The following Kitchen Deconstructed experiment was put together by Tessa Arias, the multi-talented blogger behind Handle the Heat and cookbook author of Cookies and Cream: Hundreds of Ways to Make the Perfect Ice Cream Sandwich. Be sure to check out her blog and Ultimate Brownie Recipe Guide.
There’s no gift quite as sweet as homemade candy. Though for many bakers, making candy at home can seem daunting and a task best reserved for the professionals. To introduce you to the wonderful world of homemade candies, I’m going to break down a simple chocolate truffle recipe and through my experimentation teach you how to use its method to make five surprisingly different truffles.
Share the following truffle findings in one Pinterest pin My chief control recipe relies on a standard chocolate ganache base. This recipe also requires coating the truffles in tempered chocolate (learn to temper chocolate here). However, if you want to make your truffles without tempering chocolate, simply coat the truffle balls in melted chocolate and refrigerate until ready to serve. You can even add a teaspoon of coconut oil to help the chocolate harden.
Control Recipe Makes about 24 truffles
- 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Prepared Tempered Chocolate
- Place chocolate and butter in a medium heat-proof bowl. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream to a boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and butter. Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes before whisking until melted and smooth. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 1 hour, or until slightly firmed.
- Use a small 2-teaspoon spring-loaded scoop, form mounds of chocolate onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Refrigerate 15 minutes. Roll the mounds into balls with the palms of your hands. Return the truffles to the baking sheet and chill for another 30 minutes, or until firm. Dip the balls in prepared tempered chocolate. Let chocolate set before serving. The truffles can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Corn Syrup For my first batch I took the control recipe and simply added one tablespoon of light corn syrup along with the cream. As a result, the truffle mix was a little easier to shape and the resulting truffles were fudgier and chewier than the ultra smooth and rich control recipe. I ended up preferring the result of these corn syrup truffles to that of the control recipe.
Sweetened Condensed Milk To experiment with condensed milk, I used eight ounces of semisweet chocolate and 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk. I didn’t use any butter or cream like in the control recipe; I just heated the milk and chocolate together until melted. Then chilled the mixture as I did in the control recipe. These truffles were easier to shape than the control recipe and didn’t require as long of a chilling period.
Taking a bite into them was much like taking a bite into a hunk of chocolate-coated fudge—meaning they were very sweet and much firmer than the control recipe. The truffles were far too sweet for my taste and possibly my least favorite batch. If I were to make sweetened condensed milk truffles again, it would have to be with bittersweet or even unsweetened chocolate.
Cream Cheese Like the condensed milk batch, I didn’t use cream or butter for these truffles, this time replacing the pair with cream cheese. This meant the only ingredients were four ounces of room temperature cream cheese and eight ounces of semisweet chocolate. I beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth then gradually added the melted and cooled (but not hardened) semisweet chocolate. I chilled until firm then shaped into balls.
The truffle mix ended up being too firm and the most difficult to shape out of all the batches. The firm texture carried through to the mouthfeel and they ended up being the hardest to bite into. So while I liked the slightly tangy flavor the cream cheese, the texture definitely wasn’t a favorite.
Oreo Cookies Some of the most popular truffle recipes I’ve seen floating around the web have been those featuring ground Oreo cookies. So for this batch, I veered away from the control recipe’s ingredient list and the only two ingredients I used were eighteen whole Oreo cookies and four ounces of room temperature cream cheese.
In the bowl of a mini food processor, I pulsed the cookies until finely ground then added the cream cheese and pulsed until combined. I chilled the mixture until firm then shaped into balls and followed the rest of the control recipe’s method. This batch was by far the easiest to make and work with.
The finished truffles had a completely different texture to all the other batches—they were almost grainy (but in a pleasant way) and overall more substantial in mouthfeel than the others. They ended up being my favorite, which surprised me a little, because they weren’t as decadently rich as some of the other batches.
If you are familiar with Brazilian food, you’ve probably heard of the Brigadeiro, a chocolate truffle made from cocoa powder, butter, and condensed milk. To create my own take on the Brigadeiro, I used three tablespoons unsalted butter, 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, and 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk in lieu of the control recipe’s ingredients.
Usually a Brigadeiro is coated with cocoa powder or sprinkles, but because I wanted to maintain the method from my control recipe, I went ahead and gave mine a tempered chocolate coating. The recipe was easy to make and shape. Unlike the Sweetened Condensed Milk batch, these truffles used unsweetened cocoa powder so they weren’t overly sweet. Instead, they were super rich and fudgy, yet still soft—making them quite enjoyable.
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