Tuesday, November 23, 2010

National Espresso Day: Espresso Truffles

Today is National Espresso Day. I'm always looking for an easy way to combine the food of the day with chocolate, and what could be easier than Chocolate Espresso Truffles. Following are two recipes. The results are different, so you might want to try both and compare. The first is my own easy recipe, and the second comes from RealSimple.com

Espresso Truffles I

For ganache:
8.5 ounces of Dark Chocolate (70% or so)
1/2 cup heavy Cream
1/2 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract
1 tsp Espresso

For coating:
Cocoa powder

1. Grate or Chop chocolate
2. Heat cream just until boiling. Add espresso and mix well.
3. Pour the cream over the chocolate and using the double-boiler method, melt the chocolate. (Place pan with chocolate and cream over simmering water,  stirring until  chocolate is melted).
4. Add vanilla extract to melted chocolate and mix well until smooth. Cover and chill for several hours or overnight.
5. Remove from refrigerator. Place cocoa on plate.
6. Using a small cookie scooper or two spoons scoop chocolate. Roll into a ball using your hands.
7. Roll the chocolate balls in cocoa,  thoroughly coating truffle. Place truffle on parchment lined tray.
8. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate for later use.

From Real Simple:

Espresso Truffles II

Ingredients
20 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into small pieces (or semisweet chocolate chips)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons finely ground espresso coffee
1 cup confectioners' sugar or shredded coconut

Directions
1. Make the filling: Place 8 ounces of the chocolate pieces and the butter in a large bowl. In a small saucepan over low heat, bring the cream to a simmer. Remove from heat and pour half the cream into the bowl. As the chocolate melts, slowly whisk the mixture together until smooth. Then gradually add the remaining cream until it's completely incorporated and the ganache is thick and shiny. Whisk in the coffee.
2. Form the truffles: Pour the ganache into a 2-inch-deep baking pan, spread evenly, and place in the freezer for 30 minutes or until set (it should have the consistency of fudge). Using a melon baller or a small spoon, form rounds and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper. Let the truffles harden in the freezer for about 15 minutes. After removing from the freezer, roll truffles between your hands into marble-size spheres, squeezing slightly (try to do this quickly, otherwise they'll become too soft).
3. Make the coating: Let the truffles rest in the freezer while you make the chocolate glaze. Place the remaining chocolate pieces in a large bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir occasionally, until the chocolate is completely melted. Remove from heat and let cool at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate starts to set at the edge of the bowl. Drop the truffles into the melted chocolate and retrieve them with a fork, allowing any excess chocolate to drip off. Garnish immediately or leave the truffles plain and proceed to step 5.
4. Garnish: For a coconut garnish, roll the freshly coated truffles in a shallow dish of shredded coconut. For a confectioners' sugar garnish, set the freshly coated truffles on a plate and sift the garnish over them. Turn the truffles and sift again to cover completely.
5. Storage: Place the truffles on the lined baking sheet and allow them to set in the refrigerator for 5 minutes. Truffles will keep for about 2 weeks, chilled or at room temperature, when stored in a tightly sealed container.

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