DIY: Chocolate Truffles

Okay, so what do we have here: a tub of unsweetened cocoa and a bowl of chilled ganache.  There’s also a spoon and a saucer.  Now, what could all these possibly be for?  Why, truffle making, of course!

It was one of those ideas that hit me from out of the blue.  I still had a large bowl of what I now refer to as my Galleon Trade Ganache (so named because I used South American chocolate [a blend of Ecuador and Peru from Heavenly Chocolates] and local dairy products) left over from last weekend when someone ordered a dozen Whoop-de-dos filled with dark ganache.  Now, I’m not the sort to waste anything – least of all a bowl of dark, glorious chocolate! – but none of us at home has been in the mood for cake, of late.  And, while the weather has been gruesomely hot enough for sundaes, everyone seems to prefer chugging down tumblers of iced tea instead of scarfing down ice cream. 

That said, the bowl has been in what we refer to as the deli section of the fridge – colder than the main part of the fridge, but not as polar as the freezer.  I had a spoonful of the ganache for dessert the other evening when I came home bone-tired from work.  Then it hit me: why not make truffles?  I mean, it’s virtually a no-brainer.

The original chocolate truffle first made its appearance in 1895 at the shop owned by the Dufours of Chambery, France.  Cold lumps of ganache were rolled in cocoa powder, a process which added an appealing layer of bitterness to something that would otherwise have been too sweet.  In the early 20th Century, the Swiss improved on the technique by adding butter to the ganache and pouring the resulting compound into molds to ensure uniformity.  This is the technique used for the Truffettes de France sold at the kiosk of the same name at the Shangri-la Plaza.

I will be honest at this point and say outright that I don’t have molds for making truffles; nor did I use butter for my ganache.  In fact, let me let you all in on my secret ingredient for this particular temptation…

I used carabao [water buffalo] milk rather than cream.  Yep, a cup of incredibly butter-fat, full cream carabao milk from Saint Mary Dairy (P 170.00 per liter from SM Supermarket).  The end results were a ganache that was much smoother in its molten state and a truffle with slight caramel-ish notes and a rather toothsome texture: firm to the bite, but dissolving into a rich puddle almost as soon as you close your mouth.  Mm-hmm…divine decadence, indeed.

Just one thing, though: plan your craving a couple days in advance as the ganache needs time to firm up to optimal truffle condition.  😉

Chocolate Truffles

  • 1 cup full-cream carabao milk or 1 330-mL carton of all-purpose cream
  • 200 grams bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup single-origin dark chocolate buttons
  • cocoa powder for rolling

In a non-reactive saucepan (enamel or copper work best) over low heat, bring the milk or cream to a boil whilst stirring constantly.  Add the chopped chocolate and the single-origin buttons and keep stirring to prevent scorching.  Cook until the mixture has reduced and thickened.  Pour into a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature; chill in the coldest part of your refrigerator overnight or up to 48 hours.

Cover the surface of a saucer or a plate with cocoa powder.  Drop rounded tablespoons of the ganache and roll in the cocoa till well covered.  Place finished truffles in an airtight container and chill before serving.

Makes approximately 50 truffles.