The Chocolate Gourmand

Mocha Truffles
Close Window

Ganache (filling)
1 1/2 lb. dark chocolate
1/2 lb. milk chocolate
3 cups whipping cream
3 tablespoons espresso powder
1/4 cup Kahlúa

About 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (to coat hands for rolling)

Enrobing (dipping)
3 lb. dark chocolate

Prepare the truffle centers.
Chop the dark and milk chocolate into small pieces and melt in a double boiler of hot water. Do not boil the water—melt the chocolate slowly. I usually heat the water until scalding hot and then turn off the heat. Depending on how long it takes to melt the chocolate, you may need to reheat the water. Take your time to avoid overheating the chocolate. Stir the chocolate occasionally to help with melting.

While the chocolate is melting, heat the cream over medium heat, stirring frequently until the cream boils. Add the espresso powder and mix thoroughly. Let the cream mixture cool just a bit from boiling before adding it to the thoroughly melted chocolate. Once you add the cream, the tendency is to think something horrible has gone wrong. Just keep stirring and the cream will slowly disappear into the chocolate. Add the Kahlúa and continue stirring until smooth. You can use a whisk to blend the cream and chocolate together, but be sure not to incorporate any air into the mixture or else the texture of your truffles could be compromised (less gooey and more dry and crumbly). Wipe the bottom of the double boiler with a towel to remove water and pour ganache into a bowl to cool. It's best to let it cool slowly, but the refrigerator is ok. I place it in the garage overnight, where the temperature drops to the mid 40s ° F.

You can dip by hand, but I prefer small loop or spiral dipping tools. Dip the truffle centers in chocolate and then quickly transfer them to a cookie sheet lines with wax paper.

Decorating is optional, but is actually done very quickly and adds more "wow" factor to your candies. If can also aid in distinguishing between different truffle centers dipped in the same kind of chocolate. I prefer to decorate in a contrasting color of chocolate, so that usually means white or milk chocolate, but you can also add coloring to white chocolate to come up with your own colors. Whatever you do, don't think you can skimp on tempering the chocolate for decorating.

Once the chocolate has been tempered, I usually just spoon some in a small plastic bag (one with sharp corners) and snip off a corner and start piping. You can do intricate designs, but I find that you get better results by not taking your time and working quickly rather than slowly and deliberately. My favorite decoration is also the fastest—repeated stripes in one or two directions across all the truffles.