Sunday, February 16, 2014

Swiss Chocolate Truffles

Swiss Truffles - An ode to love 

There are times when you love something you have made in your kitchen and then if you are crazy like I am you still search for recipes to just look around and decide on one recipe and oh my oh my oh my you realize your earlier attempts were nothing but failures once you find your perfect recipe. I believe a recipe is like a love affair which needs time and extra attention to grow.

Now Chocolate truffles are a cause of sheer delight for all chocolate lovers. I have made it hundreds of times and everybody has loved it but it was not until I followed Oliver's recipe that I realized his was the perfect recipe for me. It yielded soft, smooth, silky balls to die for. To be fair the French might have invented it but the Swiss I must say have mastered the recipe. This recipe is a sheer joy for anyone. Its simply and uses 3 ingredients. Usually for French recipes you do not have any added butter just chocolate and cram does the work but for Swiss chocolate truffles you usually have a third buttery ingredient.

Now working with chocolates is not a piece of cake though if a few simple rules are followed its not that difficult. The greatest problem with chocolate is that it is as fragile as a Victorian lady. A drop of water can seize it (making it dry crumbly and not smooth and silky) , a bit of extra temperature can ruin it but with truffles you need not worry about any such disasters and so it is easy and a perfect dessert for first timers. The only thing you need is patience. These are soft buttery smooth chocolaty but they take time to set. I suggest starting with your preparation two days ahead of the big day.

What you need for the two lovebirds are: -

220gm of dark chocolate
200gm of  fresh cream
1.2 tbsp butter
100gm of almonds or pistachios or pine nuts
125gm of chopped dark chocolate (in case one wants a chocolate coating)

Chop the chocolates as finely as possible. Warm the cream but do not bring to a boil. When you see little bubbles simply keep pouring it bit by bit and keep stirring the cream and chocolate with a wooden spatula. You must make sure that all the chocolate is melted and mixes well with the cream so that there are no lumps. When you have finished mixing the cream and chocolate add the butter and mix well. Butter adds a lovely shine to this recipe. In case you feel there are a few lumps of chocolate here is what you do.
Bring a smaller pan of water to boil and then simmer the water and place your bowl of truffle on top. Keep stirring and when you find it completely smooth and silky take ti off the heat and let it cool down and when cooled completely put it in the refrigerator and leave it overnight to set. You must remember to never ever use direct heat to your truffles.

Now chocolates can be coated in different formats either with melted chocolate (the most difficult to work with) but rolling them in nuts is the best way to go because it adds extra flavour and taste and you find yourself to be in heaven but just in case you are allergic to nuts or do not like nuts I shall share my secrets of chocolate coating with you.

So in case you are nuts and nuts I suggest using almonds or pine nuts or pistachios. Blanch the nuts and skin them then dry them completely and toast them. You may either so it on gas-stove by using low flame for 3 minutes on each side or till it turns golden or use the convection. Toasting them enhances the flavours .Crush them but do not grind them finely. So if using a mortar and pestle you know when to stop. In case you are using the blender I suggest less than 10 seconds. You will find rolling the soft truffles in the nuts and shaping them in balls much more easy than using the chocolate coat on truffles. Roll them in the grounded nuts and let it rest for a few hours and you have your delicious truffles ready. Now I do not suggest storing them for long because storing them can be a bit difficult unless you have the wrappers and all. In case you still want to store them I suggest using an air-tight container.

I have written a big post on all the information I could gather on chocolates so do take a look All about Chocolates but I suggest you follow the recipe of truffles from this post.

Tempered chocolate must be silky and smooth 

In case you are coating the chocolates with melted chocolate it will be highly difficult to work without a mould but not impossible. Shape the balls with two spoons. Have your melted chocolate ready by chopping them real fien and melting them on a double boiler and use a fork to hold the chocolate and coat them. You have to be very quick because chocolate starts solidifying at room temperature very easily and as I have already mentioned extra heat simply seizes it. Let them set for a few hours.

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