Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Minty Little Truffle

A few posts back I tested the waters of truffle making and made pumpkin truffles, and my dear husband yet again served as my test subject.  Now he usually gives me a one or two word response (maximum of three) when it comes to my cooking, and it is usually something like this..."it's good," or "I like it." 

But when I made those truffles I got an actual suggestion, "ooh, you should do a peppermint truffle next."  Now since he actually exceeded his three word maximum I had to do it, and he even gave me suggestions on how to create these tasty little treats to boot....a budding chef in the making.......maybe I am rubbing off on him, scary.  Sometimes I really think I bite off more that I can chew because I was not in any way prepared for the horror that would come to me when making these stupid things.
Now you're probably asking yourself how could there be horror when chocolate is involved?  We'll there can be, and I can honestly tell you that chocolate seizing on you is horrific, especially when it is midnight and you are trying to finish these #$%!%&* truffles for a potluck the next day and you have had three bags (not one but three) of white chocolate seize on you.  You then find yourself running to the store in the middle of the night, make-up smeared, hair a mess, covered in chocolate, asking yourself in your car why the damn chocolate won't melt properly and telling yourself that if this last bag you are about to buy doesn't melt then you are just going to chuck it all and never lay your eyes on a truffle again!  I will warn you ahead of time that due to this set of unfortunate events I didn't take as many photographs as I should have, hard to work a camera when your sobbing over grainy white chocolate that refuses to melt.
Nonetheless I did get the last bag to melt.....well sort of.....and learned a little about melting white chocolate in the process.  So once again I used my husband's test subject skills and had him taste my minty little truffles and he said "they're good."  Success measured in two words or less.

Peppermint Truffles

Estimated Cook Time: 4 hours

8.5oz dark chocolate (I like Valrhona) chopped
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
(you can use peppermint oil as well, but use much less)
16oz white chocolate finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy

In a small sauce pan over medium heat bring the heavy cream to a simmer.  Add the vanilla and peppermint extract.  Place dark chocolate in a large glass bowl and pour the hot cream over.  Let stand for 2-3 minutes.  Stir the chocolate and cream mixture until smooth.  Stir in the butter until completely melted and incorporated into the chocolate and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours. 

Once firm, using a small melon baller, scoop small portions of the truffle mixture out, using the palms of your hands if you have to to form nice balls of chocolate.  Once you have formed all your truffles place them back in the refrigerator for an hour until they are firm. 

For the white chocolate place the chocolate in a double boiler set over medium heat.  If you don't have a double boiler you can use a metal heat resistant bowl fitted over a saucepan with simmering water.  Add the peppermint extract before the chocolate is melted.  Do not allow the water to get too hot, this will burn the chocolate.  Actually the best way to heat the chocolate is to bring the water to a simmer and remove from the heat and melt the chocolate off the heat.  Also, don't use a wooden or plastic spoon to stir the chocolate, since both can contain moisture which can cause the chocolate to seize up (seizing is when water is introduced to the chocolate causing it to become more solid and grainy....not good).  Instead always use a metal spoon, especially when stirring white chocolate. 

Once the chocolate is melted remove from the heat and allow to cool.  Now you can go to the trouble to temper the chocolate but I just didn't have the energy to do it.  However, if you fancy tempering the chocolate, David Lebovitz does a great job explaining how to do it here.  Once the chocolate is cooled, using a fork, dip the dark chocolate balls in the melted white chocolate and place them on a foil lined tray.  Immediately after dipping sprinkle each truffle with the crushed peppermint candy.  Place the truffles back in the refrigerator and chill until set, about another hour.  Remove truffles from refrigerator about a half hour before serving.

2 comments:

  1. Julie, the one you work withDecember 15, 2010 at 6:37 PM

    I'm making these tonight! So far, so yummy.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You'll have to let me know how they turn out! Good luck!

    ReplyDelete