Pill (muskry) wrote in vegancooking,

Truffle Tutorial

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Finished Chocolates

Thanks for all the replies! For those of you who were wondering, my egg tray came with my refrigerator but I'm sure ice trays would work just fine.

These truffles are easy to make; don't be scared by all my text - I like to be thorough! I will put the long-winded instructions at the beginning in case anybody has a 14.4k modem and follow up with a huge load of images, if my instructions are too long (and they are).

1. Find some dark chocolate. I like Scharffen Berger's semisweet blocks but Tropical Source and Ghirardelli chocolate chips work. Two other vegan chocolate chip options are Guittard and Sunspire. Be sure to check the labels on the Guittard and Ghirardelli, as some varieties contain dairy products.
2. I use a German double boiler from my grandma. If you don't own one, you can create a makeshift double boiler. Be careful not to turn the burner up too high as overheating the chocolate will change its flavor.
3a. Pick a filling. You can find tons of recipes for compotes, ganaches (flavor with liqueurs/extracts etc), or whatever. I honestly do not use any recipes. I take a fruit, add a random amount of cornstarch for thickening and occasionally, a pinch of sugar. For this tutorial, I used locally grown golden raspberries which I picked with my son last summer and grated ginger. Yesterday's truffles had strawberries (again, local frozen ones) with some cornstarch. The coconut ones were shredded coconut (organic, without sugar), coconut milk, cornstarch, and a pinch of sugar (a warning - these taste like coconut, not coconut flavoring). Experiment!
3b. If you're using fruit, bring it to a boil and add cornstarch and other ingredients. Put in refrigerator to let thicken. You only need a very small amount, less than 1 cup total.
4. Dust tray with cocoa powder, if desired.
5. Once chocolate has melted, drop by spoonfuls into tray, filling about 1/3 to 1/2 full. You can put a small amount of chopped nuts in the tray before the chocolate if you want them to peek out from the top of the truffle.
6. Use an object to liberally press chocolate against edges of tray (I used a washed toy) and scoop out any extra pooled chocolate because when it has cooled, people will have a hard time biting through the top if it's too thick.
7. Place the chocolate, uncovered, in the refrigerator. Meanwhile, see that your filling is getting thick enough. It should be relatively thick so nobody gets sprayed in the face when biting into the truffles! My raspberry filling was thick enough to stay in the pan upside-down and my strawberry filling was thinner.
8. Once the chocolate seems cooled enough, start putting the [mostly] chilled filling in. This is the important part. You have to be sure to fill the center and not the sides at all or you will have broken truffles. If you look at my truffle pictures, the two raspberry ones in the front broke when I tried to remove them from the tray because they were too full.
9. Cover the filling with hot melted chocolate. It needs to completely cover the filling and surround the edges of the hole or no bond will be created between the top and bottom chocolate layers and you will have cracked chocolate eggs (like mine). Try to keep the chocolate flush with the tray (unlike mine) so when the truffles are turned over they stand without rocking. Cleaning the tray around the circles makes prettier chocolates, too. Refrigerate. If there is any chocolate left over, you can use it to decorate the finished truffles or you can let it harden and eat it while you wait for your truffles.
10. Be patient! It is better to leave the chocolates for a long time to ensure they're done than have broken disasters. From my experience, it takes the fruit-filled truffles longer to cool. To be on the safe side, let them cool for 30 minutes to an hour, gently pushing on the bottoms to see if they're very firm.
11. The chocolate will begin to look shiny when it's done. When you take the tray out, carefully twist it like an ice tray. If the chocolates easily come out, yay. If not, put them back in the fridge. When they loosen up, tip the tray. The trick is not to touch the chocolates at all, if possible because your fingerprints will be everywhere (unless that's the look you're going for). So, tip the tray and pick up any truffles with forks or spoons.
12. Decorate! Drizzle chocolate over the top and sprinkle neat things on top - coconut, cocoa powder, nuts, cinnamon...
13. I keep the truffles in the refrigerator to be safe. Let them stand at room temperature for a few minutes before eating or serving to others. Serve with napkins. ;)

If you have two trays of the same size, filling the first with chocolate and nesting the second in the first while the chocolate cools, this would be much easier than my above method for making the domes.

Hover over the images for text:

Double Boiler
Golden RaspberriesGinger
Cocoa Powder
Melted Chocolate
Melted Chocolate
Filled Tray
BabyChocolate Bath
Chocolate Bath
Chocolate Bath
Thick Raspberry FillingThick Raspberry Filling
Donald Trump Baby While waiting, I licked the baby's head. Look, it's Donald Trump!
Hardened Chocolate
Filled ChocolateCovered Chocolate
Naked Chocolate
Decorated Chocolate
Opened Truffle
Tags: desserts-candy-chocolate, desserts-truffles
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