Truffles

trufflesI am now a chocolatier. An amateur one for sure, but that still counts, right?

Yesterday, I chopped up an enormous block of bittersweet chocolate with my big scary chef’s knife and made my first-ever batch of real truffles, using only chocolate and heavy cream and butter and flavorings. I had the music from the movie “Chocolat” in my head the whole time and tried my best to channel my inner Vianne Rocher.

Here’s what I’ve learned about working with ganache: once you try to roll it in your hands, all bets for cleanliness are off. It melts immediately, turning one’s hands into a chocolate-coated sticky mess. The end result is worth it, though: according to Mike, these truffles are “like taking a bite out of hot chocolate.” They are super-chocolaty and could of course be flavored and coated with any number of things, but I chose a simple orange extract and cocoa powder enhancement.

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
  • about 1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted

Preparation

Place chopped chocolate in a medium heat proof bowl; set aside.

In a medium saucepan, bring heavy cream, butter, and salt to a simmer. Immediately pour over chocolate and let set until chocolate is melted, about 10 minutes. Stir with a spatula until smooth.

Whisk in vanilla extract and orange extract (or just use 1 teaspoon vanilla extract if you don’t have orange), then continue stirring until chocolate is shiny and smooth. Pour into a shallow baking dish and let set overnight.

Line a baking sheet with parchment. Using a one-inch scoop, scoop out chocolate and roll into balls. Beware, this is a messy endeavor: I kept paper towels nearby and wiped my hands several times during the process. Coat each truffle in cocoa powder then place on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour; once truffles are chilled, place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.

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Oreo Truffles

oreo trufflesCould crushed-up Oreo cookies mixed with cream cheese possibly taste like real chocolate truffles? I wasn’t so sure until last night, when I whipped up a batch of these treats. I do enjoy a good truffle now and then, so I was a bit skeptical…but the answer is yes, they really do taste like real chocolate truffles.

If the truth be told, these treats are almost too chocolately for my taste…one certainly goes a very long way. Next time, I’ll use vanilla candy coating to mellow out the flavor a bit. You could also use white chocolate chips instead of semisweet for the coating, but I’m not a white chocolate fan. And, some recipes call for reserving a bit of the crushed-up cookies to sprinkle on the tops of the truffles once they’re dipped for added texture, but I chose to omit that step.

These treats are incredibly easy to make, so I’d recommend them for anyone who wants to whip up fancy-looking candies for a party or those looking to make something fun with their kids. Be sure to keep the finished product in the fridge, though, and only set them out right before they’ll be eaten…they do contain cream cheese, after all. And, it’s important to note that I only made a half-batch of these…you can easily double the recipe for a full batch.

Ingredients

  • 18 Oreo cookies, crushed to find crumbs
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, cut into chunks and softened
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon shortening

Preparation

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine Oreo crumbs and cream cheese; mix with your hands (a spoon just doesn’t seem to blend the ingredients as thoroughly as necessary) until cream cheese is fully incorporated.

Using a 1-inch cookie scoop, scoop out dough and roll into balls. Place on the prepared baking sheet and refrigerate for 1-2 hours, until very firm.

In a small saucepan, melt chocolate chips and shortening together on low heat, stirring constantly to combine until fully melted.

Working quickly, dip each truffle into the chocolate and coat completely; return to waxed paper-lined baking sheet and chill until chocolate is firm. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.