Monday, December 31st, 2012
11:03 am - Trufflemania 2012  
I made twelve kinds of truffles this year, and I decided to update my recipes and notes for easy reference.

The basic recipe is an adaptation of Philly fudge, i.e., mix some melted chocolate with some cream cheese, and add flavorings. The original mocha truffle recipe was posted at b.org by beathen (Spike's Bitches 20, #2153). I've adapted it into a general recipe for making a number of different flavors of centers:

Truffle Centers

12 oz. chocolate chips (1 standard bag - see note)
4 oz. cream cheese - softened (½ standard package)
flavoring, as needed
food coloring, as desired
12 oz. chocolate or candy coating for dipping
garnish, as desired

Melt the chips in the microwave or on a double boiler. Cream the cream cheese together with any flavorings and food coloring with a hand mixer, then add the melted chips and beat until well mixed and smooth. Loosely cover the bowl (or transfer to a sealable container) and chill in the fridge for an hour or so. When it's cool enough to handle, form 1-inch balls (I use a kitchen scale to weigh out a half ounce apiece) and place on wax paper on a cookie sheet. Put the centers in the fridge to cool until solid. Melt the candy coating (see below). Dip the centers, place on wax paper on a cookie sheet, add any garnish, and chill in the fridge until set.

This makes between 2-3 dozen truffles depending on the size. That means if you do an
assortment of flavors, the numbers build up pretty quickly. I usually keep them in the
fridge to keep them fresh and so they don't get too soft.



Notes:

- Not all bags of chips contain 12 ounces. Ghiradelli, and even some Nestle and Hershey types (e.g., milk chocolate) are only 11.5 oz. It doesn't seem to affect the outcome. As long as it's close. I have standardized on Hershey of late. It's both better chocolate than Nestle and less expensive. Win, win!

- I use a microwave to melt the chips, and it takes about 2½ minutes (run for 1½ minutes then stir, then repeat at intervals of thirty seconds) at 40% power on mine. It's better to sneak up on a smooth melt than trying to hit it in one shot and risk overheating.

- Always add any liquid flavorings to the cream cheese, not the melted chocolate. Adding
water to the melted chocolate can cause it to seize. This is less of a problem with white chips as they don't contain cocoa butter, but why take chances?

- If the mixture gets too cold in the fridge, it becomes hard to form it into balls. 15 seconds in the microwave will usually soften it sufficiently to proceed.

- I use a double boiler to melt the coating, because it keeps it warm though the whole
dipping process. If you use real chocolate, temper it before dipping for best results. This is not a problem with candy coatings (even chocolate flavor) that don't contain cocoa butter (see below).

- If you use candy coatings instead of real chocolate, even the chocolate flavored ones, you don't have to temper the coating like you would with real chocolate. They melt a little higher than real chocolate as well. The sweet spot for dipping seems to be somewhere around 105°F.

- The garnish is usually some melted candy coating of an appropriate color to help identify what's inside the shell. I've both used squeeze bottles and just melting the coating and strewing it around with a fork. The squeeze bottles work better, but are more difficult to manage.

- 12 oz. of chips plus 4 oz. of cream cheese equals about 1 pound of truffle centers. Dipping adds adds another 8 oz. or so. An easy rule of thumb is that if you want to give a pound and a half of truffles to each person on your list, then make that many batches of truffles. Except for coconut (and probably Oreo once I change the recipe), since that actually makes about 2 pounds.

- A careful reading of the ingredient list for both Nestle's Premier White Morsels and Hershey's Premier White Chips - Creamy Vanilla Flavor (note the missing word in either) informs me that they do not, in fact, contain any chocolate or cocoa butter whatsoever.</i>


Variations:

Oreo centers - New this year!

chips: white chips
flavoring: 12 oz Oreos, crushed fine
coating: dark chocolate dusted with oreo crumbs

or (this is the source recipe)

8 oz cream cheese
chips: none
flavoring: 12 oz Oreos, crushed fine
coating: oreo crumbs

garnish: roughly crush the rest of the Oreos in the package and sprinkle on top while the coating sets


This needs a bigger bowl. I found this recipe on instructables.com. These were very soft as there was twice as much cream cheese as my usual recipe and no chips, which is what firms up the truffles. Once dipped they were fine, but I might have to experiment with the recipe, perhaps adding some white chips, much like the recipe for coconut.


Deep chocolate centers -

chips: dark chips (60% cacao or Special Dark)
flavoring: 1 tsp instant coffee dissolved in 1 tsp of vanilla
coating: dark chocolate

garnish: dark chocolate


Adding a little coffee boosts the chocolate flavor. These are pretty close to the old mocha truffles, which tasted very much of chocolate and very little of coffee.


Mocha centers -

chips: Hershey's Special Dark chips
flavoring: 6 tbsp instant coffee dissolved in 1 tbsp of vanilla plus 1 tbsp hot water (or 3 tbsp instant coffee + 1 tbsp espresso powder)
coating: dark chocolate

garnish: tan candy coating


I boosted the coffee content of these to make them truly mocha. You may need to warm the coffee mixture a little to get it to all dissolve. Now that they taste of coffee, these would probably be better with semisweet chips instead of bittersweet.


Milk chocolate centers -

chips: milk chocolate chips (or 12 oz chopped up Cadbury Dairy Milk bars)
flavoring: 1 tsp of vanilla
coating: milk chocolate

garnish: dark chocolate


I used Cadbury bars as the base chocolate this time around. I love the flavor of Cadbury
milk chocolate, a reminder of the days when my father would return from flights to Ireland
(and the big duty-free in Shannon airport) with (then rare) Cadbury bars.


Mint centers -

chips: white chips
flavoring: 1½ tsp of peppermint extract
coating: dark mint chocolate

garnish: light green candy coating


I added a little green food coloring, and it occurred to me that if I added some chocolate jimmies to the mix the centers would look like little scoops of chocolate chip mint ice cream.


Coconut centers -

chips: white chips
flavoring: 1 x 7 oz package of shredded coconut
coating: milk chocolate


I whirled the coconut in a food processor to chop the shreds even finer. I also needed a
bigger bowl, because the coconut almost doubles the volume. I wound up with a lot of
coconut centers.


Orange centers -

chips: white chips
flavoring: 1½ tsp of orange extract
coating: dark or milk chocolate

garnish: orange candy coating


I also added a little red and yellow food coloring to help tell these apart from some of
the other white centers.


Raspberry centers -

chips: white chips
flavoring: 1½ tsp of raspberry extract
coating: dark or milk chocolate

garnish: pink candy coating


I also added a little red color. The ingredient list is what I usually use. I
didn't have raspberry extract, but I did have some raspberry flavoring concentrate I picked up at A.C. Moore. I only needed 3/4 tsp of that. (In a side experiment, I once tried shaping these by stuffing the mixture into an ice cube tray. Bad idea. Let us never speak of it again.)


Maple centers -

chips: white chips
flavoring: ¾ tsp of Mapleine (a maple flavored extract)
coating: white candy coating


I noticed that the recommendations for use indicated that the extract is highly concentrated, so I used less than I do for other extracts. I coated them with white chocolate. I had a huge problem coating these this year. I used a Ghiradelli white chocolate flavored baking bar, and it never thinned. In fact, it got thicker the warmer it got. I suspect I overheated it in the first place, and further heating just made it worse. I spread the coating on some wax paper, let it harden, and then tried again, this time heating more gently. It worked better, but it was still pretty thick.


Caramel centers -

chips: white chips
flavoring: 2 tsp of caramel extract
coating: milk chocolate

garnish: caramel colored candy coating


I had previously tried making these with caramel chips, which was a disaster. These came out pretty well.


vanilla centers -

chips: white chips
flavoring: 1½ tsp of vanilla or French vanilla extract
coating: milk chocolate

garnish: white candy coating


For the record, French vanilla should not be a flavor. It's a style of vanilla ice cream made in the French manner, i.e., from an egg custard. That's why it's richer and yellower than normal vanilla ice cream, not from anything having to do with the vanilla itself. It really ought to apply only to ice cream. <Takes an ironic sip from his cup of French vanilla flavored coffee...>


Cherry chocolate centers -

chips: semisweet chocolate chips
flavoring: 1½ tsp of cherry extract
coating: dark chocolate

or

chips: milk chocolate chips
flavoring: 1½ tsp of cherry extract
coating: milk chocolate

garnish: mixed red + chocolate candy coating


These were fine.


Previous Variations:

Butterscotch centers -

chips: butterscotch chips

The first time I tried to make these, I set the chips to melt in the microwave using the same settings I use for the various kinds of chocolate chips. When I pulled them out, they weren't melted. Put 'em back in for thirty seconds, still nothing. Heated again, no joy. And so on for another three minutes, by which time the chips at the bottom of the bowl had scorched. I had to throw them out. Meanwhile, it occurred to me that butterscotch morsels are not made from cocoa butter, but another fat entirely, and thus have different melting properties. I also decided I should stir them more during the process. The second time they melted just fine.

 
 
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(no subject) - fiorituranotte on December 31st, 2012 - 05:53 pm