Thursday, December 25, 2014

Chocolate Truffles (Like LINDT / Lindor)

 Truffles are small, delectable confections (usually round and made of chocolate), with a rich center created from a combination of chocolate and cream, co-called “ganache”.  With these recipes (from the folks who make the LINDT chocolate truffles), you can create your own signature truffle and surprise your friends!

The folks and Lindor do it a bit differently, which allows them to make more truffles quickly, in mass-- they pre-mold hallow balls of shelling chocolate (they make 2 equal halves in a candy mold, then seal them together).   Then they use a small hole at the end to fill the hallow ball with the smooth, creamy center.  

Even though you don't have those big factory machines, you can still make these at home with the same ingredients, just a more old-fashioned method of forming the truffles.   And probably the way they were originally formed, before the company moved up to worldwide production.  

Chocolate Truffles (Like LINDT / Lindor)

Makes approximately 20 milk, 20 dark, or 20 white truffles.

Ganache for milk chocolate truffels:
¼ cup (60ml) heavy cream
5oz (150g) LINDT Milk Chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon (15g) butter, softened

Ganache for dark chocolate truffels:
¼ cup (60ml) heavy cream
5oz (150g) LINDT Dark Chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon (15g) butter, softened

Ganache for white chocolate truffels:
¼ cup (60ml) heavy cream
5oz (150g) LINDT White Chocolate, chopped


Heat the cream until it just comes to a boil, add the chopped chocolate and remove pan from heat.  Stir or whisk until the chocolate is completely melted.  Only for milk or dark truffles: Stir in the butter until the ganache is smooth.  Put in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap ensuring that the plastic makes contact with the entire surface of the ganache.  Refrigerate overnight or until the ganache is set.



Use a melon baller, small ice cream scoop or measuring teaspoon.  Roll the ganache in a ball and place on parchment paper.  Roll finished truffles in unsweetened cocoa powder (see “Finishing the truffles” for decorating tips).

From LINDT’s Maîtres Chocolatiers Ann Czaja & Hans Mazenauer:

Because of their high fat content, truffles will melt in your hands when you are rolling them. Make sure you work quickly and don’t over roll. Use your finger tips and when washing your hands rinse them with cold water. You may also roll the truffles using cocoa powder to coat your hands. This will, however, only allow you to use one finish on the truffle (i.e. cocoa powder). 

Easy Option:

Finishing the truffles can be as simple as rolling them in cocoa powder or powdered sugar.
You can also roll them in the following: Chocolate shavings, chopped chocolate. 

Or chopped toasted nuts: walnuts, pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts, Coconut.

After hand-rolling the truffles, place them on a shallow tray filled with the desired coating.  Roll the truffle in the coating with either a pair of spoons or your hands.

Intermediate Option:

The second option is to coat the truffles in tempered chocolate. Temper a few ounces of the desired type of chocolate.  Mount truffle on 2 tooth picks (to make it stay put better during rotating).   Hold truffle by the tooth picks over a container of melted/tempered chocolate.   Its best to use shelling chocolate, the kind used for chocolate-coating fruit (it is usually found in the produce section of the grocery store, or the baking section).   Use a spoon to scoop and pour the chocolate over the truffle, rotating the truffle to coat all sides.   Place truffle on wax paper to cool and set.  

When tempering chocolate or working with tempered chocolate, the temperature of your work space is important. The temperature should not be above 70°F (21°C) or the chocolate might not set. Store truffles in a cool place. You can put them in the fridge, but they will sweat and potentially bloom when removed from the cold environment. Truffles are best enjoyed at room temperature

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Buttery Keebler Cracker Toffee (Chocolate Coated)

You NEED to try these!   They are one of the most delicious sweets I've had to date.  My coworker Helen made these buttery, crispy, chocolaty treats and brought them in to share with us.  Soooo delicious!  The original recipe online called for regular saltine crackers... But she had this great idea of using those BUTTERY Keebler club crackers instead. Wonderful idea, it was genius! The result was these scrumptious, crispy, buttery, addictive chocolaty sweets that resembled Almond Rocas or Heath bars in flavor...  It is easy to make and will certainly win over a crowd with a sweet tooth.  The only warning I can offer is to maybe make 2 batches if there are a lot of people, because they go fast! 

Buttery Keebler Cracker Toffee (Chocolate Coated)

1 box Keebler club crackers
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 bag (12oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips (or dark chocolate)
1 – 2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts (optional, or any nuts you like, hazelnut is also great)
Parchment paper (or thick foil)

1.  Preheat oven to 350°F.

2.  Line a 12 x 17 inch pan with parchment paper, or foil. Place Keebler club crackers side-by-side in the pan as tightly as possible without overlapping. As many as will fit.   Use cracker pieces to fill any gaps at the bottom of the pan.

3.  In a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat stirring frequently with a spatula. Once butter has melted, add brown sugar and vanilla stirring to combine. Cook for about 5 minutes or until mixture is an even dark brown color and has begun to bubble. Remove from heat and pour over crackers using spatula to spread sauce.

4.  Bake crackers for 5 minutes or until butter mixture begins to bubble. Remove from oven and sprinkle evenly with chocolate allowing the heat to melt the chocolate. Spread chocolate evenly with the spatula so all of the crackers are completely covered. Sprinkle nuts (if desired over chocolate.    

5.  Refrigerate until chocolate sets and hardens. Break apart and serve.