Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine's Day Treats: Truffles, Chocolate Figs and Fruit

Dark chocolate truffles

  • 225 g / 9 oz dark chocolate (bitter sweet or semi sweet)
  • 125 ml / 1 /2 cup 35% whipping cream
Chop the chocolate into fine pieces. Scald the cream in a small sauce pan and remove from heat. Add the chopped chocolate and let stand for a few minutes. With a spatula blend the chocolate and cream together until all the chocolate has melted. Let the ganache sit covered in a cool area of the kitchen until able to handle (about 1 hour). Ideally you would use a small scoop but a teaspoon will do the job. Scoop small balls from the ganache and place them on a plate. You should have about 30 truffles. When finished gently roll each truffle to form a smoother ball or leave them rough.

Almond Truffles

  • 225 g / 125 ml dark chocolate
  • 50 ml / 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 2.5 ml / 1/2 t almond extract
  • 30 ml / 2 T 35% whipping cream
Whisk together the almond butter and the cream and set aside. Melt the chocolate in a bain marie or double boiler. Add the almond cream mixture to the melted chocolate and blend together with a spatula. Remove from heat and whisk in the almond extract. Proceed with the recipe in the same way as in Dark Chocolate truffles recipe.

Ginger truffles
  • Dark Chocolate Truffle recipe
  • 30 small cubes of candied ginger
When the ganache is ready to be scooped as in the Dark Chocolate Truffle recipe insert a piece of candied ginger into the center of each ball and gently roll to close.

To dip or to roll in cocoa powder?

The almonds truffles benefit from dipping as the almond butter gives the truffles a slightly grainy appearance. Rolling the truffles in about 125 ml / 1/2 cup of cocoa powder is the quickest way to go and it gives a very satisfactory appearance. If you do want to dip the truffles you will need another 225 g / 8 oz of dark chocolate and you will need to temper your chocolate.

Tempering the chocolate

Have a parchment lined tray ready. Place a truffle on a fork and quickly dip the truffles one at a time in the melted tempered chocolate. Place the truffle on the tray. When all the truffles have been dipped place them in the refrigerator for a few minutes until firm. They are then ready to serve, but will keep for a week or so in the fridge. You can freeze the truffles for up to 2 months in a tightly sealed container. Do not serve truffles straight from the refrigerator, but at room temperature unless room temperature for you is tropical.

Dipping fruit

Dip the figs as you would the truffles. Same goes for dried fruit like pineapple or fresh fruit like strawberries.

Need even more chocolate? Check out Ricardo Magazine. It has some amazing recipes using chocolate and interesting chocolate facts. I think I will make the rocky road brownies on Monday for the kids for Valentine's day.

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