Happy National Chocolate Truffle Day!
I had really high hopes this time around that I would mention poop less…
But it’s day 2 and everything about home made truffle just looks like poop. I’m sorry. Maybe next year.
I’ve never made truffles before – I’ve been content to eat them once or twice a year when they happen to be on the office table at work. They’ve always seemed like one of those impossible recipes that require a level of kitchen witchcraft I don’t possess.
The recipe I found, however, sounded easy.
Maybe a little too easy…
After reading through the recipe, I immediately disregarded the first step of chopping the chocolate into small pieces. In my defense, I was using chocolate chips and chopping them any smaller seemed ridiculous.
Next, the recipe said to heat heavy cream on the stove until just before it boils.
What does that mean? How do you know when it’s just about to boil? It all looks like same to me. Tiny little bubbles were appearing on the edges as I was heating it but did that mean it was boiling? If I boil it will the whole recipe be a disaster or will it just taste bad?! It was step two and I was already stressed.
I was also on day two of being sick so I might have been overly dramatic…
At this point I remembered the candy thermometer that I recently purchased during a round of sad quarantine shopping. Do I frequently make home made candy? No. Does acquiring new and mostly useless kitchen gear make me feel less like the world is ending? Also no, but I do it anyway.
In my head, when I pulled the thermometer out of the package it was going to have a magic number on it that said “Just about to boil”. That seemed like something candy makers would want to know.
I was wrong.
It does, however, list several stages of cooking that sounded more and more absurd as I read them: soft ball, hard ball, soft crack, hard crack…
These are all names I would lovingly call Ryan but not in the least bit helpful when it comes to heating up heavy cream.
I put it in the cream anyway. It was $14.99 and I’ll be damned if I don’t get my monies worth!
At a point in which the cream looked simmery but not boiling (technical terms…) I took it off the heat and poured it over the chocolate chips like recipe said and started stirring like crazy. I’ll be honest, I had very little faith in the semi-hot cream to melt the chocolate chips but hot damn! They melted! It took longer than my little noodle arms would have liked but maybe I’ll consider this part of my aerial arm conditioning.
So far, this whole experience was going well. My ganache, as the fancy recipe called it, was chilling in the refrigerator for the next six hours and I was happily watching Gourmet Makes.
Here’s where things took a turn…
In the beginning of the recipe, the author listed some helpful tips like: chill your cookie sheet before hand so the truffles stay cold. Use a wooden spoon to mix the chocolate and cream because a wooden spoon won’t absorb the heat from the cream like a stainless steel one would. Use a trigger release scooper to measure out the truffles…
I own a stupid candy thermometer but I do not own a trigger release scooper. We were at Fresh Thyme recently and Ryan held up a trigger release scooper. I promptly said “You can get the pineapple coring tool but not the trigger release scooper” because sometimes I am an idiot who now owns a pineapple coring tool. Alton Brown would be furious.
I found a tablespoon measuring spoon in the drawer that was very rounded so I thought that would probably work, I would just have to roll them in my hands a little more than a smart person who owns a trigger release scooper. Everything was fine.
Everything was not fine. The chocolate came out of the refrigerator as one solid bowl shaped chocolate bar. No where in the recipe did it say to expect that, it simply skipped from chilling them for 6 hours to scooping them out and placing them on my pre-chilled baking sheet. What did I do wrong? Did I boil the cream? I don’t understand!!!
It was still early in the night so I had time to let the chocolate come to room temperature and get a little more malleable. By malleable I mean that when I scooped lumpy portions into my hands and rolled them around.. they looked like very dark cat poop. I then rolled the turds in cocoa powder and coconut flakes like a cat burying poop in a litter box.
In the end, they tasted decent. If you close your eyes and ignore the slightly lumpy, turd like texture then they’re downright delicious.
Let’s see what stupid kitchen thing I don’t own tomorrow….