Sunday, April 26, 2009

Peanut Butter Chocolate Truffles

Since I was unable to make it home for Easter this year, I decided I would make my own Easter chocolates. Although the Easter Bunny has long come and gone, I've been too "busy" to get this recipe up by easter. Better late than never. (P.S. longest post yet!)

Despite the perceived difficulty of truffles, I found them to be relatively easy, though fairly time consuming. So, if you have some spare time one day, don't feel discouraged to give it a shot. Plus, it's lots of fun! I made the truffles before I went to bed one night and then coated them the next day working the various steps in as study breaks.

These truffles are actually slightly healthier than normal ones as they do not contain butter and have coconut milk instead of heavy cream. That being said, if you are a true truffle aficionado, these may be slightly different from more traditional truffles. Nonetheless, they are delicious and very chocolatey!

Quantity: 11-12
Time: about 60-70mins of actual work and 3hrs of wait time

- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1/2 cup heavy* coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* you can get heavy coconut cream from placing a regular can in the fridge an hour or so before opening trying to take only the thicker top layer.

- 4 oz bittersweet chocolate
- Dutch coco powder
- salted peanuts and pistachios

The first step is the ganache. Put the cup of semi-sweet choc. chips into a bowl while heating the coconut milk and the peanut butter on the stove. Once the milk and p.b. start to boil, pour them into the bowl of choc. chips stirring the mix well. Add the vanilla extract and continue mixing. The best weapon of choice is a wooden spoon. Mix the chocolate well but do not incorporate too much air by mixing it too vigorously. Cover this bowl with plastic wrap and then place it in the fridge for 10-15mins cooling it to the consistency of peanut butter.

The second step is to take this mixture and create the individual truffles. This can be done two different ways. If you have a pastry bag, you would scoop all the ganache into the bag to then squeeze out balls about the size of a strawberry. However, I didn't have a pastry bag so I used the spoons method.

Taking two spoons, scoop out one spoonful and use the second spoon to then scoop the mix off of the first spoon. This will be repeated (continuously scooping the chocolate off of the other spoon) until a ball begins to form. Do this for all the ganache (should make about 11 or 12). Place these onto wax paper on a baking sheet and into the fridge for about an hour.

Once the truffles have hardened, remove them from the fridge and roll them in your palms to smooth them out. This is a little messy with your palms getting covered in chocolate, so be prepared. Place them back into the fridge for another hour.

The third step is to create the choc. coating for the truffles. Take the remaining 4 oz of bittersweet chocolate and using a strong and sharp knife, dice the chocolate into very small pieces. At the same time, place a glass or metal bowl over a simmering pot of water (the water should not be boiling). Take your diced bittersweet chocolate and place it into the glass bowl. Begin mixing the chocolate with a wooden spoon until it is completely melted. This will be the crunchy coating for your soft truffles.
Remove the truffles from the fridge and prepare an assembly line starting with your frozen truffles, then the bowl of melted chocolate, then your "toppings" (coco powder, crushed peanuts, crushed pistachios or whatever you wish) and then another plate covered in wax paper or tin foil.

The fourth step is the coating of the truffles. Take two forks and take a frozen truffle and place it into the melted chocolate. Cover it completely and then remove with the two forks, pausing to let all excess chocolate drip off. Place it into a bowl/plate of your awaiting coating shaking it around assuring it is completely covered. Place all your finished truffles onto the awaiting plate and place into the fridge for another 30 mins. After the 30mins, remove and place them into an air-tight Tupperware container.

When you do decide to eat your truffle or share it with your sweetie, remove the truffles from the fridge and allow them to warm to room temperature (20-30mins).

The final step: proceed to stuff your face.

Good luck and enjoy!

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