The following excerpt is from my book Chocolate for Beginners: Techniques and Recipes for Making Chocolate Candy, Confections, Cakes and More (Rockridge Press, 2019)
You can use this method for either hand-rolled truffles, or palette-shaped truffles. If you are dipping palette-shaped truffles, you must first “bottom” your ganache (Step 2, below). This step ensures that your finished flat-bottomed truffle is coated completely in chocolate.
- 2 pounds bittersweet, milk, or white chocolate
- Rolled and hand-coated centers, or bottom-coated palette-shaped centers
- Medium sauce pan
- Medium bowl
- Heatproof silicone spatula
- Hair dryer
- Offset metal icing spatula
- Half sheet pan lined with parchment paper
- Candy-dipping fork, or regular dinner fork
- Prepare your chocolate and your work space. If your chocolate is in bar or brick form, chop it into 1/4-inch pieces. Melt and temper the chocolate using your preferred method. Remove the tempered chocolate from the heat, and keep the hair dryer close to hand for warming your chocolate as needed.
- If you are coating palettes, bottom-coat the slab using the Bottom-Coating Method on page XXX. Score, then cut the ganache into one-inch squares.
- Dip the truffles. Plop a coated truffle into the bowl of chocolate. Using the fork, push the truffle into the chocolate so that it is completely submerged. Again, using the fork, lift the truffle out of the chocolate, scraping the bottom of your fork on the rim of the bowl to remove any excess chocolate, then flip the truffle over and onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan. Lift your fork off of what is now the top of the truffle, making a tiny spiraling motion as you do so. This leaves an attractive flourish on the top of the truffle. If you are dipping palettes, plop the palette into the bowl of chocolate, chocolate coating-side down. Using the fork, push the truffle into the chocolate so that it is completely submerged. Again, using the fork, lift the truffle out of the chocolate, scraping the bottom of your fork on the rim of the bowl to remove any excess chocolate. Transfer the coated truffle onto the half-sheet pan by tilting the fork so that the palette slides off smoothly onto the parchment.
- Allow the truffles to set at room temperature for 10-20 minutes. If your kitchen is very warm (above 70), set the coated truffles in the refrigerator for no more than 5 minutes. Store the finished truffles in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.
- Problem: You’re having trouble sliding the palette off your fork.
- Solution: This skill takes practice. But if you’re finding that the truffle is sticking to the fork consistently, it’s possible that the ganache is too soft due to an overly warm room, or an under-set ganache. Cool the room down if possible. If that’s not possible, place the ganache in the refrigerator until it firms up.