I’ve been anticipating the dark chocolate raspberry truffle assignment from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking for months. These dark chocolate raspberry truffles are part of a truffle trio in Baked: New Frontiers. The trio includes a dark chocolate honey truffle, which sounded too sweet to me, a milk chocolate almond truffle, which wasn’t going to win any fans in my immediate family, and this dark chocolate raspberry truffle. The dark chocolate raspberry mochas at the coffee shop in downtown Santa Rosa were my second favorite coffee drink after the White Cow (white chocolate and almond syrup), so the flavor combination seemed like the obvious choice to me. I found myself with some excess heavy cream not too long ago and considered starting these truffles, but then chickened out and made the lemon poppyseed cake from Sweet instead.
I’ve never made truffles before. The thing is that I’m really a little lazy, and tempering chocolate seemed like too much work to me for something I was going to eat anyway. Here we are again, with Baked Sunday Mornings pushing my boundaries.
I proceeded with extracting my raspberry puree from 1.5 cups of frozen raspberries (about 171 grams) very slowly, heating the frozen berries over low heat for 10-15 minutes, letting them cool a little in the saucepan, then pouring everything into a strainer and pressing the raspberries every once in a while. Extracting raspberry puree/juice this way, while leaving all the seeds behind, is rather slow going. I eventually caved and spent a good 5 minutes pressing as much juice as I could through the strainer with a rubber spatula. I had 101 grams of raspberry puree/juice at the end of this, and I put it in the fridge for a few hours before getting starting with the ganache.
Making the chocolate ganache is a relatively easy process, especially when you have a friend doing all the whisking for you. I used Trader Joe’s Pound Plus Extra Dark (72%) Chocolate, chopped into slivers, for the ganache base. The cream and raspberry puree are heated together with a little honey, then strained over into the chocolate shavings. I was happy about having the fine mesh strainer there for the cream mixture because there were definitely some raspberry remnants caught by this second filtering. After a short rest, we whisked the cream mixture into the chocolate, starting in the middle and whisking very rapidly, until the mixture thickened, the chocolate was fully melted, and the ganache looked super glossy.
I misread the directions and put my ganache into the freezer overnight, then realized my mistake the next morning and put it into the fridge before making the tempered chocolate coating later that day. Luckily for me, I also had a hand (multiple in fact) in tempering the chocolate. I chopped my TJ’s 72% dark chocolate into slivers (about 13-16 oz), set aside about 1/4 of the total amount (I didn’t measure this, I just eyeballed it), then commenced with the nerve-wrecking process of tempering.
It didn’t take very long for my chocolate to reach 120°F, at which point I added the remaining chocolate, but then I faced the fact that this melted chocolate mixture was going to take a zillion years to cool down to 80°F, especially since it was sitting in a porcelain saucepan designed to hold heat well. We decided to fill a small bowl with cold water and place the ceramic saucepan in that bowl to speed up the cooling process. We changed the water four times, and changed the people whisking (as well as which arm they used) multiple times as well. Part of the dilemma we faced was my candy thermometer not tracking temperatures below 100°F, but I broke out my thermapen in the name of well-tempered chocolate and we eventually got to 80°F after about 20 minutes or so. Heating this chocolate back up to 86°F, took barely any time at all, about 2-4 minutes, maximally.
While I was starting the tempering process, my extremely helpful friend gloved up and formed the ganache centers. These ganache centers were super sticky and soft, and neither of us could fathom how a melon baller would yield only 15 truffles. So instead of using a melon baller, we opted to use two teaspoons to form the balls. These we froze for about 25 minutes while the tempering process was ongoing.
Finally it was time for dipping and rolling the truffles in the chocolate. This process was quite messy. We used two forks for dipping in the tempered chocolate and then two teaspoons to roll them in the red sanding sugar (I started out using forks for both, but they left ugly marks after the sanding process).
Once we were done with dipping and rolling I realized that I should have been placing the truffles on a piece of parchment or wax paper, as I lost quite a bit of tempered chocolate coating to the plate and I broke a few truffles trying to pry them off of the plate after the shell had hardened. Oh well. I just rotated those few when I presented the truffles for eating.
After resting overnight in the fridge, traveling half the day in an insulated bag, then resting again in the refrigerator, it was finally time for the moment of truth.
I could hear the truffles snap from across the table as people bit into them. We succeeded with with tempering and these dark chocolate raspberry truffles were a hit with the four-year-old, the seven-year-old, and all the adults — including the ones that don’t like truffles or dark chocolate.