarding the truffles.. here's some of the detail...

The recipe I used can be found on marthastewart.com:

http://www.marthastewart.com/portal/site/mslo/menuitem.fc77a0dbc44dd1611e3bf410b5900aa0/?vgnextoid=ce4656866a80f010VgnVCM1000003d370a0aRCRD&autonomy_kw=Truffles&rsc=header_2

The coating is made from various different chocolates.. dark, semi, milk.. I also made some of the truffles just rolled in cocoa powder, but those weren't my favorites!

The coating really isn't dipping at all.. it's more like 'spooning' it on and it's time consuming! It took a while to find the right consistency for the coating. I thinned the melted chocolate with heavy cream until it was about the consistency of a thickening pudding... not quite all the way thick.. but coated the back of a spoon with a heavy coating. It was actually pretty thin for chocolate.

I poured the melted/thinned chocolate into a plastic squeeze bottle (similar to a ketchup squeeze bottle from your favorite diner!). All of the truffle 'balls' were placed on a small grid wire rack and placed over a sheet pan. Using the squeeze bottle I would slowly squeeze out the chocolate in a circular motion using steady pressure which allowed an even flow over the truffle. I had to do each truffle twice.. and it was truly hit or miss. MANY of the truffles came out uneven (those are the ones we are keeping for ourselves!). I didn't have room in my freezer to harden the truffle coating, and the weather was cooperating.. so they went into my car overnight. Believe me.. there are some very rough places on some of the truffles! They are far from perfect!

For those that have the alternate chocolate drizzle... I placed a small amount of melted chocolate that had been thinned in a zip-loc bag. With just a pin prick of a hole (I used a straight pin) I would squeeze the 'drizzle' of chocolate very quickly over the coated truffle. Doing this while the coating was still wet allowed the drizzle to 'meld' into the coating and not appear to be raised.

No fancy equipment.. but a good deal of trial and error. I went through a TON of chocolate with entire batches thrown out when it wasn't tempered correctly. It killed me to know that once it was improperly melted it was pretty much useless!

So that's it.. The most time consuming part is finding the right workable consistency for the different types of chocolate. Also.. making sure you do an even circular distribution of the chocolate coating results in a pretty even covering. One hint: You have to keep re-heating the chocolate in the squeeze bottle.. once it starts to solidify even a slight bit.. you have to reheat or it won't coat well. (That's why I have so many extras!)

2 comments:

Mike said...

Kenn - THANK YOU! I enjoyed hearing that someone else had as much frustration as I did! But, you would never know it from your photos. The truffles are stunning. I rolled mine in cocoa powders - 2 types, they weren't the favorites at the office either. The ones I dipped in bittersweet chocolate, I used a fork (not the best technique), and they were rather a mess on the parchment paper! Very interesting to hear of you squeeze bottle technique - that's unique!! You should be proud of them - I'm sure they made some people very happy today!

maymay67 said...

Chuckle,chuckle:o)! Truly an ingenious improvision "out in the car they goes". Thank you for sharing your behind the scene process and technique...!!! It's good to know the learning process w/o the expensive equipment. The pictures are beautiful and the love that you put in the making and packaging, that's what count. Thank you for sharing.:)