Bittersweet Chocolate Truffles
Recipe by Fran Costigan
Recipe Reprinted with permission from: Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts, by Fran Costigan, ©2013, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group
Classic chocolate truffles are sinfully indulgent, melt-in-your-mouth, bite-sized confections made from ganache. After making and tasting hundreds of truffles made with nondairy milks, I am convinced they taste more intensely chocolaty than their heavy cream–based cousins.
Makes About 30 Truffles Time: 30 minutes
8 ounces / 227 grams dark chocolate (70 to 72%), finely chopped
3 ⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons / 210 ml unsweetened organic almond milk
2 tablespoons / 26 grams organic granulated sugar
1 ⁄8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon / 5 ml pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons / 10 ml mild tasting extra-virgin olive oil
A few pinches of flaked sea salt, for coating and serving (optional)
Dutch-process cocoa powder for coating (optional)
1. Add the chocolate to a heatproof bowl and set aside while you heat the milk.
2. Pour the milk into a small saucepan. Add the sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat, whisking a few times, to a low boil. Immediately remove the saucepan from the heat. Pour the hot milk over the chocolate all at once. Rotate the bowl so the chocolate is completely submerged. Cover the bowl with a plate and let stand undisturbed for 4 minutes.
3. Add the vanilla and olive oil and whisk from the center out only until smooth and glossy.
Keep the bowl of ganache at room temperature while you test the final consistency. A properly made truffle ganache is firm enough to scoop and shape but still tastes creamy. Dip a teaspoon into the ganache, set the coated spoon on a small plate, and refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes. After chilling, the ganache on the spoon should be smooth and firm but still taste creamy. It is unlikely, but if the glaze is too firm, add a tablespoon of room temperature milk and repeat the test. Add a second tablespoon if needed.
4. Cool the ganache in a shallow dish at room temperature for 30 minutes. Refrigerate uncovered until the surface is no longer soft, then place a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the ganache, covering it completely, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or until firm. The ganache can be refrigerated at this point for up to 1 week in an airtight container.
Make The Truffle Centers
Line a shallow container with parchment. Remove the ganache from the refrigerator. Use a spoon to scoop out 1-inch / 2.5-cm pieces of ganache and another to push the ganache off the spoon into the container. When a half dozen or so are made, roll and press the pieces into irregularly shaped rounds. (If at any time the ganache becomes too soft to shape, refrigerate until cold and proceed.) Cover and refrigerate the truffle centers in layers separated by parchment paper for 15 to 25 minutes before finishing with the cocoa coating.
Finish The Truffles
Roll in cocoa powder and flaked sea salt, or coat in melted chocolate and cocoa powder. Place the coated truffles in the refrigerator to set for 30 to 45 minutes.