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calling all truffle makers

c
China Dec 4, 2006 03:54 PM

If any of you home cooking hounds have some fabulous truffle flavoring suggestions I'm all ears. I'm planning to make some chocolate truffles later this week and I'm looking for some suggestions as to how to flavor them. The truffles will be made with semi-sweet chocolate and Iwas planning to dust them with cocoa powder rather than rolling them in the chocolate coating. I'm thinking that 3-4 flavors would make for nice variation, but without making me crazy. The person I am making them for won't touch alcohol, so non-alcohol based flavors would be ideal (extracts are ok). Thanks!

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  1. Pei RE: China Dec 4, 2006 04:35 PM

    I made a few flavors awhile back, and everyone's favorite was the mint. Just put a drop or two of peppermint oil in the ganache and stir. You can use extract as well, but I like oil because it's so strong.

    1. heathermb RE: China Dec 4, 2006 04:37 PM

      I'm a fan of sweet/savory combinations and my fiery chocolate treats are always a favorite with friends and family - so i'd suggest adding a little heat - cayenne pepper maybe - to your taste preference.

      2 Replies
      1. re: heathermb
        chowser RE: heathermb Dec 4, 2006 04:58 PM

        Good idea--I had some chipotle truffles that were really good.

        1. re: heathermb
          a
          Ali RE: heathermb Dec 4, 2006 08:16 PM

          I love savory truffles; they're so interesting and delicious. I've had some with yellow curry powder that was heavy on cumin, and they were the most fascinating truffles.

        2. s
          sugarbuzz RE: China Dec 4, 2006 05:35 PM

          chocolate star anise.

          Make some hazelnut praline, grind it up & add it to your truffle base. Gives a nice crunch.

          Someone sent me this link to a pumpkin truffle they wanted me to make for them.
          http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/cda/r...

          1 Reply
          1. re: sugarbuzz
            emily RE: sugarbuzz Dec 7, 2006 12:24 AM

            Make sure you use a butter-based ganache, though, or the praline will probably lose its crunch.

            I had a chamomile infused chocolate once that was *wonderful*.

            Kate Zuckerman's new pastry book has some interesting flavor combos like white chocolate/grapefruit/hazelnut.

          2. Cindy RE: China Dec 4, 2006 07:33 PM

            Vanilla bean? I bought a vanilla bean to heat in the cream; not sure how much vanilla flavor might come through.

            1. d
              dukegirl RE: China Dec 4, 2006 07:40 PM

              I second the mint idea. And, you could roll them in crushed up candy canes instead of the cocoa powder. I've been selling these and people love them. I also roll some of my truffles in a cinnamon/confectioners' sugar coating, which adds a nice flavor.

              Another idea I've been wanting to try, but haven't yet, is to steep some chai tea in the cream before adding the chocolate. And then maybe rolling them in a powdered ginger/confectioners' sugar coating.

              The other idea I've been meaning to try is mixing in a little nutella into the ganache mixture. Then, you could roll them in ground up hazelnuts or the hazelnut praline as someone else suggested.

              The possibilities are endless!

              5 Replies
              1. re: dukegirl
                heathermb RE: dukegirl Dec 4, 2006 08:09 PM

                I've done a version with Earl Grey tea steeped in the cream. Added a delicious richness of flavor and people kept saying..."what is that taste, i love it but can't put my finger on it!"

                1. re: heathermb
                  s
                  SteveG RE: heathermb Dec 5, 2006 07:34 PM

                  Along these lines, you can buy bergamot extract which is the floral citrus note in earl grey. My local market has around 40 extracts in the bath section for aromatherapy, but they're organic and things like lavender, bergamot, rose and other similar extracts are perfectly safe for eating.

                  1. re: SteveG
                    AmandaEd RE: SteveG Dec 6, 2006 01:46 PM

                    SteveG, how much would you put in? I bet it's a very fine balance! TIA.

                    1. re: AmandaEd
                      s
                      SteveG RE: AmandaEd Dec 7, 2006 07:31 PM

                      Unfortunately it didn't have a good eye dropper, just a glass peg which released unevenly sized small drops.

                      I guess the answer is, not much and to taste. I used it to flavor a buttercream I sandwiched between orange blossom scented macarons. My buttercream was 100% egg yolk since I had used the whites for the macaron cookie, and it made a beautiful yellow color. Heated carefully to 160 degrees, this buttercream was very solid once chilled and made a good macaron filling; I think it would hold up in truffles too but I like my truffles chocolatey!

                2. re: dukegirl
                  s
                  sugarbuzz RE: dukegirl Dec 4, 2006 08:12 PM

                  I've made the chai & earl grey. Both are really good.

                3. o
                  OnceUponABite RE: China Dec 4, 2006 07:41 PM

                  I've done green tea flavor with success. You buy green powder from Asian grocery store, mix that into your cream before adding the chocolate.

                  1. Katie Nell RE: China Dec 4, 2006 07:41 PM

                    I've always wanted to try these Earl Grey chocolate truffles: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Katie Nell
                      a
                      auberginegal RE: Katie Nell Dec 25, 2006 08:55 PM

                      i made these recently - my first try at truffles. loved the earl grey flavour. tasted great, really creamy!

                    2. k
                      Kelli2006 RE: China Dec 4, 2006 07:58 PM

                      I have made truffles and the most popular were
                      peppermint-don't be heavy on the extract

                      Orange- Grand Marnier is very popular

                      Raspberry

                      peanut butter/nutella, very popular with kids and teens. Be wary of people with food allergies though.

                      hazelnut- ground with a bit of cinnamon in a food processor

                      walnut/pistachio and almond are also very popular

                      cranberry/craisen makes a popular truffle filling

                      Dark chocolate with ground poblano pepper

                      caramel/maple-nut is popular

                      Cherry/Kirsch'

                      apple(calvados) and cinnamon

                      crystallized ginger and lemon zest

                      key lime

                      Almost all tropical fruits and chocolate are great combos.

                      Brandy

                      Bourbon/pecan

                      P.S. Katie and onceupon', I will have to try the tea flavoring, Thanks for the hints.

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: Kelli2006
                        c
                        caphill2320 RE: Kelli2006 Dec 7, 2006 05:29 PM

                        I was thinking about making personalized truffle gift boxes this year, and a friend looooves Jameson. How much can I add to the ganache without ruining the consistency?

                        Also, when dipping them, do I have to temper the chocolate? Might not be worth the headache.

                        1. re: caphill2320
                          k
                          Kelli2006 RE: caphill2320 Dec 7, 2006 05:52 PM

                          You can probably add 2 TBS per pound of chocolate before you risk damaging the consistency. I would suggest that you reduce the whiskey/bourbon by simmering it for a few minutes.

                          Chocolate should always be tempered for truffles.

                          1. re: Kelli2006
                            c
                            caphill2320 RE: Kelli2006 Dec 7, 2006 07:02 PM

                            Thanks!! If I roll in cocoa powder, but then decide to get ambitious and coat in chocolate, will that work? Also is there a good recipe with easy instructions for tempering out there?

                            1. re: caphill2320
                              k
                              Kelli2006 RE: caphill2320 Dec 7, 2006 09:01 PM

                              I personally like the rolled truffles, but it is a matter of taste. You cannot put liquid chocolate over powdered chocolate very easy, if it all.

                              http://www.ghirardelli.com/bake/choco... video link at bottom of the page.

                              Rainey, I prefer to chill all truffles if they are not going to be consumed with 48 hours. IMVHO

                              1. re: Kelli2006
                                r
                                rainey RE: Kelli2006 Dec 7, 2006 11:35 PM

                                Do you, then, let them warm to eat/serve them? Cold dulls the flavor but I think AM says that one of the reasons she specifies non-tempered chocolate for dipping is that it comes back to the temp of your mouth almost instantly and, so, releases all of its flavor.

                                Naturally, you should make and enjoy your truffles as you see fit. ...but the woman *knows* chocolate. ;> And she provides a yummy and completely do-able alternative to tempering.

                            2. re: Kelli2006
                              r
                              rainey RE: Kelli2006 Dec 7, 2006 07:34 PM

                              Alice Medrich recommends NOT tempering couverture chocolate for truffles. Of course, these need to be refrigerated but they're spectacular!

                          2. re: Kelli2006
                            heathermb RE: Kelli2006 Dec 17, 2006 07:21 PM

                            Kelli2006,

                            Did you roast the hazelnuts before grinding?

                            Thanks!

                            1. re: heathermb
                              k
                              Kelli2006 RE: heathermb Dec 17, 2006 09:19 PM

                              Nuts always taste better if roasted for a few minutes at 300F before grinding. I like to add a bit of sugar to absorb the nut oils that might be excreted. Pulse the food processor when grinding as to limit the heat produced.

                          3. r
                            rainey RE: China Dec 4, 2006 08:26 PM

                            I noticed that no one suggested burnt sugar. You bring a bit of sugar just one bit past caramel and then remove the pan from the heat and add cream and butter as for caramel. Stir then pour over the chocolate as for gananche.

                            I particularly like Alice Medrich's method of dipping ganache centers in untempered chocolate which keeps just fine so long as you keep it refrigerated. What's wonderful about them is the contrast between the crispness of the covering and the softness of the ganache. Plus the untempered chocolate begins to melt instantly in the mouth so the flavors begin to combine as you chew.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: rainey
                              Becca Porter RE: rainey Dec 5, 2006 12:16 AM

                              One thing that makes these truffles by Alice Medrich great is, she use a ganache with a very high proportion of cream. She them dips them frozen. That way when they come to fridge temp it is very soft but contained by the chocolate shell.

                              1. re: Becca Porter
                                r
                                rainey RE: Becca Porter Dec 5, 2006 01:40 AM

                                Yup! You get an instant "rush" of chocolate in two different flavors and consistencies. Plus, they're very pretty when you're giving them.

                                1. re: rainey
                                  missmasala RE: rainey Dec 7, 2006 02:43 AM

                                  these sound great! can either of you paraphrase the recipe for me.

                                  along the same lines, I am a big fan of jaques torres lemon flavored truffles. Any idea how to add a lemon zing to chocolate? would infusing the cream with zest do it, or does this require lemon oil?

                                  1. re: missmasala
                                    r
                                    rainey RE: missmasala Dec 9, 2006 11:44 PM

                                    I found the recipe on the Chocolate & Zucchini forum. I hope this link will take you to the page if not the recipe. http://chocolateandzucchini.com/forum...

                                    Look for American Chocolate Truffles.

                            2. j
                              jerry i h RE: China Dec 4, 2006 11:47 PM

                              rather than flavors, for a chocoholic like me I would do the same truffle, but different chocolates: semisweet, bittersweet, white, and milk. And while you are at it, why not the same type of chocolate but different brands, ask them if they can really tell the difference in brands just by the taste?

                              One bit of practical advice: use powdered sugar or chopped nuts as a coating. Cocoa makes terrible stains on fancy clothes, not to mention the furniture.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: jerry i h
                                l
                                Laura D. RE: jerry i h Dec 5, 2006 06:05 PM

                                Jerry,
                                Have you made truffles with a variety of different chocolates? I've never had problems making using bittersweet or semi-sweet, but I tried using milk chocolate once and found that the butterfat in the chocolate actually started seperating out of the ganache mixture once the cream was added. While I was able to use the truffles anyway, thanks to my removing the excess "fat" while it was still in liquid form, it wasn't an ideal situation. In all fairness, the recipe I was using called for semi-sweet chocolate and not milk, so it was my fault it didn't come out. I guess my question for you, or anyone, is what part of the process/ingredients differ when using milk and white chocolates as opposed to semi-sweet/bittersweets? Does one simply have to adjust the levels of cream, etc. or is there a different trick? Just thought I'd ask you since you sounded as if you might have made truffles before using a variety of types of chocolate Thanks!

                                1. re: Laura D.
                                  j
                                  jerry i h RE: Laura D. Dec 7, 2006 12:02 AM

                                  Sorry about that. If you start with a successful ganache or truffle with semisweet, you cannot subtitute milk or white choc 1 for 1. You will have to cut back the liquid a tad, 10% to at most 20%.
                                  Also, since milk and white sets up kind of slowly, leave the spatula in the choc and you will have to stir every few minutes to make sure the fat that floats to the surface goes back into the choc.

                                  1. re: jerry i h
                                    l
                                    Laura D. RE: jerry i h Dec 7, 2006 03:25 PM

                                    Thanks...I'll definitely try that! I have a chocolate peanut butter truffle recipe that screams for milk chocolate, (despite calling for semi-sweet), but I've had the whole butterfat issue with it in the past. I'll try your technique of cutting back the cream and leaving the spoon in/stirring.

                              2. a
                                ali patts RE: China Dec 5, 2006 04:38 PM

                                Just remeber not to breath in whilst eating the things, I always forget and choke then the truffles aren't as much fun! Anyway, on the original question, I bought some cardamom flavoured chocolate on holiday (and some chili chocolate) and although definitely an acquired taste it was very interesting, as to exactly how you'd achieve it, I'm still thinking! The Earl Grey always goes down well.

                                1. toodie jane RE: China Dec 5, 2006 05:28 PM

                                  I've had every one of these flavors; all good.

                                  http://www.chocolategod.com/store/12_...

                                  use the *click here* option on this page to bring up photos and descriptions for inspiration.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: toodie jane
                                    a
                                    ali patts RE: toodie jane Dec 6, 2006 08:19 AM

                                    they're amazing! But by the time I get to that bit I just want the whole thing to be over!

                                  2. c
                                    Claudette RE: China Dec 5, 2006 08:48 PM

                                    Espresso powder! Or coffee-infused cream.

                                    1. chowser RE: China Dec 6, 2006 04:15 PM

                                      Finally got around to reading my December Bon Appetit. They have an article on unusual truffles--balsamic vinegar, mango curry, meyer lemon and thyme, bittersweet. I'd guess it's not on the epicurious web-site yet so if you'd like, I can post the recipes.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: chowser
                                        c
                                        China RE: chowser Dec 6, 2006 04:29 PM

                                        The December Bon Appetit was where the inspiration for this truffle adventure came from. I was intrigued by their flavors but wasn't sure they would suit the person I'm giving these to. At the moment I think I'm going to follow some of the suggestions from the board and do a ginger-orange, an earl grey, and a mexican chocolate with cinnamon, coffee, and vanilla, plain rolled in almonds, and some straight chocolate ones. I'll post back after I've made them.

                                      2. t
                                        tdo ca RE: China Dec 6, 2006 07:39 PM

                                        A few combos: peppermint/white chocolate; peppermint or creme de menthe/dark chocolate; peanut butter/dark; almond paste/marzipan/dark; cinnamon/dark; hot pepper/dark; and you can roll a truffle around a nut or piece of dried fruit easily -

                                        Truffles are a great homemade gift!

                                        1. ballulah RE: China Dec 6, 2006 10:37 PM

                                          Maison du Chocolat makes a divine truffle using a peach and plum combo puree...from the taste of the truffle I am guessing they dry the peaches and plums first. I've been meaning to put this to the test for years, and then I cave in and just go and buy them!

                                          1. free sample addict aka Tracy L RE: China Dec 7, 2006 06:55 AM

                                            A friend makes lavendar truffles. She refuses to share her recipe.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L
                                              c
                                              China RE: free sample addict aka Tracy L Dec 7, 2006 03:12 PM

                                              My guess is that she infuses the cream with culinary lavender and then strains out the lavendar. I use this technique when I make lavender whipped cream to frost cakes.

                                              1. re: China
                                                free sample addict aka Tracy L RE: China Dec 9, 2006 06:39 PM

                                                I think so too. That is how I make lavendar ice cream.

                                            2. s
                                              saffy RE: China Dec 9, 2006 08:34 PM

                                              I made coconut-curry truffles for Thanksgiving and they came out great. A little good quality yellow curry pwder in the cream and then rolled them in toasted coconut. It was a suggestion from Bon Appetit (I think).They also suggested adding mango powder, but I couldn't find it. My nephew ate 14 of them and said they were the best chocolates he ever had.

                                              1. c
                                                China RE: China Dec 11, 2006 02:29 AM

                                                OP reporting back on the truffle adventure. I ended up making three kinds, one plain semi-sweet rolled in cocoa powder, one ginger/orange/cardamom rolled in crushed almonds, and one mexican chocolate with vanilla/cinnamon/esspresso powder rolled in cocoa powder sprinkled with cinnamon for identification. They were a huge hit and quite easy I will defintely do it again. A few things I learned in the process

                                                - chocolate can be melted in the microwave. the cream can also be heated in the microwave.
                                                - I used a recipe calling for a 1:1 chocolate to cream ratio, I would go with a higher chocolate to cream ratio next time. I was using semi-sweet so the 1:1 may be more appropriate for bitter sweet chocolate. The truffles held their shape but would have been better looking and easier to work with had they been a little firmer.
                                                - truffle base can be chilled overnight in the fridge.
                                                - powdered sugar did not work for me as a rolling substance, it sort of melted right into the truffle after a few minutes.

                                                Next batch..... Earl Grey and Lavender.

                                                1. heathermb RE: China Dec 17, 2006 07:07 PM

                                                  Here's what I've made so far:

                                                  (all with dark chocolate in a 2:1 chocolate:cream ratio)

                                                  cinnamon/cayenne pepper
                                                  earl grey
                                                  black tea/cardamom/ginger/clove (chai flavor)
                                                  mint

                                                  have some lavender steeping in cream right now...
                                                  going to do hazelnut next

                                                  all rolled in cocoa powder.

                                                  melon baller is the best thing I've found - scoops out perfect (but not too perfect) balls every time!

                                                  1. limster RE: China Dec 17, 2006 07:27 PM

                                                    Try flavouring the ganache with a variety of jams or infusing the cream with tea -- earl grey is popular, but different kinds of tea can impart their own flavour proile -- lapsang souchong, assam, blackcurrant might be good places to start.

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