Don’t these truffles look delicious, the work of a skilled professional?
They are, the famous Force Noir* truffles from San Francisco chocolatier Michael Recchiuti (one of our favorites). He invites you to make them at home with the recipe below.
Truffles can cost $ 3 apiece at an artisan chocolate shop. Egad!
In truth, if you can roll a round ball and then roll it in evenly in the coatings, yours can look this good.
Why not make them for home entertaining or as gifts?
You can use whatever dark chocolate you like. Force Noir chocolate is only available in bulk, so pick whatever 70% or 72% cacao bars or discs/wafers you come across. And need we add: The finer the chocolate, the better-tasting the results.
What if you like prefer chocolate?
Most artisan chocolatiers stick to dark chocolate because, when combined with the butter and cream, it has a better chocolate flavor. But if you won’t eat anything but milk chocolate, look for high cacao milk chocolate bars or discs (38% cacao or higher, the higher the better).
Note: You have to start the day before, so the ganache can set overnight in the fridge.
If you want to break up the work:
1. COMBINE the cream and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds from the bean into the pan and then add the whole bean. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.
Once the mixture has reached a boil, remove from the heat and cover the top of the pan with plastic wrap. Allow the cream mixture to cool to room temperature, transfer it to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
2. LINE the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with plastic wrap and set aside. Put the chopped chocolate in a medium stainless-steel mixing bowl and set the bowl over a pot of simmering water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate melts to 115°F. While the chocolate is melting…
3. REMOVE the cream mixture from the refrigerator and strain it through a fine-mesh sieve into a small saucepan. Heat the cream mixture to 115°F, stirring occasionally. When both the chocolate and cream mixture have reached 115°F…
4. REMOVE from the heat and pour both into a 1-quart clear vessel. Blend the chocolate and cream mixture with an immersion blender using a stirring motion. Make sure you reach the bottom of the vessel. The ganache will thicken, become slightly less shiny, and develop a pudding-like consistency. Add 3 tablespoons of the very soft butter and incorporate it with the immersion blender.
5. POUR the ganache into the lined pan. Spread the ganache as evenly as possible with a small spatula. Allow the ganache to cool at room temperature until it has set, 2 to 4 hours. Next, cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to roll your truffles.
6. REMOVE the ganache from the pan and transfer it onto a work surface. Remove all plastic wrap. Cut the ganache into 1-inch squares with a knife dipped in hot water. Be sure to wipe the knife dry before and after each cut.
7. LINE a sheet pan with parchment paper; place the truffle toppings in individual bowls, large enough to hold 6 truffles. Dust your palms with cocoa powder. One at a time, pick up a ganache square, roll it into a ball between your palms, and drop it into the toppings bowl of your choice.
After you have made about 6 truffles per bowl of ingredients, shake the bowl to cover the truffles completely. Using a spoon, transfer the truffles to the lined parchment pan.
8. CONTINUE rolling until you have used all the ganache. Serve the truffles soon after rolling them at room temperature. If you’re not eating them immediately, you can store them in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, in a plastic bag or covered bowl.
*Force Noir is a couverture from Cacao Barry, one of the world’s most presitgious couverture companies, made from West African Forastero beans. Its character is intensely dark, with a balanced cocoa taste and roundness in the mouth.