Recipe: Gooey Dark Chocolate Caramel Truffles

 Gooey Dark Chocolate Caramel Truffles look great  with a messy dusting of cocoa powder

Gooey Dark Chocolate Caramel Truffles look great  with a messy dusting of cocoa powder

While for some the summer is only beginning, for London it’s already feeling like cozy-up-with-some-cocoa weather.  Ironically this recipe was conceived amid a sweltering 30 degree backdrop in Girona, Spain.  Most of this summer I have been using a less refined, household confectioner’s brown sugar, known as Azucarera Moreno.  The sugar has the texture, flavour, and datey smell of the combination of demerara and brown muscovado sugars.  This truffle is constructed from a caramel made from the same sugar plus caster sugar.  Unfortunately it is highly unlikely you will find Azucarera Moreno in the UK, but dark brown muscovado sugar will make the perfect substitution.  Try to also use a single origin 70% dark chocolate, if you can find it.

This recipe yields 30 truffles, and provides the added reward of an excess of 150g caramel for other uses, such as topping ice cream, cheesecakes or for preparing even more batches of truffles.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You will need the ganache to set overnight.  Always use caution when cooking sugar as it becomes extremely hot.  

70% Dark Chocolate Caramel Truffles Recipe, Makes 30 truffles

Ingredients:

Caramel

50g caster sugar
100g dark brown muscovado sugar
150g whipping cream
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla powder
15g unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Ganache

125g whipping cream
50g prepared caramel (see above)
175g 70% dark chocolate, chopped into pieces

Good quality cocoa powder, for dusting 

 Adding the boiled cream + caramel mixture to the chopped chocolate

Adding the boiled cream + caramel mixture to the chopped chocolate

METHOD

Place cream, vanilla, and salt into a medium-sized saucepan and place over med-high heat.  Bring to the boil and immediately remove from the heat.

Next: Make a direct caramel  (a caramel made by cooking sugar on its own  over the heat) by placing a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan with caster sugar over medium heat.  Using a heat proof spatula or wooden spoon, begin to melt the sugar, stirring only where there is clumping and to  prevent the sugar burning.  Continue to stir until caster sugar dissolves completely and evenly turns a honey colour.  Add the muscovado sugar. Continue to stir until the brown sugar dissolves and turns into a liquid, smells datey, and is a molasses colour.  Continue heating until the sugar granules achieve a slight foamy appearance along the edges of the liquid when falling from the spatula.  Add the cream, USING CAUTION AS VERY HOT STEAM WILL ARISE, stirring to keep the caramel from catching along the bottom.  Cook on a low flame until the the caramel is liquid and any clumps have dissolved.  Add the butter in one go, stirring some more and allowing it to dissolve into the liquid.  Remove from heat, pour into a heatproof container and allow caramel to cool.  In order to prevent a skin from forming, immediately cover with clingfilm.  Once fully cooled, place in refrigerator and store for up to one month.

To make the ganache, place the dark chocolate into a medium heatproof bowl.  Place 50g of the prepared caramel into a medium sauce pan with the whipping cream.  Bring to a boil and immediately remove from the heat.  Pour the caramel cream mixture over the chocolate and using a whisk, incorporate until the cream emulsifies with the chocolate and the mixture comes together looking smooth like buttercream frosting and is shiny.  Cover the surface with clingfilm and place in fridge overnight.

 My Gooey Dark Chocolate Caramel Truffles

My Gooey Dark Chocolate Caramel Truffles

The next day, remove the ganache from the fridge.  Spread a good helping of cocoa powder evenly into a flat tray or plate.  Using your hands, roll the firm ganache in your hands into balls (about 10g or 2 tsp’s worth) and then roll into the cocoa powder.  Place all rolled truffles over a sieve and dust off excess cocoa powder.  Store the truffles in an airtight container and try to keep in an 18-20 degree (ambient) environment to enjoy optimum flavour notes.   If this is impossible then simply refrigerate.  The truffles will keep for 3-4 days at ambient temperature or for 2 weeks kept in the fridge.  Enjoy!

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