Monday, May 11th, 2015

Chocolate Truffles

An easy recipe for melt-in-your-mouth, Chocolate Truffles made with luscious dark chocolate and amaretto liqueur. | sophisticatedgourmet.com

My love affair with chocolate began over a decade ago at a mom-and-pop chocolate shop situated on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The shop, still open today (to my surprise) is a teeny-tiny place easy enough to walk past and ignore. That is, if the door isn’t swung open.

An easy recipe for melt-in-your-mouth, Chocolate Truffles made with luscious dark chocolate and amaretto liqueur.  | sophisticatedgourmet.com

After school, each day, I’d take a half-mile trek up to my mother’s workplace; I walked past the small chocolate shop for months with hope that I’d not walk in and clean myself out of my weekly allowance.


An easy recipe for melt-in-your-mouth, Chocolate Truffles made with luscious dark chocolate and amaretto liqueur. | sophisticatedgourmet.com

It was my Mom’s birthday, and I’d spent the entirety of my walk dropping almost two weeks’ worth of allowance money to create a decent-enough birthday gift. Everything I’d put together seemed good enough to muster up a big smile, until I walked past the chocolate shop. As someone swung open the shop door, the smell of chocolate danced past my nose and pulled me in.

An easy recipe for melt-in-your-mouth, Chocolate Truffles made with luscious dark chocolate and amaretto liqueur.  | sophisticatedgourmet.com

The shop was a teeny-tiny place covered in small news clippings, chocolate arrangements, and tchotchkes from decades before. I’ve been told it’s where all the Columbia University students get chocolates for their sweethearts on Valentine’s; it’s also where Katharine Hepburn would arrive on a monthly basis, for over two decades, to pick up a box of her favorite assorted chocolates.

An easy recipe for melt-in-your-mouth, Chocolate Truffles made with luscious dark chocolate and amaretto liqueur.  | sophisticatedgourmet.com

I took in the views of all the varieties of chocolate, and a warm smile from behind the counter caught my attention, “Hi! Are you looking or anything specific?” Her smile lit up the room. I informed her about my dilemma– I only had so much money left. “Chocolate Truffles,” she reassured me they’d be a good idea. She nestled a few next to each other in a small box closed with a sticker, then went back to the case and handed me one, “This one’s for you.” I bit into the chocolate truffle and felt my soul jump. In my hand, the chocolate didn’t seem like anything special– I thought it was just a piece of chocolate; but once I bit into the hard truffle, I immediately knew I’d never look at chocolate the same ever again.

An easy recipe for melt-in-your-mouth, Chocolate Truffles made with luscious dark chocolate and amaretto liqueur. | sophisticatedgourmet.com

To celebrate my Mom’s 50th birthday, and to celebrate my long love affair with chocolate, I give you chocolate truffles… Because I’d much rather eat Aloha Superfood chocolate in bed on Sunday night, alone, than force myself to go on awkward dates with strangers who think it’s okay to eat a dressing-less salad leaves as a meal while I down a cheeseburger (we’ll talk about that later).

An easy recipe for melt-in-your-mouth, Chocolate Truffles made with luscious dark chocolate and amaretto liqueur. | sophisticatedgourmet.com

Chocolate Truffles Recipe
Makes about 15 truffles
Prep time:
Total time (mostly refrigeration):

These truffles are luscious; they’re smooth, rich, and have the perfect amount of flavor thanks to the small addition of sea salt and amaretto liqueur. Admittedly, they’re a bit messy to make but they come together in a pinch. As we all know– chocolate melts, so be sure to work in a cool environment and work as quickly as you can, especially if you’ve hot hands (Tip: run your hands under cold running water for a few seconds, then dry them off, before working with the truffles).

A bit on the chocolate: For the dark chocolate, I like to stick to a cacao content of 54% to 65%. If you’d like truffles that are less rich, feel free to substitute between 1.5 oz (43 g) and 2 oz (57 g) of milk chocolate for the dark chocolate.

On the golden syrup: I find that adding a bit of golden syrup to the mixture keeps the truffles nice and smooth in texture; if you don’t have golden syrup on hand, feel free to use mild honey, light agave nectar, or light corn syrup– they all work great.

On the flavoring: If you don’t have amaretto or would rather use another flavoring, you can go for that (raspberry or cherry liqueur would be lovely here!) or use vanilla extract or almond extract, instead; I’ve cut down on the amount called for in the latter because it tends to be pretty strong. Feel free to use any other of your other favorite extracts that go well with chocolate; this recipe is a good base for any of your favorite chocolate flavor-parings.

Ingredients:
6 oz / 170 g dark chocolate, roughly chopped (refer to headnotes)
1/3 cup / 80ml heavy (whipping) cream
1 Tablespoon / 14 g unsalted butter
Pinch fine grain sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons golden syrup (refer to headnotes)
1 teaspoon amaretto liqueur / pure vanilla extract, or 3/4 teaspoon almond extract

For rolling
3 tablespoons / 25 g shredded / desiccated coconut
3 tablespoons / 25 g dry roasted shelled pistachio nuts, finely chopped
3 tablespoons/ 20 g natural unsweetened cocoa powder

Preparation:

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt together the dark chocolate, heavy cream, butter, and salt, making sure to stir constantly until melted. Once melted, remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the golden syrup and amaretto liqueur.

Transfer the chocolate mixture into a clean, 8-inch / 20-cm square baking pan. Refrigerate the pan of truffle filling, uncovered, until firm, about 45 minutes.

Line a serving plate or rimmed baking sheet with parchment or wax paper, and set aside.

Place the shredded coconut, pistachio nuts, and cocoa powder in mouds on a large piece of parchment or wax paper (alternatively, you can use three shallow bowls). Scoop a heaping teaspoon-sized portion of the chocolate mixture and form into a rough round with your hands. Roll round in desired coating, pressing in and covering completely, making sure to shake of any excess. Repeat the process with the rest of the chocolate mixture, being sure to place the coated truffles on the prepared place/ baking sheet. Once done, chill the truffles until set, about 30 minutes, before eating.

The truffles will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 2 weeks. Bring truffles to room temperature right before serving.

THIS POST WAS BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

Fine print: This post was a paid endorsement by Aloha to help promote their delicious handmade Superfood Chocolate bars, which are made with Fair Trade certified organic ingredients. Each bar is mineral-rich, dairy-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, and low glycemic. I absolutely love what Aloha is doing– they’ve changed the chocolate industry by utilizing really good ingredients to create a delicious bar perfect for nearly everyone to eat! Please note that any opinions in this post, including this little tidbit, are my own.

Font Size: a A | print recipe Print Recipe | 25 Comments

25COMMENTS

  • Megan
    May 11th, 2015
    1

    Lovely to see a post from you. The truffles look great and I love your story. That date does sound awkward!

    Kamran replied:

    Megan- it was truly awkward.

  • Patty W
    May 11th, 2015
    2

    Kam!! Seeing your post in my email today made me SOOOO happy! Your writing and photography always make my day better!! These truffles are stunning and I love that you added great ingredients to make the truffles that much better (Happy Birthday to your momma). PS please tell us about that awkward date, I’d LOVE to hear more!

    Kamran replied:

    Patty- Aw, thanks so much! I’m definitely considering sharing more about the awkward date. It’s too good of a story not to share, I must admit.

  • Chloé
    May 11th, 2015
    3

    Hello!
    A great post with lovely pictures!
    Excellent idea on the amaretto! I will have to try that!

    Kamran replied:

    Thank you!

  • Lucie A.S
    May 11th, 2015
    4

    In love with chocolate! Those look wonderful and lovely story to go with it. Now I want to eat chocolate….

    Keep them posts coming!
    Cheers,
    Lucie

    Kamran replied:

    Thanks so much, Lucie! These are pretty darn delicious, if I do say so myself! A great mini-project for the weekend.

  • Danny W.
    May 11th, 2015
    5

    Thanks for sharing this lovely reminiscence & a recipe that makes just enough. Happy Birthday to your Mom too.

    I look forward to the “Date with an Undressed Salad” posting!

    Kamran replied:

    Thank you! I’ll let her know of your kind birthday wish!

  • Alejandra
    May 12th, 2015
    6

    Can you share the name of the shop? I’m on the UWS and need to know now!

    Kamran replied:

    Alejandra- Mondel Chocolates; it’s on 114th and Broadway. I haven’t been there in the longest, but I’m sure they’re still good. Do let me know when you check them out!

  • Mary Frances
    May 14th, 2015
    7

    Loved the story. Wishing your mom a happy birthday! Also, now I’m really curious about the name of the chocolate shop!

  • JM
    May 14th, 2015
    8

    You must be talking about Mondel’s! I was pretty sure, but the newspaper clippings are a dead giveaway. It’s practically an institution!

  • Deneise
    May 15th, 2015
    9

    So happy to know there’s a beautiful man that prefers Sunday nights alone with chocolate to awkward dates. You’re so lovely Kam.

  • Lynn
    May 20th, 2015
    10

    Holy smokes. I went to Cordon Bleu and they would have cut my head off if I would melt my chocolate in a sauce pan straight over a burner. N’est pas mion ami. You are dealing with novices here. We learned the old fashioned way. Over a Bain Maire. Nice and slowly so you do not burn your chocolate. And also, never in a microwave. I also suggest to use a very small ice cream scoop/ melon baller for one’s truffles. Anyway, just a suggestion from someone who has been making truffles for a very long time……

    Kamran replied:

    Dear Lynn, thanks for the note! I’m no graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, however, I’ve learned quite a lot over my many years of baking and handling chocolate. I’ve worked under a 3-star Michelin Pastry Chef and I learned that when chocolate is melted in a pan over a direct flame with a significant amount of fat (in this case: heavy cream and butter), it doesn’t catch when watched and stirred. Even chocolate in a double boiler has the ability to catch, and I’ve seen it happen in the above mentioned Michelin Star restaurant.

    My little corner of the web, despite what you’ve gathered from it, is not meant solely for one group; it’s a place for all people who love good food– cooks and bakers of all ranks and experiences. I am a home cook and baker, and much of my audience is the same. Because of this, I know that not everyone, especially novices, don’t have the fancy equipment (i.e melon ballers) that a baking enthusiast or Le Cordon Bleu graduate might have. Sometimes people just want to make things and not make a snobbishly grand production futzing around with unnecessary dishes and steps as if they were on a television show or in cooking school. I aim to take the fears of being in the kitchen away from people with different techniques that might seem unusual on here and in my book. You’d love my book; I offer many helpful tips and techniques throughout it that you might find useful in your everyday baking.

  • Lynn
    May 22nd, 2015
    11

    Thanks for the reply. Funny, how all chefs have their own rules. Under your chef, he allowed you to melt the chocolate under a directer flame, while my chefs considered it verboten. They were extremely strict with everything. They were extremely strict with cleanliness as well. But as far as chocolate, the fat content never seemed to enter into it. You melt over a Bain Marie. Period. ( And I never had a problem burning chocolate with a Bain Marie). As far as using a mellon baller, they had suggested it and I learned it from chefs I worked with in NYC. And, not a huge investment for the average person to invest in. It’s not like we are asking them to buy a kitchen aid stand mixer:) I guess I am a perfectionist. I went to Cordon Bleu because Julia Child was my idol and if it was good enough for her, I figured it would be good enough for me. I lived in NYC, but opted to move to London to attend that school. I do not have your book. Your photo’s look wonderful. You would send me one?:)

  • Cali @ Cali's Cuisine
    June 1st, 2015
    12

    I love chocolate! After spending a year in product development at a chocolate factory (yes, it is a real job!), I became a chocolate snob. There is some chocolate that is not worth eating. Your truffles look amazing. I will put this on my list of things to make, and will be sure to start with good quality dark chocolate. Yum!

  • Lindsey @ a honey blossom
    June 14th, 2015
    13

    I love making my own chocolate truffles – it’s not as hard as everyone thinks it is! One of my favorite variations is to substitute some strong coffee for a little of the cream, and top the truffle with a whole coffee bean (I usually dip my truffles in chocolate). The coffee bean is crunchy on top (if you’ve ever had a chocolate covered coffee bean, it’s like that), and the creamy chocolate filing is really accented by the coffee.
    Anyway, thanks for the beautiful recipe and story! The Aloha chocolate brand looks great – I hope to try it soon!

  • Trisha
    June 18th, 2015
    14

    My mouth is genuinely wide open. Such lovely photos and love affair with chocolate – TELL ME ABOUT IT! I Heart YOUR BLOG Kamran.

  • chef kevin ashton
    June 24th, 2015
    15

    Nice looking truffles with a well written article that entices the reader in.

  • CaroleD
    June 25th, 2015
    16

    Aloha Kam – just saw you in the June issue of Food and Wine – can you believe it? How am I just finding out about your blog?! Well better late than never I always say! Glad to see you featuring Hawaiian chocolate – it is fabulous! I’m so getting your book because the F&W recipes rocked my world! Keep on blogging because, of course, now I’m obsessed!

  • El
    June 25th, 2015
    17

    Lucky mom. How can you Not love truffles!

  • Beth
    June 27th, 2015
    18

    These were super popular in my family- thanks for the new obsession, Kamran. :)

leave a comment

Subscribe by: EMAIL or RSS Feed