December 17, 2005

Don´t try it at home...

I have had a real kitchen debâcle this week making these truffles. Truffles, apparantly, is nothing for me. The first round was fine. I dragged home immense quantities of chocolate and rummaged the cabinets for nuts, poppy seeds, lemons and pear brandy and whatnot. Then I whipped up three different truffles. White chocolate with lemon and poppyseeds, dark chocolate with blackcurrant and the big number: chocolate with pear purée (I bought baby food) and pear brandy. I found the recipes in my newest cookbook, Godis by Maria Öhrn, and on the picture they looked gorgeous. And as always I thought that mine would look exactly the same, and that I would present them as a special gift for a friend yesterday, in a nice box. And later I would make more truffles for my sister-in-law and my family. Well well.

To make a long story short. I left the truffles in the fridge until thursday when I was supposed to roll them and dip them and decorate them. After a rich Christmas dinner I started off, nine o´clock in the evening. At eleven o´clock I had reached the following result:
  • The white truffles was just fine and dipped, but they were not round but with a funny little skirt in the bottom
  • The blackcurrant truffle first refused to be rolled and then refused to be dipped in the chocolate with my new special fork. They wanted to slip off and bathe and melt in the chocolate. So I only made a few which looked like - well - blobs?
  • The pear truffle refused even to be cut in pieces and I just threw all the crumbles (very tasty by the way) in a plastic container in the fridge - I guess I could make a cake or something with it. Suggestions please!
  • Quite a few "student candy" was made from all the high quality melted chocolate (white and dark) which was left. I just poured the chocolate into little round islands and decorated with cashew, pistachio and walnuts, and green raisins. The white rounds I decorated with candied orange peel. A real life-saver for an unsuccesful truffle maker!

And I didn´t find any boxes and had to make do with plastic bags, but in the end they turned out rather nice I think. But I think I will stay away from truffles in the future - and certainly not try to dip them in anything. Humpf.

4 comments:

Susan said...

Chocolate is tricky to work with--you are brave to try to make truffles AND to dip them! I've been making truffles for many, many years and it's still a work in progress. Don't be discouraged! Just a few tips and some practice will make a difference. The best thing is to take a chocolate-making class, because it's difficult to describe the techniques but you can learn a lot in an afternoon. You can also get some information from websites: Callebaut.com is good, and the forums at seventypercent.com are useful.

My favorite way to finish truffles is to take a ball of truffle filling, put a dab of melted chocolate in my hand (you can wear rubber gloves but I don't), roll the truffle around between my hands until it's thoroughly covered with chocolate, then drop it in a bowl full of plenty of cocoa powder, or powdered (icing) sugar, or ground nuts. Shake the bowl until the truffle is completely covered. Let it sit in the powder until the chocolate has hardened. This way, even if a bit of filling oozes out or the chocolate cracks (both can happen if the filling is too cold) you can cover it with more of the powdered coating. It's pretty messy but it's easy enough to clean the kitchen. I like to wrap the truffles in little foil squares, which prevent the cocoa or sugar from getting all over the other chocolates.

Your little gift bags look so pretty! Those "student candies" are known as mendiants in French and are nothing to be ashamed of. The white-chocolate with poppy and lemon look particularly delicious. Maybe I'll try those next year.

Now, what is hard for me is to pour knäck into those little cups before the mixture hardens.

Clivia said...

Thank you for all the good tips! I will definetely make truffles again because actually it was not so hard - but no dipping! I will make student candy with my melted chocolate instead, much easier and prettier. The white truffle is very very yummy, I don´t have the recipe in English but I guess you could use any white chocolate truffle recipe and boil the cream with lemon zest, then sieve it and mix in the poppy seeds...

Rachael said...

I love your ideas, and the picture looks beautiful! I think the trick it to remember that they ARE home-made, and will look that way, so embrace the funny skirt and the not-so-round-ness! Like you said, they still tasted lovely, right? I am envious of your friends who got them as gifts.

Happy Holidays!

Rachael

Clivia said...

Yes Rachael, you are so right! I shouldn´t stop truffle making, especially not the ones with the cute white skirts! Everyone loves them, even me who doesn´t like white chocolate. It was just so caotic when I made them and everything just fell apart and dripped everywhere and I was really too tired. Gaaah. But I will try again, maybe one truffle at a time though...