Saturday, December 31, 2016

Chocolate at Home: Champagne Truffles

On Christmas morning we had Champagne.  Because that's just how my family rolls.  Kidding, we had sparkling wine in our mimosas because that's how my family really rolls.  But then after all the mimosa drinking was done, there was some sparkling wine left in the bottle.  And you should never throw out something so delicious.  So I took the precious liquid home and found this fantastic recipe for truffles.  The only difficulty is that the truffles are remarkably rich, so you will find it difficult to hoard them for long.  These were meant for sharing, because sharing is caring.

Note:  Yes, some of the truffles in the picture are coated in powdered sugar.  No, I don't recommend it.  If the truffles sit for any period of time, the sugar melts into the underlying chocolate, leaving you with a slightly wet, haggard-looking ball of chocolate.  However, I absolutely condone dipping these in melted chocolate to form a shell, which is then rolled in powdered sugar once it solidifies.  Trial/error.

Champagne Truffles
Adapted from Chocolate at Home by Will Torrent as seen on Leite's Culinaria

7½ ounces chopped milk or semisweet chocolate
4½ ounces chopped dark or bittersweet chocolate
⅓ cup heavy cream
Pinch salt
¼ cup good quality Champagne
2 teaspoons brandy, preferably Cognac
¾ cup good quality cocoa powder (such as Valrhona)

Combine the chopped chocolates in a bowl.

Dump the cream and salt in a small saucepan or pot over low heat and bring to a gentle boil. Immediately pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate. Stir briefly and then set aside for 3 minutes to allow the chocolate to melt. Stir again to ensure the chocolate is melted and smooth. (If the chocolate is not completely melted, it can be gently rewarmed in a microwave at 50% power in 5-second increments or in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water.)  Add the Champagne and brandy to the melted chocolate and stir until you have a smooth, shiny ganache. Set aside to cool at room temperature for 3 to 5 hours. (Alternately, you can cover and stash the ganache mixture overnight in the fridge.)

Gently form the ganache into 1- to 1½-inch diameter spheres and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Sift the cocoa powder into a bowl and spread half the mixture on a rimmed baking sheet or large plate. Line another rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Gently place each truffle on the baking sheet with the cocoa and sift the remaining mixture in the bowl over the top and sides so each truffle is evenly coated. Carefully transfer the coated truffles to the lined baking sheet to set before serving. Repeat with the remaining truffles. Place the truffles on a plate, loosely cover, and refrigerate for up to several days. For the most insanely creamy Champagne truffles experience, bring to room temperature prior to indulging.

Makes 40 to 50 truffles

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