So, I just failed at making a recipe I've made many times before for mocha truffles. Here are the original ingredients:
9 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (chips are fine!)
¾ cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons (¼ cup) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons instant espresso granules
blended with 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur (or water)
pinch of salt
Normally, I cut the espresso in half with no ill effects. This time, I doubled the whole recipe, divided it and added creme de menthe as the liquor to one half and creme de cacao for the other. The mixture seemed a bit softer than usual, but not overly so. I formed them then decided to freeze them so they'd be nice and firm when dipping. Mistake. They are meant to be coated in 8 oz dark chocolate and 2 t. vegetable oil. I used Ghirardelli semi sweet and bittersweet. It just never got thin enough to do a thin coat, plus the frozen truffles seemed to repel the coating as they melted a bit on contact. Was freezing a mistake? Is there a better way to make the coating? I have had trouble with this coating before, but never this much so. I wonder if cutting down the butter in the recipe would help make a firmer truffle? What do you all think? Could using a sweetened liquor have been the problem? Thanks!
I'm sure you'll get more suggestions. . . I only make truffles now and again but have never had these problems.
The softer mixture is more a result of your milk to chocolate ratio than to the butter (in my experience). So I don't think you need to reduce the butter, you may have just gone a little over with your heavy cream measurement.
I also find I get consistency differences when I use either chopped chocolate (thinner) versus chips (thicker). My understanding is that chips actually have a different "mixture" than bar chocolate so that they hold their shape and don't all melt together in the packaging as easily. So if you made that change that could have influenced it as well.
I also have never frozen my truffles, though I do refrigerate them before coating to firm them up, so I'm not sure if that affected the coating's ability to "cling". It sounds though that your coating may have been too warm when you were trying to coat them. That could have caused the melting and I could understand why you had it that warm if it never seemed to get thin enough.
I make my coating with straight chopped bar chocolate and sometimes I will add additional coco butter which helps to thin the chocolate and helps make a better coating in my opinion. The oil in your coating is an attempt at mimicking this affect but should work as well. Again I suspect you used chips instead of bar chocolate, which may impact your results.
I don't think the sweetened liquor would have made any real difference.
Luckily even the ugliest truffles taste good ;)
I wouldn't freeze the ganache balls but I often refrigerate them to keep them hard while dipping. The really cold balls will make a good chocolate dip blush (grey streaks), so I wouldn't freeze them.
If chocolate is mixed with vegetable oil, I wouldn't think it would harden. I have heard of people mixing parafin in with chocolate so it would harden . The technique is used to keep from having to temper the chocolate.
I an blessed with a tempering machine so all I have to do is temper a good chocolate with at least 30% cocoa butter and at least 54% cocoa solids to make a thin dipping chocolate.
There are ways to temper by hand but I'm not patient enough to do it.
re: Hank Hanover
Thank you both very much for the trouble-shooting. I think absolutely the chips are the difference-- it occurs to me that I normally use bars but the chips were on sale. This is making me feel much better as I was thinking I was crazy since I've made them so many times with no trouble.