For more information about Socola Chocolates, the author of this Instructable, check out our website www.socolachocolates.com. You can also buy our chocolates online here.
Step 1: Mis en place: Gathering Ingredients and Equipment
The basic truffle is comprised of a few main ingredients: chocolate, cream, butter and invert sugar. Together these ingredients form the center of the truffle or ganache. You can choose to infuse your ganache with wide range of flavors. For example, at Socola we infuse our ganaches with Vietnamese espresso (ca phe sua), fruits and even beer! For this recipe we will do use weight measures since they are more accurate
For the centers (makes about 50 truffles):
- 6 ounces of whipping cream
- 1/4 cup invert sugar*
- 1/4 cup jasmine pearl tea
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened at room temperature)
- 10 ounces of chocolate finely chopped (70% dark recommended)
For Tempering or Rolling:
- 16 ounces of chocolate for dipping (6 ounces as seed chocolate)
- or unsweetened cocoa powder for rolling truffles
- parchment paper
- 8-inch square pan
- medium saucepan
- medium stainless steel bowl
- rubber spatula
- offset spatula (if you have it)
- plastic wrap
- mesh sieve
- cheese cloth
- dipping fork if dipping (regular fork will do)
*The main purpose of adding invert sugar is to make the ganache smooth and rich. It also helps the stabilize the form of the ganache. You can find invert sugar at your local candy/baking supply store.
Step 2: Making the Ganache
Line the bottom and sides of the 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. The easiest want to do this is flip it upside down and fold the parchment paper to the heigh of the pan (top and bottom). Make sure that you don't fold all four sides so that you can have some handles to pull the ganache out by later.
Stir the cream and invert sugar together in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Add the jasmine tea and stir the mixture. Cover the pan with parchment paper or foil and let sit for 15 minutes.
Note: In the photos below, we did not have loose tea and used tea bags for the purposes of photos. You should try to use loose leaf tea which are going to make the ganache more aromatic.
While you are letting the tea steep with the cream, put the chocolate into the medium stainless steel bowl.
Make a water bath (aka bain marie). Get a medium pan and fill it up a third of the way with water, place on stove until water is simmering. Put the stainless steel bowl (with chocolate) into the water bath. (Careful not to get any water in the chocolate! They are not friends and will cause the chocolate to seize). Stir until melted through but not extremely hot. You don't want the chocolate to heat over 115 degrees. If you have a thermometer this would be a good time to use it. Periodically pull the bowl out of the water bath and stir so that it does not over heat. Once it is melted through, take it out of the water bath.
Strain the cream through a sieve lined with cheesecloth to remove any residual tea. Squeeze the cheesecloth to remove all the cream. Pour it back into a measuring cup to make sure that the liquid measure back up to the original amount (add some more cream if not).
Step 3: Ganache - Combine the Cream with the Chocolate
Once the cream is boiling, pull it off the heat and pour it over your bowl of melted chocolate in the stainless steel bowl. Let sit for 30 seconds. Start stiring the mixture from the center of the bowl, making small circles and then larger ones until you incorporate all the cream with the chocolate. Add the softened butter and continue to stir until no butter remains visible.
Step 4: Ganache - Pour Into Pan, Cover and Chill
Go onto step 5 or 6 depending on whether or not you plan to dip the ganache.
If you plan to just roll them into truffles go to step 5.
If you plan to dip them then go to step 6 for tempering chocolate.
Step 5: Ganache - Rolling Into Truffles
Remove the plastic wrap and place face down on a cutting board face down. Cut the ganache into 1 inch squares.
Take each square and drop into the cocoa powder. With the palm of your hands roll the square into a ball. Place them into a bowl or air tight container making sure to add additional cocoa powder so they do not stick together.
Eat immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 30 days. Before serving take them ot of the refrigerator and allow them to come to room temperature. Enjoy!
Step 6: Ganache - Dipping Ganache
Remove the ganache from the refrigerator once firm and let come to room temperature (about 2 hours).
Using a medium stainless steel bowl, start melting the chocolate over the water bath (bain marie). You will need and instant read thermometer for this so that the chocolate does not go over 115 degrees.
Melt the chocolate all the way through over the water bath making sure the temperature does not go over 115 degrees. Once it gets close to 110, pull the bowl out of the water bath and stir to make sure it does not go over. Once your chocolate is melted through remove from the water bath. Stir the chocolate so that it reduces down in temperature to 100 degrees.
If you are planning on dipping the ganache, use an offset spatula to apply a thin coat of chocolate on the ganache, making sure to even it out. Set aside and let the chocolate harden. This hard layer of chocolate on the bottom of the ganache prevents the ganache from melting through the dipping fork when dipping the truffle centers into the warm coating layer of chocolate.
Step 7: Tempering
When you do not temper and just melt the chocolate through without tempering, the chocolate may be unstable at room temperature and develop a bloom (slightly graying of the chocolate) and not have that snap.
Tempering temperatures vary for each type of chocolate used. Please go to the website of the chocolate company to get the exact tempering temperatures. Some chocolates will go with a method of heating and then cooling down to a working temperature range.
The brand of chocolate we use, E. Guittard, requires a process of heating, cooling and then heating again to get to the working temperature range. Also we use bar chocolates as seed chocolate so that they are easier to remove from the chocolate later on in the process.
Continue stirring the chocolate bowl until the temperature reaches 100 degrees. At this point you can add in the seed chocolate. This will aid an reducing the temperature more rapidly. Once the temperature reaches 84 degrees, remove the seed chocolate.
Heat up the water bath to a low simmer, place the stainless steel bowl back into the water bath and heat up to 88 degrees. Be careful not to heat it over 90 degrees or else it will go out of temper!
Now your chocolate is ready for dipping!
Step 8: Dip the Ganache Squares
Carefully drop it into the chocolate and use your rubber spatula to cover the top.
Pull up the fork and drag the bottom of the fork onto the top of spatula to remove excess chocolate.
Slide the chocolate onto your parchment lined pan and garnish.
Step 9: Garnish the Chocolates & Enjoy!
For the Jasmine chocolates, you could also choose to put a chocolate design on top or sprinkles. It's all up to you.
Let harden at room temperature for at least an hour and cut off the extra edges off the chocolate if desired. Put in candy cups and give as gifts, or eat them yourself!
For more information about Socola Chocolates check out our website at www.socolachocolates.com/
or, buy our truffles at our online store.