I've made chocolate truffles twice before this, but they were hand rolled ganache dipped in liquid chocolate and left to harden. This batch was made using two different chocolate molds: swirl chocolate molds and the "cherry flip" mold. I ended up doing 7 1/2 trays worth of truffles.
This is a close up of the cherry flip truffles and a few of the swirls on bottom. The cherry flip truffles have a Amaretto Liquor flavored ganache inside. Oh yea!
Here's a close up of the swirls. These ones have a Ruby Port Wine flavored ganache. The chocolate that I used for ganache is a dark chocolate by Callebaut. The outside or the molded part of the chocolate is a semi-sweet chocolate by Guittard. I am pleased with how they turned out and I hope that my friends and their wedding guests enjoy them!!
As usual, I learned a few things while making this particular batch of truffles.
- Using liquor in a ganache will affect the "stiffness" of your ganache. So if you plan on hand rolling the ganache, you will need to use less heavy cream to account for the added liquor.
- Give yourself LOTS of time if you are going to be using the molds to do your truffles. You will need to make the ganache first and get that in the fridge. The ganache is piped into the molds, so it needs to be thinner than it would be if you hand rolled the ganache. So the added cream and liquor worked out for me. I ended up putting my ganache into piping bags which made it a lot easier to add to the molds.
- The chocolate that you pour into the mold needs to be tempered in order to give a nice shiny finish and a good crunch when you bite into it. This is the process that takes the longest amount of time. And each brand of chocolate has it own best tempering process. I recommend researching the brand of chocolate to get directions on how to temper it properly. This can make or break the quality of your molded truffles!
- Tempering is usually required for couverture chocolate. This is high quality chocolate with extra cocoa butter. It's used specifically for molds and for "enrobing" the ganache of hand rolled truffles. The package of chocolate will usually tell you if it requires tempering. What is tempering? Its bringing the chocolate to a certain temperature, then dropping it down several degrees then back up to its perfect "working" temperature. This helps form crystals in the chocolate that make that wonderful shine and crisp cracking crunch when you bite it. For general info about tempering check this out. But remember that each brand of chocolate will have specific temperatures that you will need to use to temper the chocolate properly. Do your research to get these temps for the chocolate that you are using.
- Chocolate coating can be used to cover your ganache, but this usually has vegetable oils in it instead of cocoa butter. It makes for a much lower quality product and I feel an inferior flavor. Besides coating chocolate just does NOT melt and pour like real chocolate. Know the difference!