It was around the holidays and I remember thinking that I’d really like to make something to take to my neighbors, but I didn’t want it to be another cookie (why am I like that?) and if I had to use a candy thermometer I was out. So I was googling around for ideas and “truffles” came up. At the time I was thinking I’d research it, but it would probably be too hard and I’d be back to square one. I took to the internet again, and I wanted only the most perfectly crafted recipe! After sifting through several recipes on pinterest, I finally came across THE ONE. I was committed now. I bought the ingredients that afternoon (which to my surprise only required two things) and began my work after dinner.
At this point in my cooking career I was a novice to beginner. I labored over what it meant for the heavy cream to simmer but not boil. I watched it like a hawk wondering when to pull it off the heat. “Is that a bubble I just saw rise to the surface? Is that a simmer or did I let it boil? Maybe I should let it go longer?”
At what I decided was the right moment I poured the steaming cream into the chocolate chips and dutifully set my timer for exactly five minutes.
When the timer went off, I started stirring as the recipe directed. “Oh boy that looks very liquidy” I thought. “How is this ever going to become a truffle!?”
About 20 seconds later as I was still stirring something magical happened. The mixture started to thicken and the chips melted into the cream forming this richly dark brown shiny chocolate.
At the time I did not know this mixture by any special name, but this is what I now know is called GANACHE and it is one of the best things you shall ever allow to enter your mouth (IMHO). It is so decadent so if you are not into rich chocolately goodness (why?) then you can stop here. For those of you on board that train, let this recipe take you to chocolate-ville and never look back.
Long story short, I conquered the truffles beginning to end, the neighbors were in love, and knowing what I know now there is zero need to agonize over this recipe.
Hey past me, cooking shouldn’t be agonizing! It should be fun!
What I LOVE about ganache is that it can be utilized for so many different desserts! Sometimes the chocolate and cream are in slightly different ratios depending on how you’d like to use it (frosting vs tart, etc). For today’s recipe, we will keep it here at a ganache you can use for truffles, ganache layer cake filling, and ganache tart because it’s all the same recipe with the same ratios. See the recipe notes for a how-to on each of these.
And now, drum-roll please: Put your hands together for the Truffle/Ganache that is gonna rock your face!
Chocolate Truffles and Ganache
- 1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- 12 oz Chocolate Chips or chopped chocolate (I highly recommend ghirardelli because of the quality and the fact this recipe only contains two ingredients so quality is important, but any will technically work)
Measure out your chocolate chips or chopped chocolate into a heatproof bowl. I use my kitchen scale for this, but if you do not own one, 12 oz is roughly two cups.
In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream until little bubbles start to form on the edges and the cream is hot to the touch (although I’m not heartily recommending this, I literally stick my finger in to see how warm it is).
Once the cream is hot pour it over the chocolate chips and let it sit for five minutes untouched. *note: do not labor over how hot the cream is like I did. If its steaming and hot to the touch, it’s good. If the chips don’t melt all the way, we can deal with that later with an easy fix.
After 5 minutes, whisk or stir the cream and chips together. Give some time for the chips to melt compltely while stirring, but if you find your ganache thickening but the chips just won’t melt completely no matter how much you stir, pop the mixture into the microwave for just 10 seconds and then stir for 20 seconds or so. You can do this as many times as it takes for all of the chocolate to melt and become smooth (which begs the question, can you make ganache in the microwave? And the answer is yes. Different post). After the chips are all melted your ganache should be shiny and oh so silky.
That’s it! You did it!
Now for a couple other applications and how to scoop your truffles:
For a Tart: At this stage, your ganache is not hardened enough to scoop out and roll into balls to be made into truffles, but you could most definitely pour this into a tart shell and pop it into the fridge to harden for an hour or so. After that, top it with fruit, whipped topping, oreos, graham crackers and marshmallows (smores pie anyone?), or whatever other creations you can think of! Find my recipe for my Ganache and Tahini Swirl Tart right here.
For Truffles: put your ganache in the fridge to harden. If you are in a time crunch, stir every five minutes until it is hardened enough to be scooped and rolled. Note: a small cookie scoop makes this soooo much easier than using a spoon and rolling with your hands. If you’re not being crunched for time, you could even leave this in the fridge overnight. Just remember you’ll have to let the ganache come to room temp before trying to scoop it the next day. Roll your truffle balls in sprinkles, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, crushed graham crackers, nuts, crushed heath bars, oreos (just to name a few) or dip them into some melted* white, dark, or milk chocolate.
For cake layer filling: Let your ganache harden in the fridge stirring every 10 min or so until it is to frosting consistency. Alternately, to make whipped ganache filling or frosting, put the mixture into a bowl and whip with a stand mixer or handheld mixer until it is lighter and consistency and color.
*Note on dipping your truffles into melted chocolate to get that hardened outer layer: This requires that your melted chocolate be tempered which is just a fancy way of saying that you melt 3/4 of the chocolate you are using either using the microwave method or a double boiler and then stir in the remaining 1/4 chocolate until it is fully melted. This should make it so that when the chocolate cools, it will make a hardening shiny outer shell instead of one that remains more sticky. Here is a good article and recipe if you’re into it. Alternately, you could just purchase what is referred to as white or chocolate “bark” or “candy melts” to dip them in to ensure you get what you are looking for. Make sure that your truffles are cool when you do this. This means after scooping them into balls, put them back in the fridge for several minutes to harden before dipping them in any warm chocolate mixture. It may sound complicated, but I promise it’s not. Once you do it the first time, it’ll be like riding a bike.