When you are a pastry chef, the bar for edible Valentine's gifts is set pretty high. In years past, I've slaved over elaborately layered tortes, hand painted candies, and even a foot-wide fortune cookie with hand calligraphed fortune. Oh yes, I've done all the things on your Pinterest board and more, but now I have... a TODDLER. And while I love my husband, Chef Mom just doesn't have hours to play alone in the kitchen anymore. But there is a perfect Valentine confection for the busy lover with minimal time and ridiculously high standards: the rolled truffle.
Rolled truffles are the perfect time saver because they require only three simple steps:
- Make a ganache (approximately 5 minutes) and chill for two hours or up to a week.
- Scoop and roll chilled ganache into balls (approximately 10 minutes).
- Toss ganache balls in the coating of your choice (approximately 7.5 minutes - pastry chefs are very precise!).
You can have awesome Valentine treats in less active time than it takes most people to check their email! From there, it's all about being creative with flavors and presentation. For me, being creative means looking around the kitchen to see what's lying about and finding ways to use it. This time, I found a half empty bottle of Chambord, some Nutella I bought on sale, and a package of leftover Christmas toffee. I know, I'm so glamorous! Because I had both milk and dark chocolate on hand (cleverly hidden from both husband and toddler), I decided to make two different truffles: Dark Chocolate with Chambord and Vanilla Bean and Milk Chocolate with Nutella and Crushed Almond Toffee.
To make the ganaches, place the chocolate into a heat proof bowl and heat the heavy cream to a rolling bowl in a medium sauce pan. For the dark chocolate truffle, I added a bit of vanilla bean paste to the cream, and for the milk chocolate truffle I added Nutella to the bowl of chocolate.
Once the cream is boiling, pour it over the chocolate and whisk to combine. This is where I added the Chambord to the dark ganache.
Transfer the ganache to a shallow container, press plastic wrap onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming, and chill until firm. This will take 1-2 hours depending on the depth of the container, but can be done up to a week ahead to save time.
Use a small scoop to portion the ganache and roll it into balls.
Finally, roll the balls in the coating of your choice. I used powdered sugar for the dark chocolate ganache and the crushed almond toffee for the milk chocolate ganache. You could also use sprinkles, crushed nuts or coconut, or cocoa powder. The simplicity of this process makes it an excellent Valentine's Day project for children as well!
The only thing left is to find the perfect way to present your masterpiece!
Dark Chocolate Chambord Truffle
1 pound bittersweet chocolate
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 ounces Chambord
Powdered Sugar to coat
Milk Chocolate Nutella Truffle
1 pound milk chocolate
1/2 cup Nutella
3/4 cup heavy cream
Crushed toffee to coat
Looking for other ways to show your love through food? Check out Chef Melissa's recipe for Gluten Free Chocolate Raspberry Tart. The Chopping Block's Owner/Chef Shelley Young demonstrates her truffle making technique in this video:
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