Chocolate tempering – any excuse to make truffles

Recently I was approached by Something Sweet magazine and asked to write a post where I followed the chocolate tempering guide as featured in their first issue. In addition they sent me all of these wonderful things:

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Note my running shoes in the background.

To be honest I’d never really bothered going out of my way to temper chocolate before but as I realised earlier this week this was a big mistake. Tempering chocolate causes the fat crystals to form in a specific way which gives chocolate an attractive sheen. It also means that the chocolate melts at just below body temperature so the chocolate literally melts in your mouth.

Anyway, I decided to take the opportunity to make some more truffles in different flavours this time. This made me extremely popular with my work colleagues and housemates (although I did manage to get chocolate around almost the entirety of my kitchen).

I went for 2 kinds of truffles; white chocolate ganache with milk chocolate coating and Nutella and cream cheese ganache with dark chocolate coating.

To make the white chocolate ganache truffles you will need:

200ml double cream

200g good quality white chocolate

200g milk chocolate

To make the Nutella cream cheese ganache truffles you will need:

200g light cream cheese (you can use full fat but lower fat versions make the texture lighter)

200g Nutella

200g dark chocolate

I also made some of the chocolate hearts as featured in the magazine to practise my chocolate tempering using some dark chocolate I had in from brownie making.

Anyway for the truffles with the white chocolate filling you need to break up your white chocolate and heat it gently with the cream until the chocolate has fully melted into the cream and the whole thing has slightly thickened. Cool this in the fridge for an hour and then transfer to the freezer for several hours as white chocolate ganache tends to be more challenging to handle than milk or dark chocolate ganache.

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Remove this from your freezer and use a spoon and your hands to shape this into mouth sized pieces. yes, mouth sized is a technical term.

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In order to temper your milk chocolate melt 2/3 in a glass bowl over a gently simmering saucepan and heat to between 45 and 47°C. Wrap the bowl in a tea towel,add the remaining 1/3 of the chocolate and once it is between 27 and 28°C its ready to work with. Dip the truffles into the chocolate (be quick or the white chocolate will melt into the milk chocolate).

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To make the Nutella truffles melt your Nutella in the microwave or in a glass bowl over simmering water. Stir in the cream cheese and mix well. Cool in the fridge for an hour and then put into the freezer for several hours.

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Using a teaspoon and your hands shape your truffles into what you consider an appropriate truffle size and shape (you could make one big one but you might get a stomach ache).

To temper the dark chocolate melt 2/3 in a glass bowl over a gently simmering saucepan and heat to between 48 and 49°C. Wrap the bowl in a tea towel,add the remaining 1/3 of the chocolate and once it is between 28 and 29°C its ready to work with. Dip the truffles into the chocolate (be quick or the white chocolate will melt into the milk chocolate).

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P1040667Dip your Nutella chocolates in the dark chocolate to decorate. Allow to cool.

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Something Sweet magazine provided an absolutely fantastic guide for me here. I think that even for more experienced cooks this magazine provides an excellent guide to making different types of confectionary. There are plenty of other recipes in each of the magazines and guides to making all types of sweet thing; perfect for every type of sweet tooth.

I hope this post shows how you can take skills such as chocolate tempering and then use this as a jumping off point to improve other recipes. I will definitely be taking the time to temper chocolate in the future as it really improved the chocolate tasting experience for all involved.

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You can buy Something Sweet Magazine from all good quality newsagents. I would like to thank everybody involved for the opportunity to do this post.

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