How to Hand-Coat Round Centers in Chocolate

The following excerpt is from my book Chocolate for Beginners: Techniques and Recipes for Making Chocolate Candy, Confections, Cakes and More (Rockridge Press, 2019)

In order to make sure that our hand-rolled truffles are completely covered in chocolate, we hand-coat them with a very thin layer of chocolate before we dip them in chocolate or roll them in other ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds bittersweet, milk, or white chocolate
  • 1 recipe Milk Chocolate Truffles, hand-rolled
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder, finely chopped nuts, or shredded coconut (optional)
Equipment
  • Medium sauce pan
  • Medium bowl
  • Heatproof silicone spatula
  • Small ladle
  • Hair dryer
  • Offset metal icing spatula
  • Half sheet pan lined with parchment paper
  • Latex gloves (optional)
  • Round cake pan (optional)
Instructions
  1. 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 going to roll your truffles in cocoa powder, nuts, or coconut, spread about 1/4-inch layer of your chosen ingredient into the round cake pan.
  2. Coat the truffles. Ladle about two tablespoons of chocolate into the palm of your hand (you may want to wear latex gloves for this). Place a truffle into the pool of chocolate. With your other hand, palms facing each other, roll the ball so that it’s completely coated in chocolate. Transfer the truffle into your other hand, then allow the ball to roll off of your hand, onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan. Alternatively, roll the ball into the cake pan and shake the pan until the ball is completely coated in your chosen topping. Transfer the encrusted ball to the half sheet pan and allow to set. You will not coat these truffles in a secondary layer of chocolate; they are ready to serve as is.
  3. Finish coating and allow to set. Continue to coat the truffles in this way, working in batches of three or four truffles at a time before you ladle more chocolate into your hand. Allow the truffles to set at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before dipping them in chocolate.

Troubleshooting

  • Problem: Your bowl of chocolate is in perfect temper, but the chocolate on your truffles is setting with a grey or whitish haze.
  • Solution: Between coating batches of truffles, remove any excess chocolate from your hands by scraping them on the rim of the bowl.
  • Explanation: The heat of your hands is knocking the chocolate out of temper. Scraping the chocolate off of your hands allows you to start each batch with a relatively clean palette.

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