I know, it's been a while. But I have a really good excuse: It's called Chocolate for Beginners.
Have you ever wanted to try your hand at making chocolates at home, but were intimidated by the complicated tomes on chocolate making that seem to be written for some arcane order of erudite culinary magicians, unfettered by work, chores, family, and other things that constitute everyday life? Well, this summer, I wrote a book just for you.
It has simple, detailed instructions on how to make professional quality chocolates and confections, using time-honored methods and pure ingredients. I cover dozens of techniques (including troubleshooting tips) and then offer 65 delicious recipes with which to practice them.
It will be available for sale in a bookshop near you on November 12th, just in time for the holidays. However, if you want to put a check next to all the aspiring confectioners on your list, you can pre-order the book right NOW on Amazon.
In the mean time, I wanted to share a recipe from the book. Last week, I asked RCC's Facebook community what recipe from Chocolate for Beginners they'd like to see first, and they chose Coffee Bean Truffles. The recipe, which teaches you how to make a remarkably flavorful ganache with just a few ingredients, is below.
Keep in mind that when I instruct you to "temper the chocolate," I am referring to a process that is covered in detail in the first part of the book. If you are unfamiliar with tempering, don't worry! Skip the dipping in chocolate part and just roll your truffles into balls, and coat with cocoa powder instead. Enjoy!!
Coffee Bean Truffles from Chocolate for Beginners
Coffee Bean Truffles
Coffee and cacao both have the same specific and limited growing regions—between 0° and 20° north and south of the equator. Could this be the reason they taste so good together? Use richly roasted coffee beans, and resist the temptation to grind them. Doing so will only add bitterness to your ganache, not more flavor.
Difficulty Level Intermediate
Prep Time 30 minutes to an hour
Set Time 15 minutes
Techniques Emulsifying, Tempering, Coating
Yield 49 pieces
Storage Store in an airtight container at room temperature for two weeks
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
6 ounces milk chocolate
1 tablespoons soft butter
8 ounces heavy cream
1/4 cup whole dark-roasted coffee beans
2 pounds bittersweet chocolate
49 whole coffee beans, for garnish
Medium and small sauce pans
Heatproof silicone spatula
Half sheet pan lined with parchment
- Infuse the cream. Heat the heavy cream in a small sauce pan until it just comes to a boil. Kill the heat and add the 1/4 cup of coffee beans. Cover the pan, and steep the cream for 30 minutes. Strain the cream through a fine sieve into a clean sauce pan, pressing down on the beans to get every last drop. Weigh the cream. It should measure six ounces. If it is less, add a bit more cream to the pan. If it is more, discard the excess (or add it to your coffee).
- Prepare your ingredients. Chop the six ounces bittersweet chocolate and six ounces milk chocolate into 1/4-inch pieces. Place the chopped chocolate into the bowl of a food processor. Place the butter on top of the chocolate. Heat the cream until it comes to a full boil.
- Make the ganache. Remove the cream from the heat, and pour it onto the chopped chocolate and butter. Immediately place the lid on the food processor and let it sit for one full minute. Process the mixture until it resembles firm pudding and is free of lumps.
- Set the ganache. Scrape the warm ganache into the parchment lined baking pan and spread so that it covers the bottom of the pan evenly. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and press the wrap so that it is resting directly on the surface of the ganache. Place the pan in the refrigerator until the ganache is firm; this could take anywhere from one to several hours.
- Temper the chocolate. Using your preferred method, temper the two pounds of bittersweet chocolate.
- Cut the truffles. When the ganache is quite firm, remove the pan from the refrigerator, and peel the plastic wrap from its surface. With a paring knife, cut the slab of ganache away from the sides of the pan. Flip the ganache out onto a cutting board by turning the pan upside down. Peel the parchment from the ganache, and bottom the slab with tempered chocolate. Score and cut the ganache into one-inch square palettes. (Alternatively, you can hand-roll the ganache into walnut-sized balls.)
- Coat the truffles. Using the Fork-Dipping method, coat the truffles in tempered chocolate. Before the chocolate coating sets, perch a coffee bean on top of each truffle. 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.
Tip: Instead of coffee beans, garnish the truffles with a bit of candied orange peel. The flavors of orange, coffee, and chocolate compliment each other in a unique and somewhat exotic way.