Of all of the recipes in this book, these truffles are the treat I have made most frequently. So often, in fact, that I know what page number they are on for easy flipping … it’s157.
I’ve made them for events, workshops, and gluten-free dessert options for friends. I can’t recommend it enough for how easy they are to make and how incredibly indulgent and delicious they are.
The key to a good, authentic truffle is high quality chocolate. I use Guittard chocolate for all of my baking needs, but it does have a higher price point. Just remember, chocolate is THE hero in this recipe, so the truffles will only be as good as your chocolate. I usually peruse the baking aisle each time I shop, and when the bars are on major sale, I just get 5 or 6 to have on hand for chocolate chip cookies and any other chocolate related baking.
These come together with just a handful of ingredients: chocolate, cream, corn syrup, unsalted butter and a little coco powder for dusting.
Unlike this recipe, I have no issue with the quantity of ingredients. However, the method outlined in the Tartine book has never worked for me—not once.
So, of course, I have adapted the method so that it works every time. This method is much easier for the home cook than the original Tartine recipe and takes out a load of frustration when making these for the first time.
Tartine’s method calls for heating the cream and corn syrup till just under a boil, pouring over the chopped chocolate and then stirring to incorporate. This has never worked for me, no matter how fine I chop the chocolate. There are always un-melted clumps left over, which does not work for a smooth truffle. Then it calls for adding room temperature butter, but I’m not sure how butter is supposed to melt in a mixture where the chocolate hasn’t even melted.
Thus the adaptation: use a double boiler or Bain Marie to continue to gently heat the mixture so that it incorporates. To create a bain marie, simply fill a saucepan with 2 inches of water and set it over medium low heat with a heat-proof bowl nested on top (making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water). The simmering water indirectly heats the contents of the bowl for gentle melting.
This change worked wonders for incorporating the truffle ingredients. After incorporating the butter, let it chill to room temp and then chill in the fridge. I usually do this the day before the truffles are needed. Then I let the bowl sit out at room temp until the chocolate is moldable before forming the truffles.
Forming the truffles is most easily accomplished with the use of a melon baller. The books main method calls for piping them into logs, chilling them and then cutting into squares and rolling with your hands. This is way too complicated for me, so I just scoop out the chocolate with a melon baller and roll in coco, chopped nuts, coconut, or sprinkles, no rolling in your hands required. No one will notice, or mind that they have a little flat bottom to them.
I made my husband take this batch with him to work, and he said everyone was asking for the recipe, that’s how good they are! And authentic truffles are naturally gluten free, so they have that going for them as well.
According to Tartine, they will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, which means a big batch will go a long way for impromptu dessert for company (although they’ve never lasted that long in my home).
Chocolate Truffle Recipe
Note: this recipe will feed a crowd. When making for smaller parties or just to have around the house, I halve the recipe and it there still ends up being plenty to go around.
1 lb bittersweet chocolate, very finely chopped
2/3c heavy cream
1T light corn syrup
5T unsalted butter, at room temp
coco powder for dipping
About 30 minutes before you start, cut the butter up into quarter inch cubes and set out to come to room temperature. The smaller cuts of butter allows it to melt more quickly and evenly into the chocolate mixture in step 5.
Finely chop the chocolate & place in a bain marie, a medium heat-proof bowl over a sauce pan filled with 2 inches of water. Set aside on stove.
Meanwhile in a small sauce pan, heat cream & corn syrup slowly over low heat until just starting to simmer, stirring frequently to ensure no cream scalds on the bottom of the pan. You’ll start to notice bubbles come up from the sides and it will be lightly steaming when it is ready.
Pour warm cream over the chocolate in the bowl on top of the saucepan and turn that burner to medium low. Let the chocolate & cream sit for two minutes. Stir chocolate and cream together, continuing to stir as the water heats, allowing the chocolate to completely melt into the cream.
When chocolate and cream are fully incorporated, turn off the burner and add in the butter and stir until it is fully incorporated.
Let truffle mixture cool to room temperature and then place in fridge to chill. From here you have two options:
Let the mixture cool in the fridge until it is firm enough to scoop out with the melon baller (checking about every 30 minutes or so).
Let it chill completely overnight and then bring back up to scooping consistency the next day.
Scoop out the ganache with a melon baller and then roll each truffle in coco powder, coconut, toasted chopped nuts, or sprinkles. Serve at room temp.
They can be stored up to 2 weeks in the fridge, but bring up to room temperature before serving.