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Monday, December 14, 2009

Crème de Cassis Truffles


I should call this post “Truffles for Dummies”. Thanks to Alton Brown I have found what might quite possibly be the easiest truffle recipe ever. The original is here. Like usual, I didn’t follow all the steps and changed the method and some of the ingredients but this in an incredibly forgiving and flexible recipe and can be mixed up to suit all tastes.


The original recipe calls for bittersweet chocolate. I prefer my chocolate rather sweet so I used around 3/4 sweetened chocolate and 1/4 bittersweet chocolate. Obviously the better the quality of chocolate that you use the better the taste of the truffles but run of the mill baking chocolate will still taste great.


I didn’t bother chopping up the chocolate finely before microwaving it. I put it in at 45 second intervals until it was almost all melted. I realised afterwards that I completely forgot to add butter to the chocolate as called for in the recipe. I made a second batch of truffles afterwards to which I did add the butter and the only noticeable difference was that the second batch was more firm.

Once that step was done I put it aside as I took care of the cream.


I mixed the cream and corn syrup in a pan and heated it on the stove. I didn’t bother measuring the corn syrup, I just added a squirt. The picture on top is with the cold cream, the picture on the bottom was once it was ready. The colour seemed to darken slightly once it was hot.


Once the cream was heated I poured it on top of the chocolate and left it sit there for a few minutes to melt the bits that were still solid.


Since I didn’t want to slosh my chocolate all over the counter I mixed it carefully until it was smooth and shiny. The little bumps you might see on the surface are air bubbles, not bits of unmelted chocolate in case you were wondering.


Alton Brown calls for brandy but a few weeks ago I tried crème de cassis liquor at a food fair and I completely fell in love with it. The brand that I tried is made by a family on Orleans island in front of Quebec City. It is absolutely delicious, very sweet and syrupy but not in a cloying manner. When I tasted it I knew I wanted to try it in truffles. Once again I stirred carefully until everything was incorporated.


I then poured the chocolate into a small lasagne pan and put it in the fridge to harden.


After about five hours in the fridge I took out the chocolate. I poked the middle a few times with a fork to check that it was firm enough.


I used my trusty mini ice cream scoop to make my truffles and the rolled them around in cocoa powder afterwards. In the recipe you scoop out the truffles, put them back in the fridge for 30 minutes and then shape them in your hands and dip them in melted chocolate before rolling them around in your chosen topping. I am just not that delicate and like the rustic look so I didn’t do the extra steps.


These were so good. Crème de cassis goes really well with chocolate. Next year I might use crème de framboise (raspberry). If you don’t want to use liquor you could always infuse the cream on low heat for 15 minutes with loose leaf tea, vanilla beans or orange peel and strain before adding the cream to the chocolate. Last year I used another truffle recipe, one by Ina Gartner, but this recipe was easier and tasted even better. It is super easy to double or triple for gifts and the longest part is shaping them.

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