Experimentation of Taste

A food blog that catalogs discovery of foods available through CSA Farms Shares and other arenas and the recipes to enhance the flavors.

11.25.2006

Sugar High Friday #25: Truffles meet the deep black


Tabblo: Black Russian truffles

I am pleased to contribute a truffle recipe to Sugar High Friday!  Actually I'm including two different truffle recipes - one of these was a success and the other was a tasty failure.  The failure caused a little delay in this post, so I'm blaming it on truffle trouble.  Maybe some of you truffle experts can help me make it right.

My husband dragged me out today to White Pass, our nearest Washington ski resort.  I sat in the lodge and wrote this while he hit the slopes.  I
brought Eat Feed's podcast on "Chocolate - The history" for company.  Some of the trivia presented is fascinating.  We have all associated chocolate as a potion of love.  Chocolate has spread throughout our society to focus on every aspect of our life.  So far that if you love chocolate and want to swim in it.  You can! at the Hershey pa in Hershey, PA.

Chocolate originated in Central America where the Mayans used it in religious ceremonies.  Europeans got a hold of it and added large quantities of sugar.  Thus, we in the 21st century wouldn't second-guess that chocolate is a subject of Sugar High Friday.  When it was introduced in Europe it was a high society drink. Clubs were created just for Hot Chocolate.  These places eventually became coffeehouses when coffee was introduced later in the century. 

It is difficult to work with chocolate because it has to go through excessive
processing.  Northern Europe started producing chocolate bars for everyone - not just the upper class.  Hot chocolate remained popular, but it was a very thick, bitter drink.  In America, Hershey chocolate brought the product to the mass consumer.  Afterwards came M&M/Mars.  (Mars was originally a partner of Hershey).  Our soldiers were given Hershey bars with each meal when they were assigned overseas along with a pack of cigs.  The chocolate bars are still given out, but cigarettes are now out of vogue.  We are a nation in love with chocolate.  In fact it seems ubiquitous. 

When I was sixteen, I could not eat chocolate.  This wasn't because mom forbade it, rather my body seems to reject overly sugary foods.  I had so much trouble with it that I could not serve any chocolate desserts at my high school food service without getting horrible sick.  I still have troubles with this, but I recently got some help with my allergies from a naturopath.  That and some restraint seems to be working.  Sugar high Friday wouldn't have been recognized in my youth since my parents considered me sugar-hyperactive.  I was able to follow my own sugar pursuits in the 10th grade when I was sent to boarding school in Germany.  This led me to prefer European dark chocolate. Since it has less sugar, there is the added benefit that it doesn't bother my digestive system so much.  My school in Germany was 45 minutes from Switzerland and France.  I had immediate access to some of the worlds best chocolate and cheese.  I don't know which lured me more.  What a great year!  15 years old and surrounded by great food and wonderful people.

There are two different types of cocoa powder.  Basic cocoa powder is bitter by itself.  By mixing it with an alkaline material, it becomes Dutch processed cocoa powder.  This is not as bitter and is well suited for non-baked foods. Other types of powder are fine for baking since the cooking process and other ingredients reduce the bitterness on their own. 

I struggled most of the month to concoct a truffle idea that was different from the basic chocolate, cream and coating.  Inspired by the holidays and the idea of parties with mixed drinks I lit on the idea of trying to make White Russian truffles.  My other favorite drink, the Appletini, was ruled out as unfriendly towards chocolate. 

I also attempted Black Russian truffles.  These turned out perfectly.  The White Russians, on the other hand weren't so hot.  I think this comes from my inexperience with the white chocolate. 

My Black Russian truffle yields a rush of chocolate flavor enhanced by espresso powder.  I also did not want to do a normal coating since nuts, coconut flakes or any of the other basics wouldn't fit well with the flavor.  Doing a tempered chocolate coating, however, takes too much patience for me.  Beware.  If you dislike coffee, steer clear of this truffle.  My husband took one bite and and handed me the other half.  He thought the coffee flavor was too intense.  I love my coffee, however, and think this situation is fine. 

The White Russian ended up as a soupy-sweet, smooth cream.  It was very much like a White Russian drink.  I even attempted to try the soup with the powdered milk I set aside as a coating.  It tasted great.  Too bad it refused to work out correctly.


Black Russian


Makes 10 truffles
  • 4oz bittersweet dark cocoa chocolate, broken up into small chunks.
  • 1 T unsalted butter
  • 3 T heavy cream
  • 1 t light corn syrup
  • 3 t Vodka
  • 2 t Kahlua
  • 1/4 c instant espresso powder, for coating truffles

  1. Place chopped chocolate and butter into a medium glass mixing bowl.  Microwave for 30 seconds.  Remove and stir, and repeat once more.  Set aside.
  2. In a butter warmer or extra small pan, heat the cream and corn syrup over medium heat till simmering.
  3. Remove from the heat and pour over the melted chocolate; let stand 2 minutes.  Use a rubber spatula to stir gently until the mixture is smooth and creamy.  Gently stir in the alcohol.  Place bowl into the fridge for 1 hour.
  4. Use a melon baller or a mini ice cream scoop, scoop out onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and return to the fridge for 30 min.
  5. Remove the truffles from the fridge and shape into balls by rolling with your hands.  (To keep clean you can use plastic gloves.)
  6. Dip formed ball into the espresso powder and roll till coated evenly.
  7. Allow to rest one hour in the fridge.  The truffles should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge.  Serve at room temperature so that the flavors are allowed to meld.

White Russian


Makes 10 truffles (supposedly)
  • 4oz pure white chocolate, broken up into small chunks.
  • 1 T unsalted butter
  • 3 T heavy cream (I think this was too much)
  • 1 t light corn syrup
  • 3 t Vodka
  • 2 t Kahlua
  • 1/4 c instant milk powder, for coating truffles

  1. Place chopped chocolate and butter into a medium glass mixing bowl.  Microwave for 30 seconds.  Remove and stir, and repeat once more.  Set aside.
  2. In a butter warmer or extra small pan, heat the cream and corn syrup over medium heat till simmering.
  3. Remove from the heat and pour over the melted chocolate; let stand 2 minutes.  Use a rubber spatula to stir gently until the mixture is smooth and creamy.  Gently stir in the alcohol.  Place bowl into the fridge for 1 hour.
  4. Use a melon baller or a mini ice cream scoop, scoop out onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and return to the fridge for 30 min. (This concoction sat in my fridge for 3 hours, then 2 more in the freezer without setting up)
  5. Remove the truffles from the fridge and shape into balls by rolling with your hands.  (To keep clean you can use plastic gloves.)
  6. Dip formed ball into the powdered milk and roll till coated evenly.
  7. Allow to rest one hour in the fridge.  The truffles should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge.  Serve at room temperature so that the flavors are allowed to meld.


1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,
As a very experienced Truffle maker let me tell you that the problem with your White Russian Truffles is the recipe not you. The difference when working whith white chocolate and real chocolate most simply is it's softer. Hence you need to either use more of the white chocolate or less of the cream. I suggest you follow your recipe for your Black Russiam version but use 6 oz. of white chocolate instead of 4. Good luck!

11/15/2007 11:16 PM  

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