chocolate caramel truffle question
I am planning to make this recipe for salted caramel truffles:
which got good reviews in a previous board thread:
The one criticism on the Epicurious reviews is that the caramel flavor wasn't pronounced enough. The ganache calls for:
1/3 c sugar
2/3 c cream
8 oz chocolate
(Caramelize sugar; add cream; add mixture to melted chocolate.)
I would like to increase the caramel flavor relative to the chocolate without affecting the texture of the ganache too much. Because I am new to candy-making, I don't have a sense of whether this will work. So, experts: if I continue to use 8 oz chocolate in the ganache, can I make a larger batch of caramel, say 1/2 c sugar and 1 c cream? Should I change the sugar-cream ratio because I am changing the caramel-chocolate ratio?
Thanks very much.
Make sure you use an appropriate percentage of bittersweet chocolate. If you want more caramel flavor to come through, I would use a 55% (relatively low percentage). I almost always use 70% or more, because i LOVE dark chocolate, but it can dominate if you don't get a thin enough shell (or in ganache). You could use milk chocolate, but it is a different flavor profile and much less chocolate flavor.
Darken your caramel enough - either use a candy thermometer, or continually test using a white plate. Often caramel doesn't come through because people take it off when it looks browned in the pan, but when you put it on the plate you will realize it is still quite light.
Both yours and the first response are encouraging me to achieve a strong caramel flavor by caramelizing the sugar sufficiently, rather than messing with the relative quantities of caramel and chocolate. Though I haven't made truffles before, I've made caramel sauce for ice cream (adding butter and cream to the caramelized sugar) and for Vietnamese claypot dishes (just adding water to the caramelized sugar) and have a good sense of how far to take the caramelization process.
I'd rather not use a lighter chocolate than 70% for these truffles. Someday, for a friend who isn't into chocolate, I might make these caramel-chocolate truffles with white chocolate, which would hopefully give the right texture while allowing the caramel flavor to dominate.
re: david kaplan
The reason you've gotten the advice you have is that you cannot increase the amount of liquid caramel and up the cream to a cup without making the ganache much looser than will work for truffles. Seventy percenty bittersweet is much too high to really allow the flavor of caramel to come through. I think you need to stick with the ganache proportions (sounds right for truffles), but you might need to rethink your choice of chocolate and go down to at most 62%. These particular truffles aren't supposed to taste of caramel front and center, I don't think, but they're also not all about intense chocolate. That's my two cents.
re: Caitlin McGrath
One thing to keep in mind is that the caramel will harden as it cools, so if you up the amount of caramel you make, you should (in theory) end up with more caramel and less chocolate. I would also add a little bit of butter (1T) and vanilla extract or paste (1t) to the caramel mixture for a more pronounced flavor.
You could increase the caramel amounts slightly, but you will be messing with the texture of the finished filling, and if it's too soft it will melt faster when you get to the dipping part. -soft caramel in warm chocolate will only get softer, faster.
It sounds like a good recipe, maybe test the boundaries of your caramel by taking it to almost, BUT NOT QUITE, the burning point. I like my caramel to be assertive, and this way it will stand up to your bittersweet chocolate. Using some milk chocolate in with your bittersweet may also be nice.
You could even infuse the cream you are stopping your caramel with, with tea or herbs, just strain it out before it gets too bitter or vegetale.