Friday, December 22, 2006

Holiday crafting, part 6 - Cookies? We don't need no stinkin' cookies

What can I say? The Christmas cookie spirit didn't move me this year. Ordinarily I go through alarming quantities of butter and flour this time of year. For a change, I thought I would try truffles instead.

I made three batches of ganache for the truffle innards. In each case I used a ratio of 15 oz of bittersweet chocolate (about 2.5 cups) to a scant cup of heavy whipping cream. (Scant only because I wanted to save enough cream for a really good cup of coffee the next morning - I usually only have milk for my coffee)

To one batch, I added 2 Tbsp of instant coffee. When the ganache had cooled, I rolled the little balls in chocolate sprinkles. Voila - dark chocolate espresso truffles.

To a second batch, I steeped 6 green tea bags in the cream as it was heating. I thought the resulting green tea flavor was a bit too mild, so I would probably use more tea bags for future efforts. I rolled these guys in cocoa powder - I wanted to make the coating for each look different so the flavors were easily identifiable.

The last batch I left as straight dark chocolate. Then I dipped them in milk chocolate - which was a bit of a disaster. I most definitely did not master the art of evenly coating them. However, rolling the resulting blobs in chopped pecans made them more or less round and hid most of their aesthetic flaws. Looks aside, the double chocolate pecan truffles tasted really good.

Overall, this was a fun change from cookies. Rolling the truffles is insanely messy - I highly recommend wearing plastic gloves. The ingredients are a bit pricier than most cookie recipes, but you need a lot fewer truffles to make a nice looking gift for the neighbors than you do cookies, so I think it is really a wash.

If you want perfectly round, double-dipped beautiful chocolates, you are probably better off buying them. But a gob of good chocolate is going to be tasty whether it is round or slightly asymmetrical.


At 1:16 PM, Blogger Rachel said...

I love the truffle idea!


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