Sunday, March 8, 2009

Caramel Chocolate Truffles

When I was making my coconut milk truffles a few weeks ago, I got the notion to try to make a caramel truffle too. I was toying between a caramel center, enrobed in dark chocolate, or a caramel infused chocolate. With some help from a good friend and lover of chocolate himself, we created this recipe:

Caramel Chocolate Truffles
1 lb. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used Callebaut 60%)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp water
1/8 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
seeds & pulp of one vanilla bean (very optional)
toasted pecans for coating

1. Chop the chocolate as evenly as possible. Place in a glass bowl and set aside.


2. In a heavy bottom sauce pan, place the sugar, salt and water. Heat over medium-high heat until the sugar is completely dissolved and bubbles start forming. (You can use a pastry brush dipped in a bit of water to go around the inside edge of the pan to help prevent crystals from forming.)


The sugar is beginning to darken around the edges.

When its almost as dark as you want it - and you want it pretty dark here - remove it from the heat.

See that smoke coming off the burning sugar?!
PSA - Turn the vent or hood on BEFORE starting this process or else the smoke detector is going to start blaring.

3. Add the cream to the caramelized sugar and stir to combine.
You can see I used a much larger pot than necessary. This is because hot sugar + room temp or cold cream = splatters. Be very careful.


4. Pour the hot caramel over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is smooth.


5. Add in the butter, vanilla and vanilla pulp and continue to stir until well incorporated.

6. Cover the chocolate mixture (now a ganache) with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. If you go overnight, take the bowl out 1 hour before attempting to roll truffles, so it can warm up a bit.
7. Set up three stations. One for forming the truffles (you will need a melon baller or round spoon, something to help start the shape). A bowl or plate for coating the truffles in nuts. And a dish or plate for the finished product.




8. Scoop the ganache with the spoon/baller. Try to keep them as uniform as you can, but its up to you what size. (I used a teaspoon, but was generous with the portioning)

9. Roll the portions between your hands - you might want to don food-safe, powder free gloves for this part.

10. Place the formed truffle into the nut mixture and roll it around to coat.

11. Place truffle on plate/tray.

12. When you are done, store them flat in a cool, dry place - like a tupperware. (If its warm out, storing them in the fridge is great, just be wary of what else is in your fridge... like onions.)

13. It is important to set some aside for the cook, or else they will disappear without you having the proper chance to taste test them.


Overall, I thought these were good, but could be even better. The caramel flavor is subtle; if I didn't know it was in there I am not sure I would be able to pick it out. The ganache itself was much firmer than the coconut truffle batch, so I think there is a lot of room to work this recipe to include even more caramel next time.

I will probably omit the vanilla bean pulp, there is no need, and with the ganache this stiff it would be easy to add another teaspoon of vanilla extract instead. No gluten, but definitely more testing required.

2 comments:

  1. This was good, but the recipe still needs some tweaking... aka more testing and tasting will have to occur.

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