Chocolate Truffles

What’s Cooking? Vanilla!

There is nothing more delicious than the smell of vanilla. It reminds us of the gorgeous cakes in which it is commonly used, the chocolate it enhances and tasty ice cream in the sunshine. It’s certainly a ‘feel good’ flavouring.

The intensely fragrant vanilla beans are found in the pods of a tropical climbing orchid. Amazingly the flowers only open for a single day to be pollinated. The unripe pods are picked when they are 5-8 inches long and light yellow. After being blanched they are left to dry in the sun for weeks until they take on their more familiar brown-black appearance.

Ancient Mayans believed that a drink made from vanilla had aphrodisiac qualities. While modern research doesn’t confirm this, it does note there are small amounts of B-complex groups of vitamins which help with nervous system function and regulate metabolism.

Vanilla also contains small traces of minerals; Potassium, to help regulate body fluids and blood pressure, and iron which is essential for red blood cell production. Other trace minerals contained within vanilla can help relieve aches and pains, stress, depression and nausea.

While the Mayan’s might not have been proven correct about vanilla creating a romantic mood physically – it certain enhances romance in its aroma. And when combined with the luscious flavour of chocolate it’s certainly the food of love. Which is why you will be besotted with Lisa’s Chocolate Truffles.

Chocolate Truffles

Skill Level:



Intermediate

Preparation time: 50 mins
Cooking time: 3 hours or overnight
Serves: 48

Ingredients

  • 420g dark chocolate, finely chopped (good-quality dark chocolate , 70% cocoa solids)
  • 200g thick crème fraiche
  • 75g unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 2 pinches sea salt (optional)
  • Optional fillings
  • 2 tbsp. of liqueurs, rum, whiskey, brandy or cognac of your choice
  • Or
  • 60g almond brittle
  • Coating
  • 200g cocoa powder
  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 50g white chocolate
  • Whole almonds
  • pistachio’s
  • banana chips
  • Grate the chocolate finely and set aside
  • In a medium size saucepan gently heat the crème fraiche, just before boiling point
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat, leave to cool slightly add the vanilla paste
  • Gradually add the grated chocolate, stirring lightly and smooth
  • Add the butter and mix together until all the ingredients have blended to a thick, glossy consistency
  • Finely add the sea salt (this is optional)
  • You may wish to add a filling or flavouring as mentioned above, if so, it’s a nice idea to do half of the mixture, split the mixture into two bowls then add your fillings
  • Line 1 large tray or if you are adding flavourings/fillings line 2 trays with parchment paper
  • Transfer your chocolate mixture to the lined trays, when cooled cover with cling film and refrigerate for 3 hours or over night
  • Melt the dark chocolate and white chocolate separately over a bain marie
  • Sift the cocoa powder onto a large dish
  • Remove the chocolate mixture from the refrigerator, using disposable gloves roll into small balls measuring a heaped teaspoon, then roll all truffles in cocoa, place half of the rolled cocoa truffles back in the fridge
  • Place your bowl of melted chocolate at your clean workstation
  • With a fork and spoon, pick up one truffle at a time and hold over the bowl of melted chocolate
  • Spoon the chocolate over the truffle until well-coated
  • Cover a baking sheet with a clean piece of parchment for placing the finished truffles on then decorate
  • Keep your truffles refrigerated until right before you are ready to use them
  • Enjoy

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