Scharffen Berger Truffles with Variations

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Chocolate truffles lend themselves to an almost infinite variety of shapes and flavors. These truffles are made with pure chocolate and cocoa powder with an unusual twist. This recipe is adapted from Scharffen Berger Chocolates.
Sarah Says: This is exactly how truffles should be made, in my opinion.
CHOCOLATE RECIPE HELP

INGREDIENTS
* Scharffen Berger Ganache (see recipe below) cooled to the consistency of peanut butter or slightly thicker
* Scharffen Berger Pure Chocolate, either 62% Cacao Semisweet or 70% Cacao Bittersweet, tempered (optional). You can use any bittersweet chocolate.
* Scharffen Berger Natural Cocoa Powder or any Natural Cocoa Powder
* Scharffen Berger Cacao Nibs

EQUIPMENT
* Teaspoon or melon ball scoop
* Cookie sheet
* Parchment paper or aluminum foil
* Dinner fork or chocolate dipping fork
* Plate
* Small bowl

INSTRUCTIONS
Using a teaspoon or a melon baller, scoop out about 1/2 teaspoon of ganache and quickly roll into a ball between your palms. The small balls do not have to be uniform. In fact, it is probably preferable that they are slightly irregular in shape. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a sheet of aluminum foil.

Variation #1: Chocolate on Chocolate
With a dinner fork or a chocolate-dipping fork, immerse ganache balls in melted chocolate one at a time and completely coat with chocolate. If you are using tempered chocolate, cool at 70 F (or below) room temperature or briefly in the refrigerator. If you are using untempered chocolate, place in the refrigerator and keep cool until ready to eat.

Variation #2: Cocoa Powder
Spread Scharffen Berger Natural Cocoa Powder in a thin layer on a flat plate or part of a cookie sheet. Roll ganache balls in the powder until completely coated.

Variation # 3: Nibs
Sprinkle a few tablespoons of Scharffen Berger Cacao Nibs in small bowl. Roll ganache balls in nibs until completely coated.

Variations #'s 4 and 5: Chocolate Plus Nibs, Inside and Out
Coat ganache balls in nibs as above and then dip in melted chocolate. Or, dip in chocolate first and then roll in nibs.

CHOCOLATE GANACHE adapted from Scharffen Berger
Ganache is an emulsion of chocolate and cream. This recipe can be made with either Scharffen Berger Semisweet (62%) or Bittersweet (70%) Chocolate. Use the ganache for either truffle centers or as an icing. The proportion of chocolate to cream will determine the sweetness of the ganache, the intensity of the chocolate flavor, as well as how thin or thick the ganache will be.

INGREDIENTS
6 ounces Scharffen Berger 62% Cacao Semisweet or 70% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 to 3/4 cup heavy cream

EQUIPMENT
* Candy thermometer
* 2 or 3 quart double boiler or mixing bowl and saucepan
* Small saucepan
* Rubber spatula
* Mixing bowl

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pot of simmering water or in the top of a double boiler until it reaches a temperature of about 120 degrees F. Bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan and remove it from the heat and transfer to a stainless steel bowl to cool.

2. When the temperature of the cream has decreased to about 115 F, begin slowly pouring the chocolate (its temperature will have decreased, but if it goes below 110 F, briefly reheat it to 115) into the cream.

As you pour, stir slowly with a rubber spatula, making certain that the chocolate is thoroughly dispersed throughout the cream. The mixture will thicken as more chocolate is added. The result should be smooth and shiny.

3. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and cool to room temperature or in the refrigerator. The best consistency for use in truffles is that of peanut butter or slightly stiffer.

STORAGE
A classic ganache can generally stay at room temperature for 2 days, as long as it's kept in a cool place. Then it must be refrigerated. If in a bowl, always place a piece of plastic wrap firmly against its surface so a film does not form or it won't form a sugar crust on its surface. Ganache can be frozen for a month. Reheat in the top of a double boiler under gentle heat, whisking together in one direction, before using.

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