Paul A Young's port and stilton chocolate truffles recipe
by Paul A Young | 6 comments | Print recipeTweet
The truffle base
1. Put the double cream, sugar and Stilton in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
2. Pour on to the chocolate in a bowl and whisk well until smooth.
3. Add the port, mixing well until it is all incorporated. Allow to cool and use to fill shells or leave to set in the fridge for hand-rolled truffles.
Rolling the truffles
1. Remove the ganache from the fridge. Using a teaspoon, scoop even sized pieces of the chocolate and place on to a sheet of parchment paper.
2. Powder your hands with cocoa powder, and in your fingers begin to roll the ganache into evenly shaped spheres. Take care not to take too long over this as the ganache will begin to melt and become impossible to roll.
3. Place the rolled truffles back on to the parchment paper.
You can eat the truffles at this point, as they are dusted in cocoa powder, but I think a real truffle needs to have a crisp shell to protect it and to give a textural difference. To create this shell, you will need to coat your truffle in tempered chocolate. (If you are not eating the dusted truffles, place them in the fridge until needed.)
Tempering - The seeding method to create tempered chocolate
I recommend that you try this method first as it requires no special equipment and it’s also very clean – no pouring chocolate on to your kitchen counter involved! All you need is a glass or stainless-steel mixing bowl that fits over a saucepan, to melt your chocolate in. A digital thermometer is helpful but not essential – in fact I prefer to test the temperature of the chocolate by more simple means.
1. Begin by breaking 600g of dark chocolate into small, evensized pieces. Place two thirds of the chocolate in a mixing bowl.
2. Fill a saucepan with enough water to reach just below the bowl when placed on top of the pan. Place over a medium heat and allow the water to heat up. You now need to melt the chocolate extremely slowly for at least 1 hour. The idea is to keep the chocolate at 55ºC/131ºF, i.e. its melting temperature. The chocolate won’t go over this temperature if the water isn’t simmering or boiling, just hot. This will ensure that all the fats, sugars and crystals have melted evenly. If the water boils it can burn the chocolate, which will become grainy and unusable, so take care.
3. Once the chocolate has fully melted, remove the bowl from the saucepan and place on a towel or cloth. Now, while mixing vigorously, add the remaining chocolate pieces all in one go. Keep mixing until the pieces are fully melted and the chocolate cools to 27–28ºC/80–82ºF – this is when the chocolate begins to crystallise and harden. If you don’t have a digital thermometer, you can check the temperature by dipping a palette knife into the chocolate and then touching your bottom lip. The chocolate should feel neither cold nor warm, but at body temperature. With a little practice you will soon feel confident using this simple method – it is the way I prefer to do it.
4. Now place the bowl back on to the heat until the temperature has reached 31–32ºC/88–89ºF. This is known as the working temperature, and means that your chocolate has been tempered and is ready to use. To test this manually, dip the end of a knife or spatula into the chocolate and allow to set. If the chocolate is smooth, glossy and brittle when set, then you have mastered seeding tempering.
Coating the truffles in tempered chocolate
The next step is to coat your hand-rolled truffles in tempered chocolate. Be prepared to get messy, but you’ll need to resist licking your fingers until all your truffles have been coated.
1. First, remove the rolled truffles from the fridge and set them aside for 5 minutes to remove the chill. Then take a truffle in your left hand and dip the fingers of your right hand into the tempered chocolate. Place the truffle into the chocolate on your right hand, dip your left hand into the chocolate and begin to roll the truffle gently in your fingers, evenly coating the truffle. Take care to cover all areas, leaving no holes.
2. Once it is covered in tempered chocolate, immediately place the truffle in a deep bowl of cocoa powder so that it becomes fully coated – rolling or burying the truffle or simply shaking the bowl around should do the trick. Allow the truffles to set for 5 minutes, then remove from the cocoa powder and place on a plate or in a bowl ready to be eaten, or straight into a gift box if they are to be a present.
At a glance
- Cuisine British
- Recipe Type Snack
- Difficulty Hard
- Preparation time 10 mins
- Cooking time 20 mins
- Serves 40 people
- 200 ml (7fl oz) Double cream
- 75 g (2.6oz) Golden caster sugar
- 100 g (3.5oz) Very mature Stilton (I prefer Colston Bassett), roughly chopped
- 350 g (12.3oz) 70% dark chocolate, broken into pieces
- 75 ml (2.6fl oz) Tawny port
- 600 g (21.2oz) 70% dark chocolate - for the Tempering
- 1 cocoa powder for dusting
- Making the truffle base
- Rolling the truffles
- Tempering - The seeding method to create tempered chocolate
- Coating the truffles in tempered chocolate
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Photography: Anders Scønnemann