Monthly Archives: November 2011

Nobody knows the truffles I’ve seen

Chocolate truffles

I’ve been doing a lot of reading of food blogs for my masters (speaking of which, if you want to help me out by completing my survey of food blog readers, that would be most excellent), and one of the things I’ve noticed is how food bloggers like to talk about being food bloggers. There are numerous posts on food blogs across the world that start with statements like ‘you know you’re a food blogger when…’ or end with ‘…because I’m a food blogger’. To be honest, I think it’s endearing, but I guess I have a bias.

I didn’t really think I was a proper blogger until I went to the Eat. Drink. Blog. conference and Tammi, the MC, opened the conference by saying it was a ‘caveat free zone’ – we were (are) all, one way or another, food bloggers.

Since the conference, I’ve thought about the things that make me a food blogger. Other than, obviously, having a food blog. For example, most of the photos on my camera are of food. It seems I don’t take photos of people anymore. Maybe cannibal food bloggers have cameras full of pictures of people? It certainly would be a niche audience. The other thing that makes me think that perhaps I’m a real food blogger after all is how often I rate things to cook in terms of their blogability (totally a word). For instance, the other week when my friend asked if I would make 120 chocolate truffles for her mum’s wedding, I thought, ‘that would make a good blog post’, rather than ‘no’. What’s more, I didn’t just think it, I went ahead and made them.

Chocolate truffles have been on my list of things to blog about for a while anyway, and the blog really did need a new post. Also, buying 3kg of chocolate is kind of fun. See:

chocolate, 3kg

And here’s how it looks melted:

melted chocolate, lots of

Orange chocolate truffles
I’ve based this recipe on Luke Mangan’s recipe for white chocolate truffles in the October 2002 issue of delicious. I guess that means I’ve been making them for nine years. I used to make them for birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Easter and any other reason. National holidays. Flag days. Tuesdays. Now I just make them for Christmas. And the occasional wedding. You’d think I’d be able to make them neater by now, but I’ve always had a problem with getting them nice and round. These were no different, which is why I tarted them up with some gold foil. I kind of hoped people would be so impressed/distracted by the pretty, shiny gold leaf that they wouldn’t notice how amateur the truffles looked.

For the wedding I quadrupled this recipe, so this should make 30 or so, depending on how big you want to make them. These ones have orange liqueur in them, but I’ve made them in the past with coffee, amaretto, rum and ginger, cherry liqueur – you can really put any flavour in you want.

900g dark chocolate (around 70% cocoa), chopped
60g unsalted butter, chopped
110ml thick cream
70ml orange liqueur (I used Cointreau)

Place 500g of the chocolate and butter in a bowl, and melt over a saucepan half-filled with simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water).

Heat the cream and liqueur in a small saucepan until almost boiling. If it does boil it will likely spill over, so be careful. If it does spill over, get the person who asked you to make the truffles in the first place to clean it up.

Combine the melted chocolate and butter mixture with the cream and liqueur mixture. Pour this mixture, which, incidentally, is a ganache, into a dish and freeze for a few hours.

When the ganache is firm, scoop small balls out and place them on a tray covered in foil. Freeze for several hours or overnight – you want them to be really hard so they don’t melt when you coat them in chocolate.

Take the frozen balls out of the freezer and, if they’re particularly misshapen, you can roll them between your hands until they’re smooth(er) and round(er). You might then need to freeze them again.

Melt the remaining chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Using a fork, dunk the balls in the chocolate until covered. I sort of rest the ball on a fork, rather than pierce it, and dip it in the chocolate and then wait until the excess chocolate drips off. Then I carefully place the ball on a foil covered tray. Repeat until all the balls are covered and refrigerate until the chocolate is hard. You can dust them with cocoa powder, or sometimes, just before the chocolate is set, I top them with candied orange peel. Or, if you’re feeling fancy, gold leaf.