Salted Caramel Chocolate Truffles

April 4, 2013

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I have always been so impressed with those people who eat an apple for dessert.  How do they do that?!  Do you think they’re satisfied?  I wonder what unbaked apples that are not in a buttery pie crust with a brown sugary, cinnamon syrup enveloping them taste like.  You know, I may try doing this whole apple dessert thing when I (eventually) grow up, but for now, I need a real, honest sweet just about every day.

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But it’s a challenge trying to compete with yourself with a recipe every week.  Sometimes you just don’t feel like one-upping your previous highest level of cooking skills with sticky buns or macarons.  Instead all you really want is a cereal treat, or some chocolate!

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I wanted chocolate.  Really, that’s all I wanted.  Just some good quality, gooey, always-there-for-you, little globs of chocolate.  And this is what transpired.  Salted caramel and chocolate truffles!  A two for one deal!

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It may seem like the kind of chocolate you make when you’re having an internal competition with yourself.  But it’s not!  I mean, it turned out to be quite impressive, but it wasn’t meant to be like that.  These delicious balls of goodness are the simplest chocolates to make, and are so extremely satisfying that they put any fancy dessert to shame.  They are especially delightful alongside an apple.

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Salted Caramel Truffles (recipe from Serious Eats)

  • 18 ounces bittersweet chocolate (62% to 72% cacao content), finely chopped, or dark chocolate chips, divided
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup (5 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extra
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons fleur de sel or other fine-grained sea salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Place 8 ounces of the chopped chocolate in a 2-quart bowl and set aside.

Cut the butter into small pieces and place it in a medium-sized pot with the sugar and cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar and butter have melt. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook until the mixture turns amber colored, about 5-7 minutes. Keep an eye on it, and constantly stir, because this has the potential of burning quickly.

Simultaneously, bring the cream to a boil in a 1-quart saucepan over medium heat. Stir the cream into the butter mixture until completely smooth. Be careful because the cream will bubble and may spatter when added.

Remove the caramel from the heat and stir in the vanilla and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt until thoroughly blended. Immediately pour the caramel over the chocolate in the bowl. Let it stand for 15 to 30 seconds, then stir together until smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and cool to room temperature. Chill until thick, about 1 hour.  At this point, you can just grab a spoon and have at the mixture.  But if you want fancier, portion-controlled chocolate pieces, keep on going:

Line 2 baking sheets with waxed or parchment paper. Use a 1-inch round ice cream scoop, or a tablespoon measure, to scoop out the truffles and place them on a baking sheet. Chill uncovered for 20 minutes.  At this point, you can just eat these portion balls o’ goodness, but if you want them to be actual truffles, rather than just ganache, keep on going:

Dust your hands with cocoa powder and roll the truffles into balls.  At this point, you can just pop them in your mouth and call it a day.  But if you want extra chocolate lusciousness, keep on going:

Melt 7 ounces of chocolate in the top of a double boiler over low heat, stirring frequently. Or melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl on low power for 30-second bursts. Stir after each burst to to make sure that the chocolate is melting evenly.

Remove the top pan of the double boiler, if using, and wipe it dry. Add the remaining 3 ounces of chocolate in 3 stages, stirring until it’s completely melted. This tempers the chocolate so it won’t have any streaks, and so the chocolate won’t melt when kept at room temperature.

Place a truffle into the melted chocolate and coat completely. With a fork, scoop the truffle out, and let the excess chocolate drip off, then place the truffle on the clean lined baking sheet.

After dipping 5 truffles at a time, sprinkle a few grains of the remaining salt on top of each. Let the truffles set at room temperature.

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