Everybody loves chocolate. Small wonder then that after they were discovered, cacao trees earned the Latin name “Theobroma Cacao,” which means “food of the gods.”
I decided to feature a chocolate recipe partly because my friend Chinwe wouldn’t stop bothering me with questions about working with chocolate. 😀
AND… I love to get my hands dirty. 😉
Chocolate work requires a good level of patience and control. In order to use chocolate to coat our truffles, it’ll have to be properly tempered – melted to a certain temperature and then cooled down while being constantly stirred, until the right working temperature has been reached.
HUH? Follow along…
Chocolate can also be mixed with a liquid (usually whipping cream) to form an emulsion called a ganache. We’ll use a flavoured version of this as the centre for our truffles.
For this recipe, you will need (Makes about 10 truffles):
- 350g Semisweet or dark chocolate chips (or block chopped) (50-60% cocoa mass)
- 100g White chocolate chips (or block chopped)
- ½ tsp. Coconut flavouring
- 50g Whipping or heavy cream (30-35% fat)
*Double boiler, microwave, food scale, spatula, food thermometer, parchment paper, food/plastic wrap, plastic disposable piping bags, mixing bowl, candy/truffle cups
*Marble or granite is the best surface to work on, in a cool or air-conditioned room. Chocolate heated to much higher temperatures than required to melt will delay results.
Ganache: Heat the double boiler to a simmer then turn to low. Scale 150g of the dark chocolate in a metal/glass bowl and place over double boiler; melt partially while stirring with spatula. Heat up the cream in microwave and pour over the melted chocolate.
Let sit for 2 minutes to melt completely then using the spatula, stir the mixture starting from the centre and working outwards to create a shiny emulsion. Add the flavouring and mix in the same manner until incorporated. Pour out the warm ganache directly onto the cool marble/granite surface and cover with food/plastic wrap.
Let sit until the ganache starts to set and the plastic wrap pulls away without much residue (about 1hr depending on room temp.) then spoon into piping bag. Line the food scale with a piece of parchment then snip the bag open and pipe the ganache in 10g drops
Let the ganache set like this (could be up to 2 hours depending on room temp.) then cup each naked truffle in one palm, rolling between the two palms until you get a nice spherical shape. Don’t over handle or it will begin to melt and get messy. Allow each truffle to rest for a moment then roll again to smoothen.
Chocolate: Melt 50g of the dark chocolate in microwave then spoon this as needed onto palm and roll the truffles one by one to give a 1st coat. Rest on parchment-lined surface.
Place the remaining dark chocolate in a metallic bowl, take out about 15-20%, and melt the rest over the double boiler, stirring constantly with spatula to melt at an even temp. Heat to 45-50 degrees Celsius, remove from double boiler and add the 20% that was reserved earlier, stir slowly and continuously until the temperature registers at around 30 degrees Celsius.
Repeat the process from the 1st coating with your freshly tempered chocolate. Rest on parchment.
White Chocolate Garnish: Repeat the tempering process for the white chocolate (or melt in the microwave if you’re in a hurry), spoon into a plastic piping bag (or paper cone for cleaner results), snip open and drizzle over each truffle. Allow to set/dry then place each truffle in a candy/truffle cup.
Nigeria is the fourth or fifth largest cocoa producer in the world, and it’s a shame that we haven’t embraced chocolate as fully as possible. Who knows? Maybe the growing farm to table movement will catch on in Naija and a new generation of Nigerian chocolatiers will emerge? Do you think Nigerians will embrace this?
Don’t mind me, as I wax philosophical. 😀 I’m just in love with chocolate, and I think you have to be too to have read this far. Anyhow, hands off my truffles! GO MAKES YOURS 😉 , or inquire about placing an order!
PS: I’d like to hear your feedback! Please like, comment, and follow my blog if you enjoyed reading/making this recipe. I promise to be as prolific in posting as you are in giving me useful (or ego boosting :D) feedback.