Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tuesday Treats: Homemade Honey Truffle Chocolates


About one year ago, I made homemade chocolates for the first time, and they are so heavenly! They do take a little bit of work, but so do sugar cookies if you think about it... However you'd be more likely to give away sugar cookies than these chocolates. They are that delicious. Of course it does matter what type of ingredients you use. I used Guittard chocolate chips, mainly because they have 63% cacao chips, and because the chips were cheaper by ounce than the bars of chocolate.

When making these chocolates, I would use dark chocolate such as 63-70% cacao. You can use semisweet, but use a little less honey. I tried using milk chocolate around Christmas, and it works, but they were too sweet for me - however Hubby loved them (he is a milk chocolate lover and I'm a dark chocolate lover, I have not converted him to dark yet.) If you do use milk chocolate you will need to freeze them in order to shape them into balls and coat them with the melted chocolate. Semisweet chocolate also works, but you will want to use a bit less honey as well.

 

Homemade Truffles

Start by making the ganache. Place 1 cup chocolate chips or 6 ounces finely chopped chocolate in a bowl, set aside. In a saucepan, combine 1/4 plus 2 Tbsp whipping cream, 1-1/2 Tablespoon butter (unsalted is best), and 1 tsp honey (you can also use corn syrup or a homemade sugar syrup of 3 parts sugar and 1 part water - however the honey gives a good flavor.) 
 Stir often over low heat until cream mixture boils and becomes bubbly.
 
Pour the boiling cream mixture over the chocolate. 
Let chocolate and cream mixture sit for 5 minutes to let the chocolate melt. Do not stir during this time. To help the chocolate melt you may need to place the bowl of chocolate and cream into a hot water bath (making sure not to get water in the chocolate.)
Once the 5 minutes is over, stir until velvety smooth. Place chocolate into the fridge and let sit for 15 minutes. 
Remove from refrigerator and stir. Refrigerate for another 15 minutes.
Remove chocolate from fridge and stir again. It will be starting to get more stiff and harder to stir. Refrigerate for another 15 minutes.
Remove from fridge and stir, it should be stiff by now. At this point I used a hand beater. I have used a fork to stir at this stage before, but the hand beater works better and I think makes the chocolate more smooth once completed. 
Place back in the refrigerator, but only for 5 minutes this time.
Remove and stir again. Place for another 5 minutes in the fridge.
Remove and stir. Congratulate yourself, you're finished with the mixing! Place chocolate in the fridge for 10-15 minutes more.
Remove chocolate from fridge and form into rough balls. I use about 1/2 Tbsp to 2 tsp ganache per ball. Refrigerate for 10-15 more minutes and shape into balls. Place ganache into the freezer for about 10-20 minutes. You can refrigerate them for 15-20 minutes instead of freezing them, but I find that freezing the ganache balls makes it so they get a thicker chocolate shell and it helps them set faster.
Melt 1 cup chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate) in the microwave (or a double broiler if you prefer). To melt in microwave, microwave on high for 30 seconds, stir, microwave for 30 seconds more, stir. Continue with 30 second increments until all pieces are melted, but make sure it does not get too hot to handle. You will be hand dipping chocolate and do not want to burn yourself. You also do not want the ganache to melt into the melted chocolate.
 Place a ganache ball into the melted chocolate. 
Roll around in chocolate, be sure to coat all of it. 
Place on a greased cookie sheet or on waxed paper. Waxed paper is the preferred way, but I did not realize that I only had parchment paper until I was at this step. Oops.
 
Let the chocolate set until the coating is hardened. If you want to put something on the top so you know what the flavor is, you need to do it before it is set. You will need to top them as soon as you coat each one.
This one above I completely coated in vanilla wafer crumbs. Delicious. 
These are basic honey flavored truffles. The flavor combinations you can try are endless. I am not super crazy about some combinations you can find from Chocolatiers these days... I've tried a lavender one, and I did not particularly like it. Some I have tried making are:

Pecan Cheesecake:
 Add 3 Tbsp Cheesecake cream cheese (room temperature) spread to chocolate just after steeping for 5 minutes. 
Then once coated in chocolate, roll in finely chopped pecans.

 Cheesecake:
 Add 3 Tbsp Cheesecake cream cheese spread (room temperature) to chocolate just after steeping for 5 minutes. 
Once coated in chocolate, roll in graham cracker crumbs or vanilla wafer crumbs.

Lemon:
Replace honey with sugar syrup.
Add 1/2 tsp fresh finely grated lemon zest to chocolate before steeping.
Once coated in chocolate, place a small strip of lemon peel on top.

Peanut Butter & Jam:
1/4 cup Peanut butter (omit butter), 2 Tbsp jam - I used raspberry seedless jam (omit sugar syrup/honey). Add after steeping for 5 minutes. It is easier to mix the PB and J together before adding to the cream. The Jam/Jelly will add in easier if already mixed to the PB.

Cinnamon Spice:
Add 2 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp red pepper to the cream.

Pumpkin Pie:
1/4 cup Pumpkin puree reduced to a thick paste, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp nutmeg, 1/8 tsp ginger added to the cream before scalding.

I guarantee anyone you give these to will LOVE them (with the obvious exceptions of those people who are allergic to chocolate and those poor souls who do not like chocolate.)

7 comments:

  1. These are cute truffles!! Great job, and thanks for the process photos.

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  2. OMG THANK YOU so much for the detailed pics and step by step instructions. This is fabulous information. I reallyyy appreciate it.

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  3. I am glad you appreciate the step by step with pictures. I personally found I was apprehensive the first time I made them and they are actually pretty easy, so I wanted to let everyone know that they can make them.

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  4. Hi - Stopping by to invite you to check out DessertStalking.com, a new food photo submission site. Details are on the site, and you can always email with any questions - hope to see you there!

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  5. These look and sound amazing. I think I'm going to need to try them! :)

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  6. I love making truffles. They are so easy and everyone is always super impressed. Yours look fantastic!

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  7. Que delícia!!!!!tanks!

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