Indulge in a Little "Chocolate Chocolate"
Reading “Chocolate Chocolate” by Frances Park & Ginger Park was something I was looking forward to for a lot of reasons. First, and probably the most obvious, is the title…I love chocolate and so the title grabbed me immediately. Second, I’m a native Washingtonian and I love when I can visualize where different events within a book take place…here, it takes place near the White House, very close to where I used to commute to downtown. Third, it’s about two women entrepreneurs who harness what they’re passionate about and, despite numerous obstacles, build a chocolate empire. Finally, it’s about the relationships business owners nurture with their customers and the loyalty that ensues.
This book encompasses all of this and more. While the book does not include any chocolate recipes from the Park sisters, they were kind enough to share one with me. This doesn’t look easy, but if you’re looking to impress your friends, you’ll take the time to make these to add a sophisticated finish for your next dinner party.
Your Very Own House Truffle
18 oz good quality dark chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
5 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup of crème de cacao
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 lbs good quality milk chocolate couverture (available at gourmet stores)
A big dose of all the love you’ve got to sprinkle and stir in along the way
To make ganache:
In a large glass microwavable bowl, combine chocolate and heavy cream. Microwave two minutes and fifteen seconds, then whisk until smooth. Add butter and vanilla and continue to whisk until velvety. Whisk in crème de cacao. Pour mixture into a 13x9x2” glass baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours.
To ball ganache:
With a teaspoon or melon baller, form 1” ganache balls and place on lined cookie sheet. Freeze ganache balls for 1 hour.
To temper couverture for chocolate shell:
Note: Tempering chocolate, a process of heating and cooling chocolate for dipping, allows the crystals in chocolate to be distributed and suspended evenly throughout the final product to ensure the perfect snap, taste and beautiful patina to your truffles. If you don’t temper, chocolate bloom will occur.
Chop 2 lbs of chocolate couverture into small bits. Place 2/3 of the chocolate bits into a glass microwavable bowl. Set aside remaining 1/3 of chocolate bits. Heat on half-power for one minute. Take out and stir. Repeat this process at least 5 times or until chocolate is completely melted, making sure not to burn chocolate. Remove bowl from the microwave (temperature of chocolate should be approximately 110 degrees). Stir in remaining 1/3 chocolate bits (temperature of chocolate should cool down to approximately 85 degrees).
To dip ganache balls from freezer:
Note: This is a messy, but rewarding step; you can use a fork, but in our opinion, fingers work better.
Hold a ganache ball with two fingers and dip into the warm bath of chocolate, covering the entire ball. Shake off excess chocolate from your fingers. Place coated ganache ball onto a lined cookie sheet and repeat until all balls are dipped. Allow your truffles to set for ten minutes.
To dust truffles:
For the finishing touch, place half the cocoa and half the cinnamon in a large plastic Ziplock bag. Place half of set truffles into bag and gently shake until each truffle is coated. Repeat.
Serve your house truffles at room temperature, or store in the freezer or refrigerator for future indulgence.
Makes approximately 60 truffles.