Dark Chocolate and Basil Truffles

Photo Credit: Brian Rountree

The holidays bring many opportunities to host and attend various potlucks, click dinners and parties. One of the eternal questions during the season becomes “What should I bring?” As it turns out, homemade chocolate truffles are a surprisingly easy, impressive and downright tasty option to have in your arsenal.

This particular truffle combines the complex, smokey and nutty flavors of a good dark chocolate with the bright herb profiles of basil. I know what you are thinking, but the combination of chocolate and basil is remarkably compelling.

Step by Step Recipe

Begin by finely chopping 12 ounces of 40 to 60 percent chocolate and 12 ounces of 70 percent or higher chocolate. You need the lower percentage chocolate to add some sweetness to the final truffle, and the darker richer chocolate for that deep smoky flavor. Put the chopped chocolate in a large bowl.

Photo Credit: Brian Rountree

Roughly chop a large handful of basil. You do not want the basil chopped too fine, just enough to release the essential oils from the leaves. You could also use mint, tarragon or shiso depending on your mood and preferences, but chocolate and basil is an outstanding pairing, I promise!

Photo Credit: Brian Rountree

Add 1 1/3 cup of heavy cream to a heavy-bottomed small pan. Add the basil and salt. Bring the cream up to a boil 2 times, cooling it between the first and second boiling.

Photo Credit: Brian Rountree

When the cream comes to a boil the second time, strain the hot cream over the chopped chocolate, mashing any big pieces with a spoon.

Photo Credit: Brian Rountree

Stir the mixture together in a circular pattern from the center and working your way to the edge with a wooden spoon. When you first start the stirring, the chocolate will look lumpy and almost curdled; do not freak out. The ganache will soon be smooth, glossy, and beautiful.

Photo Credit: Brian Rountree

When the ganache is smooth and glossy, pour the mixture into a shallow 9×12 aluminum baking dish that you have lined with saran wrap. Cover the mixture with more saran wrap, making sure that the saran wrap touches the ganache as this will prevent a “skin” from developing as the ganache cools. Place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours until the mixture has completely chilled.

Photo Credit: Brian Rountree

After the ganache has chilled, remove it from the fridge and pull it out of the baking dish. Unwrap the block of ganache and place on a cutting board.

Photo Credit: Brian Rountree

Using a very sharp knife, cut the ganache into small, bite sized pieces. Place the pieces onto a plate with sugar and roll the pieces in the sugar until they are thinly and evenly coated. Shake off any excess sugar and place the truffle pieces on a serving plate. Depending on how big you cut your pieces, you can expect between 60 to 100 pieces when you are finished.

Photo Credit: Brian Rountree

You can store the truffles in the refrigerator and they will keep for a week or two.

Makes about 60 to 100 truffles

Variations

This recipe can be tweaked with any number of other flavors to keep things interesting. Consider replacing the basil with any of the following:

  • Curry powder
  • Chipotle chiles
  • Tarragon
  • Espresso powder

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces milk or mild chocolate (40% – 60% cacao)
  • 12 ounces dark chocolate (70% or higher cacao)
  • 1 bunch of basil, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • Sugar for dusting

This entry was posted in Food & Drink, November 2010 and tagged , , , , by Brian Rountree. Bookmark the permalink.
Brian Rountree

About Brian Rountree

Brian Rountree has been a front end engineer at Yahoo! for 5 years. He is the Front End Engineering Architect for the Yahoo! Open Social initiative. Prior to that he has done time as a Front End Tech Lead on Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Shine and Yahoo! Tech. Outside of all things web, Brian enjoys exploring the worlds of red wine, good scotch, aged bourbon and all things pastry. He will be relaunching his personal site shortly http://superiorpixels.com

One thought on “Dark Chocolate and Basil Truffles

  1. I did the ganache with white chocolate to get a light green colour and when it was set, rolled it into balls that I dipped in milk chocolate, which oes hard around the outside so you bite into a soft centre, yum!

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