It’s day three of Advent, and I have a completely different type of recipe to share—chocolate truffles! I have made these truffles over and over again for years since they are relatively simple and absolutely delightful.
Day 3: Cocoa-Dusted Chocolate Truffles
Difficulty Level: Impressive Challenge
Growing up, I was not a hardcore chocolate fan, especially dark chocolate. But, I now appreciate the finesse and simplicity of these sophisticated treats. Dark chocolate, much like an aged cheese, gives you a mouthful of flavor to savor with each small bite. One small truffle is enough to satisfy a craving for something sweet, and it has far fewer calories than most other goodies like cookies and cake. One potent truffle and a cup of green tea is the perfect remedy for the post-lunch slump that plagues me (and many of you also, I’m sure).
These five-ingredient, decadent dark chocolate truffles are inspired from Laduree Bakery in Paris. They made their way to the “impressive challenge” list because working with chocolate can be difficult for novices. In this recipe, you need the butter to be very soft, but not melted. There are a number of things you can do ensure that your ganache is smooth and use-able, instead of “broken” and un-useable. For example, don’t add too much cream! Also, make sure you use dark chocolate that is at least 70% cacao solids. If you use milk chocolate or a dark chocolate that is under 70%, there are unaccounted for milks solids, and you risk your ganache not coming together.
But, other than that, this is really a straightforward recipe and relatively simply if you closely follow the directions. Also, dusting them in cocoa is very forgiving for any formation imperfections! A few homemade truffles in a treat bag or box is the perfect way to spread some holiday cheer.
So many truffles!
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter (60g)
- 9 ounces 70% cacao solids, high-quality dark chocolate, finely chopped* (250g)
- 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream (150ml)
- 1 tablespoon + 1 ½ teaspoon granulated sugar (20g)
- 1 ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (~100g)
- Cut the butter into small pieces and microwave it until it is very soft and creamy, but not melted. Whisk it until it is homogeneous.
- Place the finely chopped chocolate in a large bowl. In a small pot, bring the heavy whipping cream and sugar to a boil. As soon as it starts to boil, pour 1/3 of the hot liquid over the chocolate. Using a rubber spatula, fold the cream into the chocolate, until the chocolate starts to melt. After about 30 seconds, pour another 1/3 of the hot liquid over the chocolate and repeat the process. Repeat the process for the remaining 1/3 of the cream. Fold the softened butter into the chocolate using a rubber spatula. Your ganache should be smooth and creamy. (If you added too much cream, too much butter, or did not use dark chocolate, your ganache will be “broken,” meaning that no matter how much you mix it, it will not come together.)
- Pour the ganache into a baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cooled completely (1 hour). Remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to reach room temperature (30 minutes). Once the ganache is room temperature, it should be pliable. Transfer it to a piping bag with a 10-point tip, and pipe small rounds onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Then, refrigerate the truffles for 30 minutes, until they are firm.
- Place the unsweetened cocoa powder into a small bowl. Remove the truffles from the refrigerator and roll them in the cocoa powder. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- *It is imperative that your chocolate is finely chopped. Otherwise, the warm cream will not melt it, and you will be unable to pipe your ganache because there will be chunks of chocolate that will get stuck in the piping tip.