Chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is high in antiinflammatories and antioxidants that may help prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease, and maintain cognitive function. In fact, chocolate is so good and good for you that this month we are doubling down on recipes that include it.
This recipe for American Chocolate Truffles will have you singing Yankee Doodle Dandy. The recipe was sent to CCSA as part of a series of emails from our resident chef, Dr. Linda Doody. She began sharing her extensive collection of favorite recipes and testing of new recipes with friends, family, and the CCSA team as a means of maintaining connections during the COVID-19 pandemic and it has since become a company tradition.
“Moderation, honey, in all things but love and chocolate. That’s my motto.”
– Barbara Bretton
American Chocolate Truffles
Cocolat, Alice Medrich (1990)
- Ganache Centers
- 1 cup heavy cream (unsterilized)
- 10 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (use a good chocolate, such as Callebaut or Valrhona)
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- ¼ cup Grand Marnier or other liqueur
- Chocolate Coating
- 1½–2 pounds semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (use a good chocolate, such as Callebaut or Valrhona)
- Ganache Centers
- Chop 10 ounces chocolate and place in a bowl with the butter; set aside. In a small saucepan, bring cream to a simmer. Remove from heat and pour over chocolate and butter. Stir gently with a rubber spatula until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is smooth. Do not whisk or stir briskly or the texture of the truffle will be granular instead of perfectly smooth. Stir in liqueur. Let cool without stirring. Refrigerate until very firm, at least 4 hours, or longer if necessary.
- Scrape a small ice cream scoop or spoon across the surface of the cold ganache, and shape ganache with hands into 1-inch balls. Place balls in a pan and freeze, uncovered, for several hours or overnight, until very hard. Centers may be frozen up to 2 months, wrapped well.
- Chocolate Coating
- Have ready a lined baking sheet and a large shallow pan. Melt 1½–2 pounds chocolate in a clean, dry medium bowl set in a pan of barely simmering water, or microwave on medium (50%) for about 5 minutes. Stir frequently to hasten melting. Be sure that all utensils are dry, and no moisture is introduced into the chocolate. (*Note:* Moisture will cause melted chocolate to seize.) When the chocolate is smooth and melted (about 115–120°F), remove from the water bath, if used, and wipe the bottom of the bowl dry. Pour chocolate into the clean, dry shallow pan.
- Remove half of the centers from the freezer. Dip each center, using one hand to place a ball into chocolate. Using the other hand, scoop chocolate on top of the ball. Push the ball back and forth in the melted chocolate until entirely coated. Pick up the coated center and shake off extra chocolate by flicking your hand upward or to the side; this is to avoid formation of a “foot” on the bottom of the truffle. Place the coated truffle on a baking sheet lined with waxed or parchment paper. Repeat the dipping procedure, always using one hand to pick up the frozen center and the other to manipulate it in the melted chocolate. Work as quickly as possible and avoid holding the truffle longer than necessary. When you are finished dipping the first half of the frozen centers, remove the other half from the freezer and continue to dip. Place the sheet of dipped truffles in the refrigerator to set the coating. Once the coating is set, remove truffles from paper and store in a closed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 3 months.
Alice Medrich is a self-taught baker who went into business in 1976 at the urging of friends to satisfy demand for her chocolate truffles (a Christmas tradition learned from her landlady in Paris in 1972). While she was perfecting the dipping method, her truffles became much larger than the bite-size version found in France. This Cocolat version has become the American standard.