- About Theo
- Factory and Tours
- All Things Chocolate
While you need not look further than our exquisite Aphrodisiac Confections and Casanova Caramels to treat your loved ones this Valentine's Day, as artisan chocolatiers, we understand the do-it-yourself spirit that inspires you to produce something for your dearest with your own two hands.
So, here we will show you how you can impress those special people this February with bittersweet ganache truffles straight from your own kitchen! You'll need just a few chocolate bars, a bit of cream and butter, and a handful of cocoa powder; (well, it wouldn't be Valentine's Day if you didn't add some love too!). We'll also explain how to customize your ganache truffles to fit the personality of your sweetheart.
What is "Ganache"? It is the French term used to describe the combination of cream and chocolate that makes up the center of a chocolate truffle. The word "ganache" literally means "jowl," but it is used figuratively to refer to a foolish person. Folklore has it that chocolate ganache as we know it came about in the mid-1800s when a chocolatier's apprentice accidentally spilled cream into a pot of chocolate, at which the exasperated chocolatier--thinking his chocolate was ruined--exclaimed, "Ganache"! Needless to say, the chocolatier soon discovered that the result of his apprentice's foolishness was a fantastic new chocolate confection. One hundred and fifty years later, we still celebrate this happy accident each time we mix cream and chocolate to make a batch of truffles.
Here's how to start:
3 bars Theo 70% dark chocolate (9 oz.), finely chopped
6 1/2 oz. heavy cream (3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon)
2 1/2 oz. butter (5 tablespoons)
natural (non-alkalized) fair trade cocoa powder, for coating
What to do:
Truffles will keep in an enclosed container for about a week. For longer storage, you can keep them in an air-tight container in the refrigerator; bring to room temperature before serving. The recipe makes 40-50 pieces.
The pure bittersweet flavor of these truffles needs no embellishment, but you may wish to add to or alter the flavor for a certain someone. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
For the chocolate hedonist: dip the truffles in tempered chocolate before, or instead of, rolling them in cocoa powder
For the vanilla-phile: add half a plump vanilla bean, split and scraped, and its seeds to the cream and allow it to steep for up to an hour before proceeding with the recipe
For the nut-lover: roll the cut pieces of finished ganache in finely chopped toasted nuts instead of cocoa powder
For the not-so-bittersweet chocolate lover: replace one bar of Theo 70% dark chocolate with one bar of Theo 45% milk chocolate and reduce the cream to 6 oz. (3/4 cup).
For your flame: add a pinch each of cayenne pepper and cinnamon along with a spoonful of honey to the cream
For the sweetie with punch: add finely chopped pieces of crystallized ginger to the ganache before scraping it into the pan (rinse the pieces with hot water to remove sugar granules and pat completely dry before adding)
For the romantic: reduce cream to 3/4 cup and add a splash of cognac or other brandy to the ganache before scraping it into the pan