Sunday, November 2, 2008

Peanut Butter - Jelly + Chocolate Time

Augustus: I'm Augustus Gloop. I love your chocolate.
Willy Wonka: I can see that.

— Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

I know. I just made truffles. But they're a popular item around here. I actually made ganache for four kinds of truffles last time I was playing with chocolate (raspberry, peanut butter, apricot brandy, and whiskey), so this is really maybe more of a follow-up post than anything.

Peanut butter are a close second place in the race for favorite truffle. The alcohol truffles were a bit more experimental, and sadly it showed. G described them as "apricot brandy kick-in-the-mouth" truffles. Peanut butter truffles, on the other hand, are mainstays of the seamuffin culinary repertoire. Depending on who you ask, they can narrowly surpass raspberry. And that's nothing to be sneezed at.

In case it's not obvious, we treat such things very seriously.

The recipe I use for peanut butter truffles is basically the same as for dark chocolate raspberry truffles. Exceptions to this rule:

1. I use milk chocolate for the ganache and the outer chocolate shell. Dark is better for raspberry truffles because the jam is so sweet, but here I like to up the sugar content. Plus, that sweet and salty combination never fails.

2. Tempering is more work. The melting point of milk chocolate is lower, because there's a lot of stuff in there that's not chocolate. So trying to get the right molecular structure for your chocolate is that much more work. Everything else is getting in the way of forming your lattice. I tend to temper a lot more milk chocolate than I need, because it's much easier to work with an excess of tempered chocolate than to be scraping it off the sides of the bowl. Just cool it and store it for another day.

3. The milk chocolate ganache is kind of frustrating. I don't like to make a hole for the peanut butter truffles with my finger, because it just sticks to your skin and then reforms in a blob (sans hole). The best tool I've found is an eighth teaspoon, which I twirl in the ganache balls. The hole goes all the way through to the parchment paper, but it's better than no hole at all. They'll tend to get a bit deformed... that's just the way it goes.

4. After adding peanut butter to the well, I refrigerate the truffles and then roll them into nice balls again. At this point, I find it's best to get them off the parchment with a sharp knife rather than trying to pry it off with fingers. Once they're spherical, I return them to the refrigerator again and let them set up before covering them in chocolate.


My Sweet & Saucy said...

These are quite the fancy truffles...I love the flavor combos!

Seamuffin said...

Thanks so much! I'm really flattered to get a comment from someone with such a beautiful blog (and such a beautiful cakeshop!).