Ok...ok.. these truffles are TOO MUCH. How is a girl supposed to stop at just one? Or even two? Impossible. Period. These are my Mocha Peppermint Chocolate Truffles made with just 5 simple ingredients! Have you ever made truffles before? It's actually so EASY and once you learn how, you will make them over and over again.
There's something about the silky smooth texture that melts instantly on your tongue and gives almost a "cold" feeling in your mouth as it pulls the heat away to melt the smooth chocolate.
And it's this luxurious texture that I crave - sometimes it's more satisfying than eating plain piece of chocolate.
Here is your opportunity to use the special chocolate that you have which you've been saving for the "perfect" recipe. When you mix chocolate with cream, it actually enhances the subtle fruity flavours and other herbal, roasted, caramel nuances that make chocolate so unique.
So... Bring out that GOOD stuff and make a batch! Oh... and if you are using the good stuff maybe go the classic route and skip the extracts because, well... peppermint will take over everything!
INGREDIENTS FOR PEPPERMINT CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES
- Dark chocolate - this recipe works best with dark chocolate with minimum of 55% cocoa solids and up to 65% cocoa solids. If you use bittersweet chocolate, the ratio of cream will be off and the ganache will not be as smooth.
- Whipping cream - this is also called "heavy" cream and it has 35% milk fat.
- Peppermint extract - use pure peppermint extract and use it sparingly.
- Espresso powder - we add intense coffee flavour through the addition of espresso powder. It's such a great ingredient. If you don't have it, you can use instant coffee or you can leave it out all together.
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
- STEP 1). Chop the chocolate. Chop the chocolate very finely and place it in a medium heatproof bowl and set aside.
- STEP 2). Heat cream. Combine cream with espresso powder (if using it) in a small saucepan over medium heat and heat it just until it starts to simmer.
- STEP 3). Combine cream with chocolate. Remove cream from heat, and immediately pour it over the chopped chocolate. Cover the bowl and let stand undisturbed for 2 minutes. Then, stir gently until smooth and glossy. Start stirring in the center and make small concentric circles gradually working your way out to the sides as you make larger circle motions. It will become lusciously thick and glossy.
- STEP 4). Cool gently to room temperature. Let it cool uncovered for 1 hour then cover and refrigerate until firm.
- STEP 5). Roll truffle balls. Scoop up teaspoonfuls,roll into smooth balls and place them onto a parchment lined tray. Place the tray in the fridge to let them firm up.
- STEP 6). Dip in chocolate. Temper the dark chocolate using any of the methods in this blog post. Dip each truffle in tempered chocolate and place back onto the tray to set. Sprinkle with crushed candy cane before they set completely.
What is chocolate ganache?
Ganache is an oil-in-water emulsion of chocolate suspended in cream, where cocoa butter (chocolate fat) is suspended in the water phase of cream. If the proportions of ingredients and method of mixing are optimal, then a smooth homogeneous ganache will form. If the proportions are off, then the emulsion can break and the ganache will appear split or separated with an oily layer.
How to make silky chocolate truffles?
There are a few techniques to learn in order to make SILKY truffles. Anybody can make truffles (it's super easy), but a knowledgeable person can make ultra smooth luscious truffles. Here's how:
1. Chop the chocolate as finely as possible. If the chocolate is in small pieces it will melt quickly and more evenly. This means that it will come together smoothly to make a silky homogeneous ganache. When chocolate melts into cream, it becomes an emulsion and if it is too hot, or too cold, or if the balance of cream and chocolate is not right then the mixture will split and the cocoa butter will separate out.
2. Heat the cream JUST until it simmers. If the cream is too hot when it goes over the chocolate, it will shock it and cause the cocoa butter to separate. The key is to melt the chocolate gently and evenly.
3. Stir, do not BEAT. You can use a spatula or a whisk, but if you use a whisk, use it with a stirring motion. Do not whisk vigorously or beat the mixture since we want to avoid air incorporation.
Should you boil cream to make truffles?
You don't need to, but yes, you can boil the cream. Some French chefs do this to help sterilize the milk so that the truffles last longer. It also concentrates the cream slightly so it is richer. BUT if you do choose to do this, do not put the just-boiled cream over the chocolate immediately. Instead, take the boiled cream off the heat and let it stand for 30 seconds to cool slightly before pouring over the chocolate.
What type of chocolate to use to make truffles?
Dark chocolate is best. You can make truffles with milk chocolate or white chocolate, but the amount of cream required will be significantly less. Also, dark chocolate has less sugar than milk chocolate so obviously milk chocolate truffles will be much sweeter.
Does cocoa content matter?
YES. Cocoa content matters! Dark chocolate refers to any chocolate with more than 50% cocoa solids... but bittersweet chocolate with 70% cocoa will behave completely different compared to semisweet chocolate with 50% cocoa.
There are 2 main reasons for this:
1. Sugar balance -- bittersweet chocolate has 40% less sugar than semisweet chocolate. Sugar binds the moisture in cream and helps to stabilize the emulsion. Therefore bittersweet chocolate is a bit trickier to work with and the emulsion can split more easily.
2. Cocoa particles -- cocoa solids are the non-fat component of the cocoa bean. As the melted chocolate and cream mix together to form ganache, the cocoa solids absorb water and swell making less water available within the ganache to suspend the fat droplets. Since bittersweet chocolate has a higher cocoa content, it absorbs more water and forces fat droplets to clump together and causes the emulsion to break. The resulting truffles will have a grainy mouthfeel. Basically, truffle recipes that use bittersweet chocolate require a higher volume of cream compared to recipes with semisweet chocolate.
How can I fix my ganache if it separates?
If your ganache happens to split it will appear greasy -- the fat has separated from the watery liquid phase. This can happen if the cream is too hot or if there isn’t enough liquid to hold all of the chocolate solids. It's not over though - YOU CAN SALVAGE IT! To do this, add some cold milk one teaspoon at a time and whisk it in until it becomes smooth again. It may not have the same silky smooth texture, but it will be close and worth it to not throw away your perfectly good chocolate!
To dip the truffles, we need more chocolate! And, we need to temper it.
Why temper chocolate? Well if you just melt chocolate any old way and then dip the truffles, it will be fine... but it won't be great. The chocolate might set up with white streaks and have a slightly chalky texture instead of being glossy with a sharp crisp snap when you bit into the truffles. THAT'S what we want.
Make sure to learn all about how to temper chocolate in this detailed blog post here.
Happy truffle making! xo
5 Ingredient Peppermint Chocolate Truffles
- Place chopped chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl and set aside.
- Combine cream with espresso powder (if using it) in a small saucepan over medium heat and heat it just until it starts to simmer. Remove from heat, and immediately pour it over the chopped chocolate. Cover the bowl and let stand undisturbed for 2 minutes. Then, stir gently until smooth and glossy. Start stirring in the center and make small concentric circles gradually working your way out to the sides as you make larger circle motions. It will become lusciously thick and glossy. Stir in peppermint extract.
- Let it cool uncovered for 1 hour then cover and refrigerate until firm.
- Scoop up teaspoonfuls,roll into smooth balls and place them onto a parchment lined tray. Place the tray in the fridge to let them firm up.
- Meanwhile, temper the dark chocolate using any of the methods in this blog post. Dip each truffle in tempered chocolate and place back onto the tray to set. Sprinkle with crushed candy cane before they set completely.