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Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Best Chocolate Truffles I Ever Made

Caramélia.  That’s my new favourite word.  Caramélia.   What does it mean?  It is the precise mixture of caramel and MMMMMMmmmmm.  Okay, so it isn’t exactly a technical description right out of the dictionary, but that is what it means to me.

A few weeks back I received a sample package of Caramélia from the newest Valrhona office in Montreal, Canada.  I was told it was a milk chocolate couverture that was infused with rich caramel (made from real skim milk and butter) and ideal for the professional baker, chef or chocolatier.  I was a little leery, being unsure how chocolate and caramel could be combined, while still maintaining a solid chocolate form.  I also assumed that I would find it way too sweet for me, since I generally prefer dark chocolate.

But....Wow!  That was all I could say after I tasted Valrhona’s CARAMÉLIA chocolate.  I found it difficult to stop eating after just a few pieces; it was one of the best milk chocolates that I have ever tasted.  Imagine your favourite, creamy, rich caramel sauce combined with the best milk chocolate you could find, and it melts in your mouth instantly and smoothly.  THAT was the experience of eating CARAMÉLIA by Valrhona. 

By way of sheer will power and out-loud arguments with myself, I somehow managed to save enough to make a batch of chocolate “caramélia” truffles.  I wanted to create something from the chocolate in order to really understand its workability and potential as a couverture.

Truthfully, these were the BEST chocolate truffles that I have ever made (if i do say so myself).  And I think I make pretty good chocolate truffles.  I decided to keep it simple and just use cream and the chocolate (this stuff did NOT need any more butter added to it!).  Admittedly, I had a little trouble tempering the remaining chocolate in order to dip the truffles (you will see in the picture to the left), partially because I had very little chocolate left to work with and partially because I was too impatient to wait on getting the chocolate in temper, which I found difficult because the melting point was lower than I was accustomed to.  Since I made these truffles only for myself, I didn’t care how the shell turned out, I just wanted to eat the centres.  And that I did.  I did not share .  No way. Nuh-uh.

However, a box of this millk chocolate 'delicacy' is on its way to me now from Lentia (a Toronto-based chocolate/baking supplier), so I will be making more next week, and next time I WILL share.

What I can share here is my recipe for THE BEST MILK CHOCOLATE AND CARAMEL TRUFFLES IN THE WORLD:

Milk Chocolate Caramel Truffles Recipe
              made with Valrhona Caramélia Milk Chocolate

  • 8 oz Valrhona ‘CARAMÉLIA' chocolate (you can just use regular milk chocolate if you can’t find this - it won’t have a caramel flavour but it will still be good)
  • ½ cup heavy (whipping) cream
  • 8 oz Valrhona ‘Caramelia’ chocolate (or simple milk chocolate) for dipping and enrobing the truffles
Instructions:

Step 1: Place chocolate in a stainless steel or glass bowl (one of the great things about Valrhona couvertures is that they are already in pieces so you don’t have to chop anything!)

Step 2: Place cream in a small sauce pan.  Heat to the boiling point and immediately pour over the chocolate.  Stir with a wooden spoon slowly (keep spoon on bottom of bowl at all times to prevent air bubbles from forming) and stir until all chocolate is smooth and lump free.

Step 3: Place cellophane wrap directly over chocolate truffle mixture to prevent a film from forming on the top.  Also place a lid on the bowl.  Let set on countertop for 6-8 hours or overnight. 

Step 4: Once the mixture is set (solid enough to roll balls),  use rubber gloves to roll balls in the palm of your hands.  Make whatever size you like (these tasty truffles should be gigantic because they are sooooo good!).

Step 5: Melt and temper 8 oz of Valrhona Caramélia milk chocolate or other milk chocolate (click here http://ultimatechocolateblog.blogspot.ca/2012/02/bittersweet-chocolate-truffle-recipe.html to see find a quick microwave temper method).  When ready, dip truffles using dipping tools or regular fork and place on wax paper to cool. Once set, can be frozen in an airtight container for consumption at any time!  Otherwise, keeps up to 10 days.  Tastes best if consumed at room temperature.

Want other truffle recipes? Here you go:

Here are the details on Valrhona’s CARAMELIA milk chocolate, which you can find in Canada at Lentia (www.lentia.com) which has two locations, Surrey, BC and  Brampton, ON) or check the U.S. Valrhona website for details on where to find this chocolate in your area (www.valrhona-chocolate.com).

Valrhona CARAMELIA milk chocolate, 3kg
VALRHONA
www.valrhona.fr, www.valrhona-chocolate.com
Ingredients: sugar, cocoa butter, caramel (skimmed milk, whey, sugar, butter, flavoring), whole milk powder, cocoa beans, emulsifier: soya lecithin. 36% cocoa min., 34.5% sugar, 20% whole milk, 38% fat.
Description: “Genuine dairy­-based caramel from skim milk and butter. Silky smooth with a clear cocoa note and hints of caramel.”

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