Friday, December 12, 2008

Truffles! (Virtual candy exchange)

Work has been terribly busy of late, so I've barely had time to cook dinner, let alone get started on holiday baking. But today I return at least to the idea of holiday baking. Bee has graciously invited me to join her virtual candy exchange for Christmas, and I am only too happy to participate.

I've made truffles nearly every Christmas for several years now, and for most of those years I've gone from recipe to recipe without being really sold on any of them. The taste was insipid, the texture wasn't quite right, and so on. Then last year I found this recipe. Gingerbread is one of my favorite holiday treats, and although I might not have thought of pairing it with chocolate, these truffles are winners.



As is usually the case with truffles, these take quite a bit of waiting, so I find that it's best to make them on a weekend when you can putter about the house (or wrap gifts) while things chill.

If you have a favorite holiday candy recipe, please share it or drop a link in comments. Happy baking!


Gingerbread Truffles

From: Bon Appetit, December 2005
Yield: Makes about 2 dozen
Holiday spices and molasses give these chocolate truffles seasonal charm.

Ingredients

  1. 3/4 cup whipping cream
  2. 10 whole cloves
  3. 1 tablespoon mild-flavored (light) molasses
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
  5. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  6. Pinch of salt
  7. 7 ounces plus 12 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  8. 7 ounces plus 12 ounces high-quality white chocolate (such as Lindt or Perugina), chopped
  9. 1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger plus additional for garnish

Directions

  1. Bring first 7 ingredients just to boil in heavy medium saucepan; remove from heat and let steep 1 hour.
  2. Combine 7 ounces bittersweet chocolate and 7 ounces white chocolate in large metal bowl set over saucepan of simmering water; stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over water. Strain cream mixture into chocolate; stir to blend. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger. Chill filling until firm, at least 3 hours.
  3. Line baking sheet with parchment. Using 1-inch melon baller, scoop filling and roll between palms to form balls. Place on parchment. Chill truffles at least 2 hours.
  4. Line another sheet with parchment. Place 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate in medium metal bowl set over saucepan of simmering water; stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over water. Cool until thermometer inserted into chocolate registers 115°F. Quickly submerge 1 truffle in chocolate. Using fork, lift out truffle and tap fork against side of bowl so excess coating drips off. Using knife, slide truffle off fork and onto prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining truffles. Chill until set.
  5. Line another baking sheet with parchment. Place 12 ounces white chocolate in another medium metal bowl set over saucepan of simmering water; stir until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over water. Cool until thermometer inserted into chocolate registers 100°F. Hold 1 truffle between thumb and index finger; dip halfway into white chocolate. Place on prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining truffles. If desired, press small pieces of crystallized ginger atop truffles. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover; keep chilled.)

7 comments:

Bee said...

Anne! You sweetheart!

Ginger, any kind and of any description, is one of my favorites. I HAVE to make this tomorrow. (Right now I am going to have a little rest from three solid days of cooking and baking.) My daughter just came in and demanded some dinner, and my mental response went something like, "Not again!"

Bee said...

And a question! The molasses options in England are a bit of different. We have golden syrup and treacle -- the latter being much stronger and stickier than an American molasses. What do you think?

Anne said...

I thought you might like these! But definitely wait until you're feeling more rested. Sounds like you've been quite the busy Bee in the kitchen!

Re: your question about molasses, I've often used golden syrup in truffles, and I think that it will do just fine from a consistency standpoint. The molasses called for here is the light/mild kind, and there's only a tablespoon of it, so I doubt that you would miss the molasses taste if you just used the golden syrup. If you're anxious about it, you could probably use two teaspoons golden syrup and one teaspoon treacle, but the ginger and spices will probably make up for any missing molasses taste.

Brave Sir Robin said...

I think the cream is missing from your recipe??

Sound like a good combination.

Anne said...

I think you're right, BSR!! Thank you!! I've fixed the post. It appears that when I imported the recipe into SousChef, that bit of info was lost. Problem solved, and many thanks!

Bee said...

I was wondering about the cream, too! You're right, Anne. I haven't even started my Xmas cards yet, we are in London all day tomorrow, and we leave early Friday morning.

These would be wonderful for our New Year's Eve party, though. I may just do a big candy plate for dessert.

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

This is very lovely sounding and unsual! I cannot wait to try it :-)