From Chocolatiers Wiki
Mass Production Truffles with a Hacksaw
This is a basic truffle recipe and technique. It is quite suitable for mass producing truffles; in particular it can eliminate the rolling step and requires fridge but not freezer space.
It ends up producing a ganache that is softer than the Truffle Making recipe. However since rolling is not needed it works well for the truffles.
Using good dark chocolate, the basic recipe is
- 1lb chocolate
- 1lb heavy cream
- 1-3tbsp flavoring extract (may substitute more cream, and flavor the cream eg. by simmering stuff in the cream)
(Contrast: 2 cups of chocolate callets works out to roughly 3/4lb, and 1 cup of cream is about 0.5 lb)
- The chocolate should be in a large enough bowl to permit stirring with the cream.
- Heat cream to 160F.
- Pour cream over the chocolate (I've found that adding chocolate to the cream in the hot pan makes it more difficult to control the amount of heat added.)
- Let sit for about 1 minute and then start to stir. A wisk/whip is good at this point.
- Stir until the ganache homogenizes. You will see the ganache transition from:
- Cream with bits of melted chocolate
- Lightly chocolated cream with larger bits of melted chocolate
- Smooth dark ganache
- Let cool slightly and then add in the flavoring
- Pour the liquid ganache into some sort of mold. For the above quantities I like to use a '1/4 sheet' tray lined with plastic wrap.
- Cover lightly, eg. with a paper towel and then a lid, or an oversize lid that will direct condensation away from the mold. Moisture will come off the ganache, and you don't want it condensing and dripping back onto the ganache.
- Let the ganache sit at room temperature for several hours or over night. This part is critical; if you refrigerate the ganache immediately it will not set up properly. Some reaction occurs at room temperature and the ganache gets reasonably firm at room temperature.
- After the ganache sets up, it can help to brush a very thin layer of tempered chocolate on the ganache to act as a release agent in later steps. With a plastic wrap lined mold, the plastic wrap acts as the release agent.
- After the ganache has set up, refrigerate it. It will now get hard enough to work. When using a plastic wrap lined mold, I cover the top of the ganache with plastic wrap.
You now have thin slab of ganache ready for forming and making truffles.
At this point you could do the standard rolling and dipping technique. Even though this recipe has a relatively high cream content, the ganache is easy to work with because of the room temperature set-up step. However for 'mass production' you want to ditch the rolling step.
The next step involves hand tools. You want to cut the ganache into small squares for dipping. The problem is that the ganache will stick to the sides of a knife. The proper cutting tool is a taut stainless steel wire. I stretch some 0.020 spring temper stainless steel wire on a hacksaw frame to use as my cutting wire. Think supersize cheese cutter.
- De-mold the ganache and place on some wax paper or plastic wrap over something soft like sponge rubber. If you lined the mold with plastic wrap, then you simply re-use this wrap to cut against.
- Using the hacksaw, simply slice into the 'loaf' of ganache to make small squares or cubes. If you use it, the thin chocolate layer helps keep the ganache from sticking to the wax paper. If you use plastic wrap, then you can simply peel the wrap off.
- As you cut, use the wire to 'push' the broken off section to the side, creating separation between the ganache sections.
You now have a large bunch of small ganache cubes ready for dipping.
A problem that I've noticed is that the ganache will sometimes sink down through the molten chocolate, leaving a hole in the shell and a dab of ganache on your setting surface. The chocolate layer used to help with release helps here; dip so that this layer is on the bottom and the ganache simply cannot sink all the way down. Another trick is to paint a thin layer of chocolate on your setting surface, which seals the bottom of the chocolate shell.
I find that teflon sheeting makes the perfect chocolate release sheet. Silicone sheeting works okay, but not nearly as well as teflon for this application.
My favorite truffle flavoring is lots of _vanilla_ in the ganache. Use double or triple strength vanilla extract at a rate of 1-1.5 tablespoons per pound of cream.
Habanero: simmer the sliced flesh of 1 pepper in a pound of cream. Let the cream cool to 160F and use as above.
There are many possible substitutes for the cream. Coconut milk has the right fat content and makes rather nice vegan truffles. Almond paste whipped into hot water to the right fat content is also a possible vegan cream substitute.
-Jonathan Edelson (firstname.lastname@example.org)