Thursday, December 20, 2007

chocolate truffles

so my very first attempt at making chocolate truffles. why? because i suddenly thought that i was an oompa-loompa. no, that's not true. i just wanted to make a bunch of things that i could give to my friends for the holidays and since i didn't want to make a gillion cupcakes, i opted for truffles. so the recipe i used was only for a batch of chocolate raspberry truffles but i decided to up the ante and made not only raspberry, but mint chocolate, mocha, and hazelnut truffles. yes, that's FOUR batches in total.

the line up
heavy cream
smirnoff raspberry twist vodka
creme de menthe
corn syrup
white chocolate
bittersweet chocolate
unsalted butter
wilton gel food colourings (green, red & brown)

mise en place
i highly recommend for all ingredients to be measured out for each batch before you begin any candy making. recipes look really quick and easy on television because everything is prepped. now if only i had an assistant in my kitchen to do all my prep work for me.

whisk together heavy cream & corn syrup over stove
my mixture boiled a little bit but it didn't affect the final product.

pour hot cream over chopped chocolate
i used my awesome rubbermaid containers for this step because i knew that i would have to chill the chocolate eventually so i figured i'd save a bowl.

let the hot cream sit for a bit to help the chocolate melt down easily.

whisk mixture until smooth
there's something oddly satisfying about combining two things until they're nice and smooth. i think it has something to do with making two different substances into one harmonious on. wow, i just sounded like a hippie. moving on...

add butter
i found cutting up the butter into little pieces made it a lot easier to incorporate the butter. i didn't bother doing this with my first batch and i didn't think the butter would every melt into the chocolate.

add liquor

um, right, anyway, the liquor will be very fragrant when it hits the warm chocolate. it will look like the chocolate had split but a good whisking will get it back to a nice smooth consistency.

make some fridge space
i guess you don't really need all that much fridge space if you're only making one batch

don't forget to label
i suppose i could have used regular sticky notes but hello kitty stickies are
way more fun.

hack up more chocolate
holy crap. i would have traded an arm for a food processor at this point.

roast some nuts
stupid bulk barn didn't have any pre-roasted chopped hazel nuts.

prepare to scoop
the recipe said to dip the scoop in hot water but i only did that with the first batch. i realized that it's much, MUCH easier to pull the chilled chocolate out of the fridge and let it warm up a bit. the warmed chocolate is a helluva lot easier to scoop and there's no dipping in hot water required.

the centres
i got about 35 out of each batch.

rollin' time
gloves from my pink hair days.

you need gloves
well, i guess i didn't REALLY need gloves but i have pretty bad circulation as it is and i can't imagine the mess i could have been covered in if i didn't have gloves. and my apartment is alway freezing. so cold in fact that i'm having trouble typing properly at this very moment.

roll & chill
back in the fridge...

coating time
place chopped chocolate over a bowl of simmering h2o. stir occasionally.

if i were to make this recipe again, i would melt small batches of coating chocolate at a time. i found that by the time i got to my last batch, the chocolate had hardened already and i had to melt it again which wouldn't have been a big deal, but my hands were covered in chocolate and i made a mess of the stove.

more chopping
at this point, i would have given a leg as well for a food processor.

mise en place again
get all the stuff together and parchment to drop the covered centres on.

coat and roll
i put way too much chocolate coating on my first batch so they ended up being huge after i rolled them in the nuts. and i didn't buy enough nuts/didn't chop them up finely enough either so i ran out of nuts towards to end of this batch.

finished nut batch
next time maybe i'll only dip them in to get nuts on just one half.

the rest of the garnish
melt small amounts of white chocolate in the microwave (there's no point is doing the double boiler method for such a scant amount. unless you're martha and you really want to be that way).

fork it
the chocolate may not look melted when you check on it the first couple of times but you have to stir it (i prefer to use a fork) because it's most likely almost there.

colour it
add food colouring until the desired hue is reached.

drizzle, drizzle, drizzle
pink = raspberry
green = mint
brown = mocha

finished product
make sure you make a pretty plate for your roommate to enjoy because she has had to put up with your giant chocolate mess.

box 'em up & spread some holiday cheer
i used little chinese take out boxes (i put 4 truffles in each) and then tapped a strip of wrapping paper around them. thankfully this wrapped paper had stripes on it that made for very useful guidelines.