Monday, February 13, 2012

Caramel-Chocolate Truffles with Fleur de Sel

I'm just going to say it, I think Valentine's Day is bullshit. Don't get me wrong, I'm all in favor of love and expressing your feelings. I just don't believe you have to do it on February 14th. If you ask me, it's forced and meaningless. If I'm not feeling the love the rest of the year, don't jam it down my throat on V-Day. But that doesn't mean you can't make some luscious homemade candy for your loved ones. Or heart shaped cookies or cupcakes or chocolate molton lava cake. Because let's face it, food is love. I know it's wrong and I should see a shrink, but it's true. At least for those of us who have big passion for food (I can't really relate to people who don't, although I envy them when my pants don't fit).

Makes about 32

20 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (divided)
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
2/3 cup whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1.      Place 8 oz. of the chocolate in metal bowl over saucepan of barely simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water); stir until chocolate is smooth. Remove chocolate from over water.
2.      Combine sugar and 2 tablespoons water in small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves, occasionally brushing sides of pan with wet pastry brush. Increase heat; boil until syrup is deep amber color, brushing down sides and swirling pan occasionally, about 4 minutes. Add cream (mixture will bubble). Stir over very low heat until caramel is smooth. Mix caramel and 1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel into melted chocolate. Chill until truffle filling is firm, at least 3 hours.
3.      Place cocoa in bowl. Using 1 tablespoon truffle filling for each truffle, roll into balls, then roll in cocoa. Arrange on baking sheet. Cover; chill overnight.
4.      Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment. Place remaining 12 oz. chocolate in medium metal bowl over saucepan of barely simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water); stir until chocolate is melted and smooth and thermometer inserted into chocolate registers 115° F. Remove bowl from over water. Working quickly, submerge 1 truffle in melted chocolate. Using fork, lift out truffle and tap fork against side of bowl to allow excess coating to drip off. Transfer truffle to prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining truffles. Sprinkle truffles lightly with additional fleur de sel. Let stand until coating sets, at least 1 hour. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

from Bon Appétit, January 2004
melting the chocolate (I used Callebaut)

Do I need to say use good chocolate? Because obviously,
the better the chocolate, the better your truffles will be.
sugar and water
brushing the side of the pan
adding the cream
The caramelized sugar will most likely seize up on you
and be lumpy. Just keep stirring and it will melt into
the cream and become smooth.
adding fleur de sel to the melted chococlate
mixing in the caramel mixture
caramel-chocolate mixed
I let mine chill overnight and it was rock solid, so I took it
out of the fridge for a while before I started rolling my truffles.
chocolate ball

That was the first one. By the time I was finished, both
my hands were completely covered in chocolate (along
with the table, phone, camera and most of the kitchen).
rolling in cocoa
covered in cocoa
And if you just don't have it in you to melt
more chocolate and dip, you can stop right here.
But I melted...
...and dipped
...and sprinkled
It was worth it.


Judie Cleland said...

OMG, I will take a dozen! And, I thought your ganache was yummy. The fleur de mel will be the icing on the cake, so to speak.
I actually had one of your caramels yesterday and the combination of sweet and salty is over the top!

Susan said...

I'd say I love sweet & salty too, but that's obvious!

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