Saturday, January 14, 2012

Extra Dark Chocolate Truffles Made with 80% Dark Chocolate

What can you do with leftover chocolate? 

It may not happen often, but sometimes leftover chocolate can be a pain in the neck.  You spent $4 on a 100 gram chocolate bar, only to discover that it did not taste the way you had imagined it to taste, so you seal it up in plastic wrap and put it in the cupboard hoping that you might like it better the next time you have a chocolate craving. But it just seems like you never get around to eating it again; there always seems to be something tastier to snack on. And that chocolate bar just sits there in your cupboard and calls out to you every time you open the cupboard door. You feel guilty about it and the money you spent on it.  You really should eat it, but you just never do.

Did you ever think that the not-so-tasty chocolate bar might taste great in a favourite recipe?  Well, you can stop feeling guilty now and instead, take that aging chocolate bar out of the cupboard, melt it down and turn it into something yummy!

This week, I did just that. Except that the chocolate was not necessarily bad tasting, it was just that I had too much chocolate for one person to eat!  Since I am on a mission to eat only 80% to 90% dark chocolate this week (find out why here), I have been collecting 80-something percent chocolate bars for a few months. Now I have so many bars to taste this week, I feel like my head is about to explode! So I came up with a plan to consume these chocolate bars in new and fun ways.

All week I have been baking up a storm in my kitchen, making both crunchy and smooth extra dark treats that do not have any extra added sugar, artificial flavours or just plain bad-for-you-stuff.  And now, thanks to all this experimenting, I have a few chocolaty treat recipes that I think are worthy of sharing. Below is an extra dark truffle recipe and tomorrow I will post my own `Chocolate Poppers` recipe for a popcorn like chocolaty snack.

Extreme Dark Chocolate Truffles
Made with Panama 80% dark chocolate, fair trade and organic to boot!

You need:

-One (1) 100 gram 80% dark chocolate bar (see note on chocolate to use below)
-One-quarter cup (1/4) heavy cream (whipping cream)
-One (1) tbsp unsalted butter
-One bar of 70% or 80% dark chocolate (Chili or Mayan spice flavour adds a fun flavour to the truffles) for coating truffle balls

Step 1:  Eat a half ounce of the chocolate (15 grams) and chop the remaining 3 ounces (85 grams) of chocolate.  Place in a microwave-safe bowl if microwaving (see Easy Method below) or in a heat-proof bowl otherwise (see Double-Boiler method below).  Pour the 1/4 cup cream over the chocolate and break up the butter and mix in with the cream and chocolate. 

Step 2:
Easy Melting Method:  Place in microwave for one minute and 10 seconds at HALF POWER (50%).  Take out and stir until smooth.  If not completely smooth, place back in microwave for 5 more seconds only.  Stir again. 

Double-Boiler Melting Method: Place chocolate, butter and cream in a stainless steel or glass bowl and place over a pot of almost-simmering water. Stir constantly until completely melted and mixture is smooth.

Step 3:
When truffle mixture is smooth, place cellophane (plastic) wrap directly on chocolate mixture to seal out any air. Then place a second piece over the bowl entirely to seal for freshness (unless your bowl has a an airtight lid, if so, seal bow with that as it is better for the environment!). Leave out on counter overnight (at least 6 to 8 hours). 

Step 4:  When truffle mixture is set, scoop out spoonfuls and form balls.  If it is too soft to do so, refrigerate for 15 minutes only (because it is a very dark chocolate, if it is refrigerated too long the truffle will be too hard to easily form balls).  Form balls by rolling truffle between the palms of your hands. Wearing clean kitchen gloves will make this easier as it prevents the heat of your from melting the truffle. Place all truffle balls on wax paper and refrigerate.

Step 5: Take your second chocolate bar and chop.  Place in a new, clean and DRY bowl.  Place in microwave for 2 minutes on HALF POWER (50%).  Take out and stir until smooth.  If you cannot get all the lumps of chocolate melted, put back in microwave for only 5 second intervals. If the chocolate feels to be about the same temperature as the back of your baby finger, it is ready.  If too warm, let cool by stirring.  If too cool, warm again in microwave for a few seconds.  Once ready, take a fork and place each truffle one at a time in the melted chocolate, Roll around until fully coated.  Lift out on the fork and place on a piece of wax paper.  Let cool on counter until chocolate is hard. 

Step 6: Eat! Or place in mini cupcake papers or candy papers for a prettier display. Best if eaten at room temperature.  Can be refrigerated for up to 10 days or freeze and consume at a later day (but consume within 10 days of thawing).

Chocolate Notes:

1. I used an Equal Exchange 80% Extra Dark Chocolate "Panama" 3.5 oz / 100g bar (see below for package details for this bar).  But if you have never heard of this because you are Canadian, you can use Camino's Panama 80% bar, it is also organic and Fair Trade certified).  And if you just have a leftover 80% dark chocolate bar in your cabinet (or even a 70%) that is maybe not organic and Fair Trade and is made by an entirely different chocolate company, use that instead!

2. If the chocolate truffles look white and streaky, your chocolate was either too hot or too cold when it hardened on the truffles. Keep practising and you will eventually get this right!  It isn`t as easy as it sounds when you are working with chocolate.

Here are the details from the chocolate bar that I tasted, reviewed and baked with today:

Organic & Fairly Traded Extra Dark Chocolate `Panama`, 80% cacao content, 3.5 oz (100g)
Equal Exchange chocolates
Produced in Switzerland for Equal Exchange (West Bridgewater, MA, USA)
Ingredients: *organic chocolate liquor, *organic raw cane sugar, *organic cocoa butter, *organic ground vanilla beans. *Fair Trade Ingredient.

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  1. Your chocolate truffles look delicious! yummm!

  2. Thanks Lot-O-Choc! They were delicious. Just wish I could keep eating them!

  3. The chocolate I have is not sweetened.. Will the truffles taste bitter?

  4. Yes, they will. The 80% that I used in the recipe above s bitter, so unsweetened chocolate will be more so. Add 1/8 cup or more honey, maple syrup or agave syrup to the cream before you heat it. But you can decide how much or how little sweetener that you want to add.

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  6. These extra dark chocolate truffles are made with 80% dark chocolate and are perfect for those who love a rich, intense chocolate flavor. The truffles are smooth and velvety, with a deep chocolate flavor that lingers on the palate. They're perfect for enjoying after dinner or as a special treat any time of the day.

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