Unable to find a trustworthy cappuccino truffle recipe with a white-chocolate-based ganache (I was trying to please both a coffee lover and a chocolate hater), I decided to adapt truffle goddess Carole Bloom’s cappuccino truffles recipe, which in its original form has a dark-chocolate ganache base.
In my first trial, I used a white-chocolate-to-cream ratio Bloom used in many of her truffle recipes (2.5 pounds white chocolate to 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream) and slightly reduced the prescribed amount of espresso powder, since it no longer had to compete with a bittersweet chocolate.
The ganache in my first trial tasted like yummy coffee ice cream, but I was disappointed by the texture: too stiff. I like my truffles very creamy. So I increased the amount of cream in my second trial and the texture was perfect. The trade-off: the ganache was so soft, even when ice cold, it had to be handled quickly and carefully while rolling and dipping — and even being quick and careful yielded some flatter-than-a-globe shapes. But I didn’t care; I loved them anyway.
Confession: In my first trial, I was lazy and arrogant and assumed I did not need to temper the milk chocolate I was using for decoration. WRONG. Bloomed milk chocolate (and this bloomed very quickly) is not any easier to look at than bloomed dark chocolate.
Recipe source: Adapted from the book Truffles, Candies, & Confections: Techniques and Recipes by Carole Bloom. Ten Speed Press, 2004. p. 45
Yield: About 60 truffles
- Up to 4 1/2 pounds white chocolate, finely chopped, divided (I used E. Guittard’s Creme Francais [31% cocoa butter].)
- 3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons instant espresso powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Up to 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 8 ounces milk chocolate
- Place one pound of the white chocolate in a 2-quart microwave-friendly mixing bowl. In a one-quart saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat, dissolve the espresso powder in 3 tablespoons of the cream, then blend back in with the rest of the cream. Stir in the cinnamon, then pour the cream over the chocolate. Let the cream-chocolate mixture stand for one minute, then stir together with a rubber spatula until smooth. If stubborn bits of unmelted chocolate remain, microwave the mixture for 10- or 15-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until all the chocolate has melted.
- Cover the ganache, let cool to room temperature, and chill in the refrigerator until thick but not stiff (2 to 3 hours — no worries about this ganache becoming too stiff!). Or let the ganache sit at cool room temperature for several hours or overnight until thick enough to scoop or pipe.
- Line two half-sheet baking sheets with parchment paper. Fit a 12-inch-or-larger pastry bag with a tip with a 1/2-inch opening, or snip a similarly-sized opening at the tip of a disposable pastry bag, and pipe out mounds about one inch in diameter. Or use a small ice-cream scoop (the Zeroll #100 EZ Disher is a perfect size) to form the mounds. Cover the mounds with plastic wrap, or use a half-sheet pan cover if you have one, and chill in the refrigerator until mounds are firm enough to roll, about 6 hours.
- Remove the ganache mounds from refrigerator. Add about 2 Tablespoons of the confectioners’ sugar to a sandwich-sized plate; dust your hands with some of the sugar as well. Roll the mounds into balls, dipping mounds into the sugar and adding more sugar to your hands or the plate as necessary to prevent the ganache from sticking to your hands, the parchment, or each other. Work quickly so you don’t overwarm or oversoften the ganache (it may be on the soft side from the get-go). These are, of course, the truffle centers. Cover and refrigerate the centers until firm.
- Smoothly line another two half-sheet pans with aluminum foil. Melt — but don’t temper — about 1 pound of the white chocolate. Quickly hand-dip the cold centers in the chocolate and place them on the prepared pans. Return dipped centers to the refrigerator until chocolate is set. (Once the chocolate is set, you can wait several hours, or even day or so if necessary, before proceeding.) Reserve the remaining chocolate for future use.
- Remove the pre-dipped truffle centers from the fridge and bring to cool-room temperature. Smoothly line two more baking sheets with aluminum foil, or use acetate sheets to line the sheets. Melt and temper three pounds of the white chocolate and dip each center with a dipping fork, or hand-dip the truffles a second time, making sure that you do not introduce additional flat edges to the truffles as you drop them on the baking sheet. Let set at room temperature, if desired, or proceed immediately to the next step.
- Melt and temper the milk chocolate. Using a spoon, parchment cone, or small pastry bag fitted with a thin round tip, drizzle the chocolate over the truffles. Allow drizzle to set at room temperature. After the covering and the drizzle is fully set, place the truffles in candy cups (if desired), then move the truffles to an airtight container, preferably while you’re wearing a thin cotton glove to prevent fingerprints.
- Bloom tells us that “in a tightly covered container wrapped in several layers of aluminum foil, the truffles will keep for one month in the refrigerator or two months in the freezer,” though other experts would say that the truffles can keep well at cool room temperature without the need for all that aluminum foil. However they are stored, be sure to bring them to room temperature before eating.