If you’ve ever been a client of, or visited the shop of, or been a guest at an event crafted by Brian Beal Moore Catering, then you know of our incredibly decadent Chocolate Truffles. We love them as they are pure flavor, beginning with the light dusting of unsweetened cocoa powder that gives way to a slowly intensifying seduction of rich and velvety ganache.
Although the exact origin is unknown, it is widely believed that in the late 1890s, an assistant to the legendary French chef Auguste Escoffier accidentally poured hot cream into a bowl of chunked chocolate instead of a bowl of sugared egg yolks as instructed. Escoffier observed that the melting chocolate and could be whisked together to form a satiny mixture that firmed up when chilled, and kept its shape - in cool conditions.
Taking a small bit of this mixture, which we now call ganache, Escoffier shaped it into a rough round orb. When dusted with cocoa, it had a striking resemblance to an actual truffle, the potent and pleasurable fungus from the Perigord region of France, and the Piedmont region of Italy.
To purists, this is what a truffle should be. It is fine to add a dram of flavoring that enhances the chocolate experience. We add a drop or two of pure vanilla, but a tiny nip of Countreau, or perhaps splash champagne are also nice. My rule is whatever one adds it should not overwhelm the delight of the chocolate.
Over the past several years, marketers eager to cash in of the popularity of the Truffle, have often described other items under the name. Not that the product is bad by any means, it just really doesn’t conform to the true definition. If it is a perfect machine molded sphere of chocolate, filled with “Cookie Dough” or “Peanut Butter S’mores”, I would hesitate it being called a Truffle.
There is also a proper way to eat a truffle (keep this in mind if you make some), and that is to pop it in its entirety into your mouth. Let it rest there momentarily, and it shall begin to soften ever so slightly. As it does, slowly enjoy its flavor - there is no need to rush...
Here is Brian Beal Moore Catering’s favorite recipe, adapted for your kitchen:
YIELD: About 1 ½ cups ganache, or 24 truffles
TIME: 30 minutes, plus at least one hour’s chilling
⅞ cup heavy cream
8 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Unsweetened cocoa powder as needed
Heat cream in a pot until it steams. Put the chocolate in a bowl, pour hot cream on top, and stir until chocolate is melted and incorporated into the cream. (At first, it will appear not to be mixing, it takes a minute or so - just keep stirring!)
Chill until solid all the way through, 1 to 2 hours. Using a chilled melon baller and latex gloves to prevent the ganache from melting or sticking to your hands, scoop out about a tablespoonful and quickly roll it into a rough ball. Repeat, lining truffles on a plate or a baking sheet.
If truffles become too soft to handle, place them in the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes. Roll them in cocoa powder. Serve immediately or store, wrapped in plastic, in the refrigerator for up to four days. (They NEVER last that long!)