Sunday, July 31, 2011

Truffle FAIL

Let me begin by saying that this was NOT my first time making truffles. I consider myself a fairly seasoned truffle maker in fact.... Oreo-Cream-Cheese Truffles have been a staple of my gift-giving repertoire for several years. But I now realize that I always make those to give out at Christmas. They are most certainly a winter baking treat... and that's where I ran into trouble.

It began with my wanting to find something to make out of the insanely prolific patch of mint in my garden. The internets led me to this recipe for fresh mint chocolate truffles and I instantly thought "Oooh, sounds tasty! I can totally make those. No problem!" (this is in fact exactly how I talk to myself in my head.) If you go look at the photo on the recipe link you'll see what I was aiming for. As you'll see shortly... I missed. By a LOT.

Things started out well. I cooked up the cream and added the mint, mixed everything together and happily came out with a tasty right-amount-of-minty ganache.

It cooled in the fridge for a full day before I was able to take the time to roll the balls and prep for dipping in melted dark chocolate. I even made the little candied mint leaves to use as a cute garnish. (Did I mention that I'm trying to use a TON of mint? If swear the stuff grows so fast in my yard we can almost sit there and watch the sprigs forming).

Perhaps I should have been more concerned when even after "lightly dusting" my palms with cocoa powder as instructed I still ended up with gooey melty chocolate all over my hands after each little truffle was rolled. But I just chalked it up to this being a different type of recipe than the drier cookies-and-cream style that I normally would make and soldiered along.

After the rolled ganache was set hard in the freezer for a few hours I got everything set for the dipping. This is where things went terribly, terribly wrong for me. The first few went fine, but at around piece number five I realized that the candy coating was suddenly seizing up and now had the consistency of thick frosting. I quickly realized that because the room was warm (this has been a rather hot and humid summer in new england, like it has pretty much everywhere in the US) the truffles were collecting condensation... and by putting that water into the chocolate I had ruined the bowl full.

I probably should have stopped and let things cool all over again and re-thought my whole "finish making these right now" concept. But I'm just not that kind of girl. Once I get started I'm pretty much going to muddle through the mess as best I can regardless of anyone's better judgement. First I kinda used the thickened chocolate and tried to basically frost the balls of filling... really not so attractive. I believe my husband rightly compared them to something our dogs would make. (And trust me when I tell you that we don't have some special breed of talented crafty baking dogs.)

Then I figured that since my first few came out okay I could just melt some smaller cups of white chocolate and if it seizes after a few dips, at least I won't have wasted as much, right? Wrong! I got one truffle done kinda okay in the white. And I even had one of my tiny cups seize right out of the microwave as soon as I tried to stir it... Maybe the fork was wet? Maybe the air was so bloody humid it just soaked in from there. I have no clue.

Still unwilling to give up on tasty mint-chocolate treats (I was making these to bring to my sister-in-law's baby shower, by the way. So I really wanted them to look pretty and presentable in front of my mother-in-law, not to mention the aunts and cousins and everyone else.) I tried spooning the white chocolate on top of the horribly lumpy things I now created. I also tried rolling un-coated ones in powdered sugar, but it mostly just turned to mush from all the moisture sweating off of them. Here are some of my assorted attempts in all their glory:

In the end I decided to roll the most horribly lumpy ones in cocoa on the grounds that moist, sweaty poo-looking balls were more unappetizing than anything with a powdery cocoa look to it. I think that worked out okay. They were at least not a total waste of time, effort, and most importantly, chocolate!

At least I was able to present the nicest, least poo-looking ones I could to my SIL

I sorta stuck the rest on the end of the dessert table (I ended up filling about three of those tupperware containers you see in the pics) and thankfully people did find them to be yummy. I was even asked politely if I made them myself... I don't know if it was worse to admit that yes, I made something that ugly. or that someone might have thought I would actually purchase such unattractive candies. I suppose either way it was a good thing that they turned out to be so tasty!


  1. Ugly but tasty, good job! I'll eat some of those uglies.

  2. Thanks Victoria! I felt pretty lucky that they went over well with my hubby's family even tho' they were funny looking. :)