In another attempt to fight consumerism (homemade gifts!) and use the kilo (!) of Valrhona 61% chocolate I got from my darling mother, here come the truffles. They turned out gooey and chocolatey and perfect, in all their sugary dairy fattiness. So, so good!
The balsamic idea comes from Soma (credit where credit is due), the incredible chocolatier in Toronto’s Distillery District. I had a balsamic chocolate there back in the day (years ago!) and I still remember.. This turned out more like a slight hint of balsamic, but it’s a pleasant one nonetheless. You could flavor them any which way you like, though.
The actual recipe (sans balsamic) is from a booklet that came with the big chunk of chocolate.
(Slightly) balsamic truffles
- 150 g double cream (ie 1,5 dl)
- 25 g honey
- 190 g Valrhona 61% couverture chocolate (nice chocolate with a high cocoa butter content — not 70%)
- 30 g butter
- some balsamic vinegar
- some sugar
- cocoa for rolling
Heat about equal parts vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan (a few tablespoons of each, I didn’t measure). Boil to reduce.
Chop the chocolate finely and put in a bowl. Boil cream and honey. Pour 1/3 of the cream over the chocolate and wait a second — it will start to melt it. Start stirring briskly with a spatula, and add the cream gradually (“as if you are making mayonnaise”, according to the instructions — I certainly never made mayonnaise!). Stir until you achieve a shiny, uniform and elastic mixture. Ooh, beautiful chocolate. Add the butter and incorporate. Add about 1-2 tbsp of the reduced balsamic syrup.
At this point the instructions tell you to actually put it all in a pastry bag and pipe onto a surface. This seems quite redundant. Prepare some wax paper on a plate/tray and spoon portion-sized heaps onto it. Chill for several hours. Then peel off and roll into balls and roll in cocoa. They will shape up nicely, but work quickly so they don’t melt too much.
I put them in cellophane with a gold tie around, I figured that would be very Christmasy. I then put them in a Christmasy box along with some of the fleur de sel caramels as well as candied orange peel which I made yesterday. This should make a nice Christmas present, non?