Nov 19, 2007

Truffle twist

Oh my goodness! What a relief! This truffle-xperimentation has been on my mind for quite a while, and I have finally found some time to try it out! Yay!

It has been weeks since I've wanted to do a salted caramel based truffle, and here it finally is! Just four simple ingredients for pure delight (recipe is posted at the end).

Dark chocolate + cream for the ganache. Salted almonds. Sugar. Et voila, that's it really!

Oh no, wait!! OOPS! There is also unsweetened cocoa that needs to be included in the photo! Sorry, I just realized that now as I'm writing this very sentence. So that means 5 ingredients in total- which is still not a lot.

These truffles are easy, but it does take time to make- and I'm a bit messy with the cocoa flying all over the place on the kitchen floor! You do have to be patient, and don't screw up the caramel.

My mom told me that her grandma uses this technique for determining when the caramel is ready- you get a small glass of water and drop in a spot of caramel. If it hardens, then it's ready, if it floats and is still liquidy, then it's not ready. I'm not sure what the reasoning is behind that, but I do use that piece of advice because great grandma says so!

Basically, as you will see in the recipe down below, that gorgeous caramel is nothing more then a hot sticky bath for salted almonds to roll that they can look like this:

And then they get rolled again into a dark chocolate ganache, so that they can look like this:

And THEN finally, they get rolled into unsweetned cocoa and decorated with jewels of crispy salted caramel (which are actually the pieces of hardened caramel that get stuck on the pan- I break them off and use them for decoration).

So there it is (above with another strawberry flavoured chocolate thing I did). One thing however: it was a pain in the butt to balance out the salt. My almonds were already salty, but I didn't taste any saltiness once they were caramelized. So I kept adding salt, and more of it, and more of it, and realized that the quantities I was adding went far beyond a "pinch of salt"...until I could FINALLY start tasting something!!! I had to keep nibbling pieces of almonds, and then see how it came out with the ganache- because that would hide the saltiness even more- so at the end of so much tasting, I gave up, and left it to my tasters who found the proportions just right. Phew!

As for the recipe, I'm not precise with the dosages, but the most important bit is using a good logic for the ganache. I usually make it this way:

Salted Caramel Almond Chocolate Truffles


For the ganache:

  • 100gr dark chocolate

  • 50 gr cream

For the salted caramel almonds:

  • Salted almonds (count the number of truffles you want to make, 1 almond per truffle)

  • Sugar (enough to make caramel that would coat your chosen quantity of almonds)

  • Salt- just incase

  • Unsweetened cocoa for final coating

How to make'em:

  1. Bring cream to heat until it starts bubbling, but don't let it burn!!

  2. Remove from heat, and add the chocolate. Swirl and let it melt to form a smooth non-bumpy shiny ganache

  3. Cover and place in fridge for about 1 hour

  4. In the meantime...Start making caramel- sugar in a pan over heat. If it hardens, add a bit of water gradually

  5. While it's still liquidy and in it's perfect golden colour, add the almonds. Use a wooden spatula and keep mixing so that the almonds don't stick to the pan.

  6. Remove almonds and place on a plate covered with baking paper. The almonds should normally be easy to seperate incase they are stuck to each other

  7. 1 hour has gone by...take the ganache out of the fridge and prepare your mise-en-place: essential for non-messy truffle making. Have the ganache, cocoa, almonds, and an empty plate ready in the correct order (whatever you feel most comfortable with)

  8. Roll each each almond into the ganache, and then roll into the cocoa. One almond per truffle. If you have some hardened caramel leftover in your pan, you can use that to decorate your truffles.

In France, truffles are quite a Christmas-y thing, so I think I will be making those again to share and to give away!


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chefledarney said...

Just found your blog, wonderful. Loads of great experiences, photos and addictive recipes.

Love it!

Marianna said...

Thank you so much for your comment, especially coming from someone so talented as yourself!! :-)

Mandy said...

oh my god, the truffles must be tasting so good! I can't wait to try it out.