I warned you that I was in a truffle kind of mood this month. Now that I’ve started making truffles, I just can’t stop. And since it was President’s Day last week, I decided to try Cherry Truffles. (Not that I needed an excuse to make them.)
I recently learned that Cake Pops was the top selling cookbook in 2011. But most of those who visit here can’t eat many of the ingredients used in those recipes, and who needs cake pops when you can have truffle pops? (Yes, I am taking credit for inventing truffle pops!)
What’s a truffle pop? It’s a truffle on a stick (a lollipop stick will work). How do you make them? You make truffles; before you dip them or roll them in their coating, simply pierce them with a stick:
Follow my basic chocolate truffle recipe. To get the cherry flavor, I used Washington Cherry oil in place of vanilla – but only use a very small amount (1/4 tsp) – this stuff is potent!
This time around I decided to dip some of my truffles in chocolate coating. The right way to do this is to temper the chocolate. I used allergen-free semi-sweet chocolate chips – not quite what the chocolatiers would use – and I didn’t get as high a gloss as I should have. (But it’s the taste that really counts, right?)
Warning: Before you start melting chocolate, make sure you are wearing washable clothing – this part can get messy. If you don’t feel like getting messy, or you are pressed for time, simply coat the truffles with cocoa or powdered sugar, like I did with some of mine.
For the chocolate coating:
Measure 1 cup of allergen-free chocolate chips (Enjoy Life or Divvies work well), and place them in a small microwave-safe bowl. Measure ¼ cup of chocolate chips and set them aside. Melt the larger bowl of chocolate chips (gradually) in a microwave. Stir every 30 seconds. When the chocolate is completely melted test the temperature with a probe thermometer. Continue heating (a few seconds at a time) until the mixture reaches 120 degrees. Keep stirring.
Use the remaining chocolate chips to “seed” the mixture. Place a few at a time into the bowl, and stir. Continue this for about 10 minutes, until the temperature drops to 85 degrees. (You may not use all of the remaining chocolate). And resist the urge to throw the remaining chocolate in all at once. (You can’t rush this process.) Keep stirring. When you hit 85 degrees, test the chocolate by dipping the back of a spoon into it, and let it sit. The best result is a hardened high gloss coating after 7-8 minutes (but since you are using allergen-free chocolate, you may not get the gloss).
Heat the chocolate again to 89 degrees (just a few seconds) and you are ready to dip. For truffle pops, simply dip the truffle into the chocolate using the stick. For standard truffles, use a dipping spoon. Let them sit to harden.
Save any leftover melted chocolate for a future project. Hmmm… what else can I make?