One of the confection cookbooks I’ve had great success with so far is Carole Bloom’s Truffles, Candies, & Confections, especially when it comes to truffles. I’ve tried her milk chocolate truffles, mocha truffles, and chocolate raspberry truffles — all of which yielded truffles of perfect flavor and texture — and adapted her cappuccino truffles for a white-chocolate ganache. Kudos to her for her carefully written, thorough instructions as well.
When I made Bloom’s already-fabulous chocolate-raspberry truffle recipe for the second time, I upped the amount of raspberries slightly, both for convenience — 12-ounce packages of frozen raspberries were easy to find in my area — and for a little extra raspberry zip. I also changed the procedure slightly, adding the step of an initial hand dipping with untempered chocolate. And I upped the amount of chocolate required for dipping and used a colored-white-chocolate drizzle for garnish instead of her originally prescribed cocoa powder.
To incorporate the heated cream into the melting chocolate while making the ganache, Bloom suggests using a whisk, rubber spatula, or immersion blender. I prefer using the spatula because it makes it easier to incorporate the mixture from the sides of the bowl, it won’t get clogged up by a mass of unmelted chocolate like a whisk might, and it is easier to clean than an immersion blender.
Recipe source: Gently adapted from the book Truffles, Candies, & Confections: Techniques and Recipes by Carole Bloom. Ten Speed Press, 2004. p. 46-47
Yield: About 60 truffles
- 1 (12-ounce) package frozen raspberries — no sugar added, defrosted. Or a generous cup of fresh raspberries.
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Up to 4 1/2 pounds bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, divided (I used E. Guittard’s L’Etoile du Premiere 58%.)
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 Tablespoons corn syrup
- 2 Tablespoons framboise or Chambord (I used Crème de Framboise; I’m not sure how that differs from the prescribed liqueurs.)
- up to 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 8 ounces white chocolate
- Red oil-based candy coloring (Do not use water-based coloring!)
- Purée the raspberries in a food processor or blender, then strain the mixture to remove the seeds. Mix the purée with the sugar in a 1-quart saucepan, and cook the mixture over medium heat until it is reduced by half, about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- Place one pound of the chocolate in a 2-quart microwave-friendly mixing bowl. In a one-quart saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream to a boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate. Let the cream-chocolate mixture stand for one minute, then stir together with a rubber spatula until smooth. If stubborn bits of unmelted chocolate remain, microwave the mixture for 10- or 15-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until all the chocolate has melted. Add the corn syrup, reduced raspberry purée, and liqueur, and mix thoroughly.
- Cover the ganache, let cool to room temperature, and chill in the refrigerator until thick but not stiff (2 to 3 hours). Or let the ganache sit at cool room temperature for several hours or overnight until thick enough to scoop or pipe.
- Line two half-sheet baking sheets with parchment paper. Fit a 12-inch-or-larger pastry bag with a tip with a 1/2-inch opening, or snip a similarly-sized opening at the tip of a disposable pastry bag, and pipe out mounds about one inch in diameter. Or use a small ice-cream scoop (the Zeroll #100 EZ Disher is a perfect size) to form the mounds. Cover the mounds with plastic wrap, or use a half-sheet pan cover if you have one, and chill in the refrigerator until mounds are firm enough to roll, about 6 hours.
- Remove the ganache mounds from refrigerator. Add about 2 Tablespoons of the cocoa to a sandwich-sized plate; dust your hands with some cocoa powder as well. Roll the mounds into balls, dipping mounds into cocoa and adding more cocoa to your hands or the plate as necessary to prevent the ganache from sticking to your hands, the parchment, or each other. Work quickly enough so you don’t overwarm or oversoften the ganache. These are, of course, the truffle centers. Cover and refrigerate the centers until firm.
- Smoothly line another two half-sheet pans with aluminum foil. Melt — but don’t temper — about 1 pound of the bittersweet chocolate. Quickly hand-dip the cold centers in the chocolate and place them on the prepared pans. Return dipped centers to the refrigerator until chocolate is set. (Once the chocolate is set, you can wait several hours, or even day or so if necessary, before proceeding.) Reserve the remaining chocolate for future use.
- Remove the pre-dipped truffle centers from the fridge and bring to cool-room temperature. Smoothly line two more baking sheets with aluminum foil, or use acetate sheets to line the sheets. Melt and temper three pounds of the bittersweet chocolate and dip each center with a dipping fork, or hand-dip the truffles a second time, making sure that you do not introduce additional flat edges to the truffles as you drop them on the baking sheet. Let set at room temperature, if desired, or proceed immediately to the next step.
- Melt and temper the white chocolate. Add food coloring to the tempered white chocolate a little at a time until you get your desired shade of red. Using a spoon, parchment cone, or small pastry bag fitted with a thin round tip, drizzle the chocolate over the truffles. Allow drizzle to set at room temperature. After the covering and the drizzle is fully set, place the truffles in candy cups (if desired), then move the truffles to an airtight container, preferably while you’re wearing a thin cotton glove to prevent fingerprints.
- Bloom tells us that “in a tightly covered container wrapped in several layers of aluminum foil, the truffles will keep for one month in the refrigerator or two months in the freezer,” though other experts would say that the truffles can keep well at cool room temperature without the need for all that aluminum foil. However they are stored, be sure to bring them to room temperature before eating.