Written by Chris –
Truffles are the simplest of candy to make; cream, chocolate, and a little bit of time is all it takes to create something blissfully elegant, decadent and delicious. All dressed up, they make the perfect bite-size ending to a meal.
I have been making truffles for years. Working at Nestlé, it’s bound to happen, right? Even if I didn’t work in the Nestlé Kitchens, I’d still be making chocolate truffles. It really is the easiest candy to make!
The other day, I felt like making truffles, but I had one problem; I didn’t have heavy cream in the house. I had never made chocolate truffles without cream. What’s a girl with a truffle craving to do? Well, I improvised.
I had Coffee-mate Natural Bliss Sweet Cream on hand, which contains milk, cream, a little sugar and natural sweet cream flavor. It seemed easy enough to just replace the cream with Natural Bliss, although I did question whether the mixture would set up enough since heavy cream is much higher in butterfat (compared to Bliss). I decided to do a quick test. I simply replaced cream with Natural Bliss and followed a standard truffle recipe. Well, I was right. While it tasted great, the soft consistency made it better suited as an icing or ganache for a cake (filed that idea away for future use). Before I did more experimenting, I decided to do a little research.
Alton Brown adds a little butter and corn syrup to his truffles. Cook’s Illustrated recommends the same thing. These ingredients are somewhat common in truffles so I thought this might be just the ticket. I needed to find a way to boost the creaminess and consistency plus I wanted to make sure that after the truffles firmed up they weren’t even the least bit grainy.
I also took a tip from Cook’s Illustrated that I had not tried before – I melted my chocolate before mixing it with Bliss. When you don’t melt it first, you need to use a bit of elbow grease stirring, and this, in turn, incorporates air into your mixture. According to CI, too much air can potentially result in a grainy texture.
So with my research in hand, I set out to make a new batch of chocolate truffles. And they were nothing short of SPECTACULAR! The butter and corn syrup did the trick. These were the smoothest truffles I have ever eaten; they held their shape really well, too! I’d have to imagine that melting the chocolate first had a little something to do with the velvety smooth texture.
Here’s the recipe:
Ingredients for 30 truffles:
- 2 cups (one 12-ounce package) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
- 1/2 cup Sweet Cream Flavor NESTLÉ COFFEE-MATE NATURAL BLISS All-Natural Coffee Creamer
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- Pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature
- Finely chopped peanuts, pistachios or toasted nuts, and/or NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE Baking Cocoa for coating truffles
LINE a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.
PLACE morsels in large, microwave-safe bowl. Heat on HIGH (100%) power for 1 minute; stir. Microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring until almost smooth. Set aside.
PLACE Natural Bliss in microwave-safe glass measuring cup. Microwave on HIGH (100%) power for 30 seconds or until warm to the touch. Stir in corn syrup and salt; pour mixture over chocolate. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 3 minutes; stir to combine. Stir in butter one piece at a time, until fully incorporated. Refrigerate for 45 minutes or until mixture is firm enough to be scooped.
SCOOP chocolate mixture by rounded measuring teaspoon (I like to use a really small cookie scoop) onto prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate for 20 minutes if needed before rolling into balls.
ROLL in cocoa, chopped peanuts, pistachios or your favorite chopped nuts. If using walnuts, pecans or almonds, directions for toasting are below. Store in airtight container in refrigerator. Let truffles sit at room temperature for several minutes before serving.
A few additional tips:
- Truffles can be flavored with 1 to 2 tablespoons of your favorite flavored liqueur (make sure it is at room temperature).
- Tempering chocolate for the coating gives truffles a glossy sheen—but tempering can be a little tricky. I prefer to keep it simple and simply roll in different coatings. If you wish to temper chocolate, here’s a resource that shares step-by-step directions. Or, to make it even easier, follow the chocolate coating steps in this recipe (similar results to tempering chocolate, but a lot easier).
- To Toast Nuts: Preheat your oven to 350° F. Place nuts on a baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until fragrant. For hazelnuts, bake about 15 minutes or until the skins start to blister. Remove from oven and roll in a clean dish towel. Keep the nuts in the towel for about 5 minutes (this helps them steam and loosens the skin) and then remove the skins. Once the nuts have cooled, finely chop.
- If giving truffles as a gift, place each one in a 1 1/2-inch candy cup liner and then place the truffles in a gift box. Keep refrigerated until giving.
- Although truffles should be stored in the fridge, they are in a whole other class when brought closer to room temperature. It’s best to pull them out of the fridge about 15 minutes before serving.
Funny side story… After photographing these, I had the plate of truffles on the counter for two days (I kept them just in case I needed to take more pictures). I noticed a few truffles were missing from the plate. Turns out, my kids had been nibbling on them. I always thought of truffles as an adult candy. Well, my kids said the truffles were the best candy they’ve ever eaten. I think this was a slight exaggeration, but I’ll take it.
What I like is that you just need one chocolate truffle to feel completely satisfied. So this recipe is my gift to you! Happy holidays, my friends!
|Crunch Truffles||Dark Chocolate Truffles|