THEME: #262 BITTER BUT GOOD
RECIPE: CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE
What is a Chocolate Truffle?
In reality, truffle is an edible but very expensive fungi. Just a few shavings used in a dish elevates the overall flavour and taste. However, today my recipe has nothing to do with that truffle.
Specifically, Chocolate Truffles are bite sized chocolate treats or confectionery. Actually, made from ganache which is simply a mixture of melted chocolate and warmed cream.
This Week’s Theme on FoodieMonday/Bloghop Group:
This week, the group theme is Bitter but Good. Actually, Sasmita who blogs at First Timer Cook, suggested that we use any food that is naturally bitter.
Naturally Bitter Foods
By the way, when I think of bitter food, bitter gourd pops up in my mind. In fact it is widely used in the Indian Cuisine. The next bitter food is fenugreek seeds. Generally, my choice of ingredient would have been bitter gourd (hubby loves it and I hate it!). However, I didn’t get any bitter gourd. So had to check what else I could use that is naturally bitter. Also, Arugula or Rocket and Kale were not available this week – am sure next week they will be plenty on the green grocer’s shelf. Using fenugreek in abundance would mean a pickle recipe which neither of us are fans of. Eventually, landed on my next choice, cocoa and dark chocolate.
Some Recipes Using Bitter Ingredients
- Karela nu Shaak – Gujarati style dry preparation with nuts, raisins and poppy seeds.
- Sasmita loves to make Sweet and Sour Bitter Gourd Curry
- Sujata’s Crispy Bitter Gourd and Potato is usually served with rice or roti.
- Poonam makes a Bitter Gourd Podi or spice mixture which is usually served with idli, dosa or adai.
Arugula/ Rucola/ Rocket Leaves
- Using fresh kale to make a scrumptious sandwich is the best way to enjoy it. Try Renu’s Kale Broccoli and Paneer Sandwich.
- Mireille makes a delightful and comforting Kale Chickpea Soup.
- Priya VJ makes a mouth watering Vendhaya Kuzhambu. Its a fenugreek flavored Tamarind Gravy.
- Try Preethi’s Menthe Gojju or Fenugreek Curry which is served usually during summer.
- A unique pickle recipe by Kalyani where she has used sprouted fenugreek seeds – Fenugreek Sprout Pickle.
- Sichuan Eggplant Recipe, a dish prepared by Archana, is a different way to enjoy this bitter vegetable.
- You’ve got to check out Priya’s Arachuvitta Vattalkoazhamburecipe. Its all about a unique berry called Black Nightshade which is slightly bitter.
- Roasted Eggplant Dip
Lemon and Orange Peel
How Chocolate is made?
In short, Cacao seeds or cocoa seeds are roasted and ground . Incidentally, cacao seeds are naturally very bitter and must be fermented to develop a flavour. After fermentation the beans are dried, sorted and roasted. Thereafter, the shells are broken to get cacao nibs. The cacao nibs contain 50% cocoa butter and 50% cocoa solids. These are ground to make cocoa mass or chocolate liquor. This liquid is heated and pressed. Then follows the blending stage. At this stage the cocoa mass is mixed with sugar, cocoa butter, milk powder, sugar and flavors . This stage determines how the chocolate will turn out. This mixture is placed in a conche which is a container with metal beads. Slowly, the cocoa mass is conched until it becomes smooth. Next, the smooth mass is subjected to tempering, that means heating it and cooling it at intervals. Finally, its molded in the desire shape.
Bitterness of Chocolate and Cocoa Powder
As I mentioned above, the cocoa mass is naturally bitter. As a matter of fact, sweetness or bitterness of the chocolate is determined by how much sugar and milk powder is added during the blending. That is why the higher the percentage, the more cocoa mass it contains and therefore less sweeter. For example a 50% bar will be more sweeter than a 70%. Generally, the cocoa produced from drying the chocolate liquor and its not sweet. Sweetened cocoa or what e know as drinking chocolate contains sugar.
Ingredients required for Chocolate Truffles
- Dark Chocolate – I’ve used 70% dark chocolate and sometimes used 60%, depending on what I get.
- Milk Chocolate – I add a bit of the milk chocolate so that the truffles do not taste too bitter.
- Whipping Cream – can use either whipping or double cream
- Vanilla extract – for flavour
- For Coating – unsweetened cocoa powder. Can use chocolate or colored sprinkles, chopped nuts or coat the truffles with melted chocolate. Today, bearing in mind the theme, I’ve decided to use only cocoa.
- Fresh Pomegranate Arils – I love the combination of pomegranate and chocolate so stuffed the truffles with the arils. You can make plain truffles or stuff them with nuts, dried fruits or dried berries.
- Gluten free
- 200 g dark chocolate
- 30 g milk chocolate
- ½ cup whipping or double cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup pomegranate arils
- some butter for greasing
- ⅓ -½ cup unsweetened cocoa
- Grate or chop chocolate into small pieces. Using a serrated knife makes the task of chopping easier.
- Gently heat cream in a heavy bottomed saucepan over low heat.
- Don't allow it to boil. As soon as you see tiny bubbles delveloping on the sides, take the pan off the heat.
- Add grated or chopped chocolate and vanilla extract.
- Mix well till the chocolate melts completely.
- The mixture should appear smooth and shiny.
- Pour the ganache into a shallow tray and allow it to cool down in the fridge for 30-45 minutes.
- Lightly grease your hands with butter.
- Scoop about a tablespoonful of the ganache and roll it into a ball using your palms.
- Make a depression in the middle like a small cup.
- Add about one teaspoon of the pomegranate arils.
- Bring the edges together and close. Roll.
- Place the rolled ganache on a lightly greased tray.
- Repeat with the remaining ganache and pomegranate arils.
- Let the chocolate truffles chill again for 10-15 minutes.
- Roll each truffle in cocoa powder.
- Store in an airtight container till required. They taste best when chilled.
- Use chopped nuts, sprinkles, or coat with melted chocolate.
- If you replace the entire amount of dark chocolate with milk chocolate, then use less cream. Otherwise the ganache will not set.
- Do not use chocolate chips, use chocolate bars.
- Add flavour of your choice like rum, orange zest, strawberry, mint extract, etc.
- Low fat cream will not give nice creamy truffles.
- If the ganache does not roll easily then allow the mixture to chill for 30 more minutes.
- Don't roll the truffles too much as the heat from your hands will make them melt.
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