Fast forward a few years. In the process of planning a wedding and then soon after having a baby, I ended up finding some lovely girlfriends in the same vein. A few of them had birthdays earlier this month and in honor of their friendship, I made them truffles. I know, you wish you were born in February now, don't you? I'm sorry, you'll have to take that up with your mother. These truffles also satisfy my vow to make handmade gifts all year long.
This recipe comes from Robert Linxe, the founder of La Maison du Chocolat and one of the most highly regarded chocolatiers in the world. Apparently he gives out his recipe freely because he knows you'll never be able to duplicate the quality of his ingredients--both the cream and the chocolate are made especially for him. No seriously, unless you're able to get your cream from Switzerland and have cacao plantations of your own, you're kind of screwed. I think a lot of chocolate lovers will settle for your best interpretation though. He infuses a lot of his truffles with herbs and flavorings, but I took a very traditional approach and left the chocolate alone. My real life truffle and taste tester even liked them and he typically doesn't like truffles. I know (rolls her eyes).
I love making ganache and you have to make ganache to make truffles. It's so pretty and shiny.
The thing with truffles though, they're not all that pretty. I'm not talking about those that are machine made, perfectly spherical, and decorated all fancy.True chocolate truffles look like they were just dug up out of the earth, but taste a whole lot better. Nothing a little paper cup can't fix! You should always close your eyes and savor when eating chocolate anyway.
I had a lot of fun making the truffles. Especially because it required wearing these:
I thought it would be funny to put my ring over top the latex gloves like I was going to some ball wearing elbow length gloves instead of staying in on a Friday night. Ok, I thought it was funny for like a second and then removed it. This is what happens when you are left alone with a one year old most of the time. You start to use your imagination! Doesn't it look like Oprah's Dr. Oz when he's about to show you something gross? Of course I have nothing gross to show you, because even when chocolate is ugly, it's good.
Robert Linxe’s Chocolate Truffles
11 ounces Valrhona chocolate (56% cacao)
2/3 cup heavy cream
Valrhona cocoa powder for dusting
Finely chop 8 ounces of the chocolate and put in a bowl.
Bring heavy cream to a boil in a small heavy saucepan.
Pour the cream over the chocolate, mashing any big pieces with a wooden spoon.
Then stir with a whisk in concentric circles making sure not to beat or you will incorporate air. Stir with whisk until the ganache is smooth.
Let stand at room temperature until thick enough to hold a shape, about 1 hour (it took longer for me so I put them in the fridge for a bit), then, using a pastry bag with a 3/8-inch opening or tip, pipe into mounds (about 3/4 inch high and 1 inch wide) on parchment-lined baking sheets. When piping, finish off each mound with a flick of the wrist to soften and angle the point tip. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt 3 more ounces of the same Valrhona and smear some on a gloved hand. Gently rub each chilled truffle to coat lightly with chocolate.
Toss the truffles in unsweetened Valrhona cocoa powder. A fork is the best tool for tossing truffles in the cocoa powder. Shake truffles in a sieve to eliminate excess cocoa powder.
Store truffles in the refrigerator.