Monday, March 30, 2009

The Tricked-Out Truffle

Back when I'd first become fascinated with chocolate, but was still scared stiff by the very mention of the word "temper", I came across an extremely old-fashioned technique for fashioning those extremely intense morsels of bittersweet chocolate heaven otherwise known as truffles. Luckily, the technique was as ridiculously easy as the results were spectacularly delicious.

I've since conquered those irrational fears of tempering, and have come to relax sufficiently to actually enjoy the process. Tempering, as therapeutic as it may be, is also a process that's best applied to relatively large quantities of chocolate. And it cannot be hurried along. So relish it as I may, I still call upon this perfectly simple (and simply perfect) formula - Look, Ma, no tempering! - time and again when I need to produce a small batch of truffles or need to produce them in a jiffy.

No need to wade through thickets of technical tempering information. No need to keep in mind the three narrow temperature ranges for melting, crystallization, and working respectively.

The absence of a crisp, prim and proper, tempered chocolate dipped coat amplifies the aspect of larger-than-life, unabashedly sensual, melt-in-the-mouthiness to these truffes au chocolat. If you're partial to this, you'll know exactly the mouthfeel and sensation I had just attempted to describe in words.

These beguiling truffes au chocolat, based on Valrhona Manjari 64%, are what I will be demonstrating at an upcoming class. Ultimate Chocolate Treats II will be held at Shermay's Cooking School on 11 April 2009 (Saturday), 12 April 2009 (Sunday), 25 April 2009 (Saturday) and 26 April 2009 (Sunday) - the April schedule has all the necessary details. For all inquiries, please call the school at +65 6479 8442 or email

The master recipe also happens to be a versatile one. Variations include:

Espresso Truffles Valrhona Manjari 64% Dark Chocolate Truffles infused with Illy Espresso and Pure Coffee Extract

Tea Infused Truffles Valrhona Manjari 64% Dark Chocolate Truffles infused with Jasmine Tea or Earl Grey Tea

Orange Truffles Valrhona Manjari 64% Dark Chocolate Truffles infused with Fresh Orange and Pure Orange Extract

Peppermint Truffles Valrhona Manjari 64% Dark Chocolate Truffles infused with Mint Tea and Pure Peppermint Extract

PS: Dear S & D, if you are reading this, thank you again for the lovely gift. While it's not exactly difficult to figure out my weakness for tableware, how on earth you managed to figure out my fondness of anemones, and not just any anemones but belle epoque inspired ones, is beyond thoughtful! xoxo


Anonymous veron said...

After taking a class from Alice Medrich, she was not that concerened about tempering just need good chocolate especially if you are going to make a batch of truffles that are going to be consumed immediately anyway.

8:20 pm, March 30, 2009  
Blogger Elyse said...

Mmm, these truffles look fabulous. Who would've guessed that it wasn't some difficult tempering method that produced these?!

10:19 pm, March 30, 2009  
Anonymous Kelly said...

When I was in culinary school we had to temper chocolate and I found I was pretty good at it ... but I hated doing it! I like my truffles coated in cocoa powder or toasted nuts. Easier, and to me, just as beautiful!

3:48 am, March 31, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Joycelyn

Would u be teaching Macarons again soon?


8:30 am, April 01, 2009  
Anonymous keiko said...

Dear Joycelyn - I'm loving your ultimate chocolate posts, not just your creations are gorgeous but your elegant writing makes me swoon - I'll try to remember your words next time I do tempering :) Never tried Royce chocolate - must put on my list for my next trip to Japan. And the silver tray is beautiful indeed. Take care and enjoy your classes, kxxx

8:10 pm, April 02, 2009  
Blogger Mary said...

simply delicious!

11:30 pm, April 03, 2009  
Blogger Altaf said...


are you taking thoes delicious photos?

5:45 pm, April 05, 2009  
Anonymous b said...

Beautiful,yummy site-love the pictures and great info,thank you- Betty

3:21 am, August 27, 2009  

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