I’m not sure if it’s the lack of snow around here, the fact that I have yet to decide which desserts I will be making for Christmas, or that I have yet to wrap any gifts; but it doesn’t feel like Christmas at all. I’m going to go with the lack of snow. Those were my sentiments before I made these amazing truffles.
I’m not sure why, but these truffles immediately made me feel like it was Christmas. Not because it’s a tradition to make them every year; this was in fact my first time. Maybe it’s because making truffles is just something you do around Christmas? Perhaps, it’s the sheer decadence of them. I’m not going to lie, I’ve always been a bit skeptical of truffles. Most truffles I’ve come in contact with were simply rolled in cocoa powder and that just didn’t appeal to me. Plus, I’ve never been a huge fan of chocolate (chocolate cake is a completely different story), so I suppose they’ve never been something I’ve been dying to make. Until I saw these.
Dark chocolate, salted caramel, and a sprinkle of fleur-de-sel, I mean how could you go wrong? I quickly realized how wrong I have been all this time about truffles. These are knock your socks off good. The inside features a combination of dark chocolate and salted caramel, rolled in cocoa powder, and then dipped in dark chocolate and finished off with a sprinkling of fleur-de-sel. The flavours balance each other out so perfectly; the sweetness of the caramel in combination with the bitterness of the dark chocolate, and then those beautiful slight salty notes right at the end. Pure bliss.
If you’ve never made truffles, or have been afraid of them like me, please, please, please make these. I promise they will change your mind!
Dark Chocolate- Salted Caramel Truffles
Makes about 24 truffles
20 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cocao), finely chopped, divided
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel, plus additional for sprinkling
1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (I think these would be really good with dutch-process although I used natural)
1. Set a metal bowl with 8 ounces of chocolate, over a pot of barely simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch the water) until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Remove bowl from pot and set aside.
2. In a small heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Occasionally brush down the sides of the pot with a wet pastry brush. Once sugar is dissolved, increase the heat, boil the syrup until it reaches a deep amber colour, while occasionally swirling the pan, about 4 minutes. Whisk in the heavy cream (mixture will bubble vigorously). Stir over very low heat until the caramel is smooth. Remove from heat and mix the caramel and 1/4 teaspoon of fleur de sel into the melted chocolate. Chill until truffle filling is firm, about 3 hours.
**(I chilled overnight and let it sit at room temperature a few minutes before rolling)
3. Place cocoa in a small bowl. Measure about 1 tablespoon of the truffle filling, roll into balls using palms, then roll in the cocoa. Arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover, and chill overnight.
**(I chilled in the freezer for about 20 minutes and then used right away and had excellent results)
4. Line a baking sheet with Silpat or parchment paper. Stir remaining 12 ounces of chocolate in a medium metal bowl set over a pot of barely simmering water. Do not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water. Slowly heat the chocolate until it is completely melted and smooth and thermometer measures 115 degrees F. Remove the bowl from over the pot. Working rapidly, submerge 1 truffle into the chocolate. Using a long dinner fork, lift out the truffle from the chocolate, and tap the fork on the side of the bowl to remove the excess chocolate. Using a small knife, push the truffle off the fork and on to the baking sheet. Let the truffle sit for a few seconds, and then sprinkle with additional fleur-de-sel. Repeat with the remaining truffles. Refrigerate until the chocolate coating sets, at least 1 hour.
Storage: Truffles can be made 1 week ahead. Refrigerate in an airtight container, and bring to room temperature before serving.
Adapted from Bon Appetit Desserts.