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There are lots of different methods for making truffles and melting chocolate.  I've used double boilers and microwaves, but recently I discovered that melting chocolate in a slow cooker is another option.  I love slow cookers.  I have 3 of them.  They're useful for making just about anything especially when you have a stove top and oven completely full or when you need consistent low heat and can't be bothered to fool around with the stove.

A lot of time and effort is dedicated to the process of melting the chocolate.  It seems a bit odd to completely ignore the chilling process in making truffles and not add a little something to that process for extra texture and taste.

This instructable describes another method for making truffles in a way that makes them fluffy and smooth with a light coating of white chocolate and crushed candy canes, perfect for the upcoming holiday season.

I've used fewer steps according to the amount of "fooling" you have to do with a particular part in the process because many of the mini-steps occur so quickly or so slowly such as with waiting and stirring.  Carefully read through the all the steps to know what will be occurring next and prepare for it.  There is buffer time between each step, but stay on your toes without getting horribly stressed.  Preparation is everything when it comes to candy-making.  In the end, it will probably taste good no matter how badly you do it - it's chocolate, cream, and candy canes.  Don't test that theory though.

I have also added notes and tips throughout the steps and have also added alternative or additional steps for a different result.  There are many points in this instructable for deviation, and I have only pointed out a few of them.  This is something that you make.  When I am testing a new recipe, I follow it as it's written.  After that, I do what I want.  Do what you want, and make it your own.

 

Step 1: Gear and Ingredients

The Gear:
-Small Slow Cooker (~1.5 quart)
-Hand Mixer
-Mixing Bowl
-Meat Pounder/Hammer
-Spatula
-Baking sheet
-Wax Paper (or silicone mat)
-Disher
-Butter Knife
-Glass (to be filled with ice water)
-Clean Kitchen Towel (not pictured)

The Ingredients:
-2 Cups of Dark Chocolate Chips
-2/3 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
-2 Cups of White Chocolate Chips
-4 Candy Canes (I've used cherry but choose whatever flavor you like)

Step 2: CLEAN

Probably the biggest and most forgotten step in making candy is cleaning, or at least for me.  You will need a full clean shelf in the fridge, lots of clean counter space/table space, and a clean empty sink.  It will make your life a whole lot easier because time is a factor, and you can't afford to realize you have no place to do such-n-such step because there's no room.  It's also easier to clean-as-you-go when you're working in a clean kitchen.

Step 3: Make the Truffle Base

For this step, you'll need:
-2 Cups of Dark Chocolate Chips
-2/3 Cup of Heavy Whipping Cream
-Slow Cooker
-Spatula


In your slow cooker, combine 2 cups of dark chocolate chips with 2/3 cup of heavy whipping cream and heat on "Warm". 

Stir with a spatula every 5-10 minutes until all of the chocolate is melted and smooth.  Be sure to scrape all the corners and sides well.

Tip:  If you have a tendency of forgetting, set a timer to alert you.

Note:  It took me approximately 6 stirs till all the chocolate was melted and ribbony. 

Note:  If you haven't ever melted chocolate before, I've added pictures to show the progress of the chocolate as it melts.  It's a little horrifying for the first half, but it will all melt - keep the faith!

Step 4: Chill and Fluff

For this step, you'll need:
-Mixing Bowl
-Truffle Base
-Hand Mixer
-Spatula


Pour the truffle base into a mixing bowl and chill for 3-5 minutes.  Wash the spatula while you wait and prep your hand mixer.

Whip the truffle base and scrape down the edges.

Chill for another 3-5 minutes.

Whip for a bit while scraping the sides.

Chill for another 3-5 minutes.

Again whip the truffle base and scrape down the sides until the mixture is very fluffy as shown in the last picture.

Return to the fridge.

Tip:  While chilling, keep the hand mixer in the bowl inside the fridge.  This will save time and effort.

Note:  No butter was used because of this chill-n-whip step.

Step 5: Form the Truffles

For forming the truffles, you will need:
-Baking Sheet
-Wax Paper
-Disher
-Butter Knife
-Glass of Ice Water (mostly ice)
-Chilled Truffle Base


Cut a sheet of wax paper to fit your baking sheet. 

Note:  I trimmed mine so it would lie flatter. 

Tip:  If you want to "glue" the wax paper down, rub a little bit of the truffle base between your fingers, touch the 4 corners of the baking sheet with your truffle-y fingers, and press the wax paper down.  It will give a little bit of insurance.  Alternatively, you can use a silicone mat instead of wax paper.

Note:  From here on out, you have to work quickly and take lots of precaution to not add any extra heat to the truffles.  When in doubt, always put it back in the fridge for a few minutes to chill again.

Scoop the truffle mix and gently tamp down with the butter knife.

Using the flat side of the knife, remove excess from the top of the disher.  This is to ensure an equal amount for more uniform truffles.

Release onto the baking sheet and cut in halves or quarters, depending on how large you want the truffles to be. 

Note:  If you want large truffles (or you're using a smaller disher than I did) and a cute ice cream scoop shape, leave them as they are.

Repeat until all the truffle base is dished and cut.

Return the truffles to the fridge on the baking sheet for 3-5 minutes. 

Pour a glass of ice water (mostly ice) and wash your hands under the coldest water until your hands are as cold as you can stand them to be.  Dry your hands well.

Remove the truffles and start gently pressing them together.  I've opted to keep them in the traditional truffle shape.  If you start getting a lot of chocolate on your hands, place your hands on the ice water to rechill your hands.  At this stage, it's best to take lots of precaution.

Tip:  Using non-powdered latex gloves will give a little more of a barrier between the heat of your hands and the truffles.

Tip:  Keep a towel on hand in case condensation starts to form on the glass.


Once all of the truffles have been shaped, return them to the fridge.

Additional Step for Different Shape:  If you want a ball-shape, take them out of the fridge after 5 minutes and carefully roll them using the same precautions as described in the shaping step.  Once rolled into a ball, carefully smoosh them onto the baking sheet so they have a bottom to keep them from rolling away from you.  Return to the fridge.

Step 6: Finishing

For this step, you'll need:
-4 Candy Canes
-Meat Pounder/Hammer
-Clean Kitchen Towel
-2 Cups of White Chocolate Chips (only 1 cup is pictured)
-Spatula
-Slow Cooker
-Chilled, formed truffles


Remove the wrappers from the candy canes and smash between two layers of of a kitchen towel.  Set aside.

Add 2 cups of white chocolate chips to the slow cooker and set the slow cooker to "Warm".

Again following the same procedure as with the truffle base, stir every 5-10 minutes until completely melted.

Note:  It's going to look absolutely terrible for the first half, and it's going to look like it's all going wrong.  It'll be lumpy and hard to stir.  Stick with it.  I've added a picture of just how bad it looks for the first bit.

Once the white chocolate is completely melted, stir in the crushed candy canes and mix with the lid off until the chocolate is easy to handle.

Note:  I do not have the next part photographed because it happens so quickly, but it's very easy.

Pull the chilled, formed truffles from the fridge.

Dip the top of each truffle into the white chocolate mix and swirl the tail that forms back onto the truffle.  Repeat until all truffles are dipped.

Tip:  If you start seeing a lot of the dark chocolate run into the white chocolate, return the truffles to the fridge for a couple minutes.

Return to the fridge for the chocolate to harden.

For an Alternative Dipping Process (changes are in bold and italics), you'll need:
-4 Candy Canes
-Meat Pounder/Hammer
-Clean Kitchen Towel
-3 Cups of White Chocolate Chips (only 1 cup is pictured)
-Spatula
-Slow Cooker
-Chilled, formed truffles


Remove the wrappers from the candy canes and smash between two layers of of a kitchen towel.  Set aside.

Add 2 cups of white chocolate chips to the slow cooker and set the slow cooker to "Warm".

Again following the same procedure as with the truffle base, stir every 5-10 minutes until completely melted.

Note:  It's going to look absolutely terrible for the first half, and it's going to look like it's all going wrong.  It'll be lumpy and hard to stir.  Stick with it.  I've added a picture of just how bad it looks for the first bit.

Once the white chocolate is completely melted, pull the chilled, formed truffles from the fridge and dip the top of each truffle into the white chocolate and swirl the tail that forms back onto the truffle.  Repeat until all truffles are dipped.  This gives a sort of "crumb coat" to the truffles.

Return the dipped truffles to the fridge.

Stir the crushed candy canes into the white chocolate and mix with the lid off until the chocolate is easy to handle.

Note:  I do not have the next part photographed because it happens so quickly, but it's very easy.

Pull the chilled, dipped truffles from the fridge.

Dip the top of each truffle into the white chocolate mix and swirl the tail that forms back onto the truffle.  Repeat until all truffles are dipped a second time.

Tip:  If you start seeing a lot of the dark chocolate run into the white chocolate, return the truffles to the fridge for a couple minutes.

Return to the fridge for the chocolate to harden.
They look great!
Wow, those look excellent.&nbsp; Great pictures, too!<br />
Thank you!!! <div id="refHTML">&nbsp;</div>
They look super yummy!&nbsp; Great photos too!<br />
Thank you!! <div id="refHTML">&nbsp;</div>
&nbsp;Hi!<br /> I was wondering if you had pictures of the finished truffles? Great work though! Great... now I want to eat truffles...
Honestly, I was making this batch for a party and ran out of time to take shots of the finished truffles on the baking sheet because they almost immediately went into a serving dish and out the door.&nbsp; Fortunately, I set a few aside to photograph after the party.&nbsp; The main image is a shot of 3 finished truffles but doesn't really show all the detail.&nbsp; I just took a close-up shot of one for a more detailed view - they kind of look like frosted brownie bites up-close but definitely don't taste like them.<br /> <br /> At the party, I drilled everyone on what they thought of them, and everyone loved them.&nbsp; They were completely gone!&nbsp; The best compliment I got was that they felt light and not heavy when eaten which was exactly what I was going for because one minor issue I have with truffles is the thick, heavy mouth-feel.&nbsp; So they've been tested by people who aren't me and my SO and who don't make up a terrible sample population such as just the two of us.&nbsp; However, it was still a convenience sample.&nbsp; Ah well...<br /> <br /> Let me know if this is what you were looking for! <div id="refHTML">&nbsp;</div>

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