Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lavender and Vanilla Chocolate Truffles

Apparently I’ve gone crazy from the heat. I attempted to temper milk chocolate on a 104°F day in a too warm kitchen. Do I need to tell you how that went?

(Not well.)

So instead of milk chocolate coated lavender and vanilla truffles, as I had originally planned, here are dark chocolate cocoa powder coated lavender and vanilla truffles.

Not exactly what I had in mind but delicious, nevertheless.

(Sometimes kitchen screwups have a happy ending.)


Lavender and Vanilla Chocolate Truffles
adapted from Michael Recchiuti’s Chocolate Obsession

Most of Recchiuti’s ganache recipes call for using invert sugar for a smoother consistency. I've never seen it on a grocery store shelf but I was able to find invert sugar at a local baking supply store. I haven’t tried but I’m sure you can make this ganache with regular granulated or superfine sugar.

¾ c (6 ounces) heavy whipping cream
½ c plus 2 t (3 ¾ ounces if weighing) invert sugar (stir before measuring)
½ Tahitian vanilla bean, split horizontally
1 T + 1 t dried lavender flowers
10 ¾ ounces 61% to 70% chocolate, finely chopped
6 T (3 ounces) unsalted butter with 82% butterfat, very soft (75º F)
unsweetened natural cocoa powder for rolling truffles
candied lavender flowers for topping, if desired (recipe here)

makes approximately 50 round truffles

1. To make the ganache, stir cream and invert sugar together in a small saucepan and then add scraped vanilla seeds and the bean pod into the pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and then remove from heat and stir in the lavender flowers. Cover the top of the pan with plastic wrap and set aside to steep for 20 minutes.
2. While steeping the cream, set up a double boiler by placing a medium sized stainless steel bowl over a pot of simmering water. Be sure that the water doesn’t actually touch the bottom of the bowl or the chocolate will scorch. Also, be careful that the stainless steel bowl fits snugly on top of the pot so that no water can splash into the stainless steel bowl or condensation from the simmering water can reach the bowl. The slightest bit of water will cause the chocolate to seize and it will be unusable.
3. Add the chocolate to the stainless steel bowl and stir occasionally, until the chocolate melts and registers 115º Fahrenheit on an instant-read thermometer. Carefully lift the bowl from the pot.
4. When the cream has fully steeped, strain it through a mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth into a 2-cup liquid measure. Extract any remaining cream by gathering the cheesecloth and squeezing any last drops through the sieve. If necessary, add additional cream or discard some of the liquid to bring the volume to 8 ½ ounces. Check the temperature of the cream and bring it up to 115º Fahrenheit, if necessary. (I popped the measuring cup of cream into the microwave for 20-30 seconds to bring it back up to temp.)
5. Pour the melted chocolate and steeped cream into 1-quart measuring cup and blend with an immersion blender until the ganache thickens to a pudding-like consistency. Add the butter and incorporate it with the immersion blender.
6. Pour the ganache into another medium sized stainless steel bowl to cool and set up at room temperature for approximately 2 to 4 hours. When set, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to roll truffles.
7. To roll truffles, use a small ice cream or melon scooper to dip balls of ganache. Place the dipped balls into a bowl of cocoa powder and use a fork to roll the ball through the powder to ensure an even coating. To finish shaping the truffles, dust the palms of your hands with cocoa powder and roll the truffles until smooth and evenly round. Store the truffles in the refrigerator and remove 30 minutes before serving.

18 comments:

  1. I am not sure how you survive in a 104 degree kitchen. They look so cute though! Where do you get your lavender? Just regular grocery store or online?

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  2. These truffles look amazing Shelley! Love me some lavender - i have some steeping for lavender lemonade. Hope you are staying cool!

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  3. Very cute, Shelley! I like the look of them with the cocoa powder. I admire you for even being in the kitchen on a 104 degree day!

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  4. they look so elegant! sorry you had to sweat for them. :)

    i want to lick my screen, btw.

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  5. @Ilke I'm lucky to live in Central Texas where lavender grows. I picked up some cooking grade lavender at a local farm. I've used store bought, dried lavender buds before, though. Just be sure to sniff to see if they're still fragrant. If they're too old they won't have much flavor.

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  6. They look so delectable! I bet that wasn't an easy task, being in the kitchen in 104 degrees weather. Way to go!

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  7. I love all the infusions of flavors into cream in that book! It's full of great ideas. Your truffles look perfect, and the cocoa coating is lovely. I often wonder how low I'd have to set the ac and how many dehumidifiers I'd need to make some confections in our summer weather.

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  8. Shell, hats off to you for braving a hot kitchen (much less for confections!) in 104F. Can't believe its only june - yikes! Your truffles are gorgeous...the lavender is such an elegant touch and a real bonus to living in Central TX! I have not seem Michael's book...will have to check it out...Stay cool this weekend :)

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  9. don't you love how, even when you mess up w/ chocolate, it always turns out delicious? (just maybe not the final product that you wanted to make)
    These truffles look amazing. Where do you find dried lavender flowers, though? I remember seeing an article full of lavender recipes in the paper a couple weeks back but I worry that I wouldn't find enough uses for them!

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  10. I rarely make truffles because I find it sooo difficult to keep away from the jar..they are such easy traps..lavender and vanilla combo sounds so exotic!

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  11. Those little candied lavender flowers on the top of your truffles make them look so special. I'm also glad to know other people cook in very, very hot kitchens!

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  12. Shelley, your truffles look fabulous! I've been looking for ways to use some of the dried lavender from my parent's yard - now I know. Can't wait to give these a try. :-)

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  13. Truffle-mania returns to Texas! They look amazing, despite the heat. Was the lavender very prominent? I recently used dried rose petals in a rice dish. I wonder how they'd be in truffles?

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  14. Delicious and so so pretty. We are having some very hot days here in the UK too, but not hot enough to keep me from the kitchen either LOL.
    *kisses* HH

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  15. Aw man! What I'd give for one of those right now :P

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  16. beautiful and looks so delicious
    delphine

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  17. Did you get your lavender from the guy at Boggy Creek? I skipped it last time I was there and I'm really regretting it now that I see these truffles...

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  18. @Atxgastronomist Hey Katherine, I got kitchen grade dried lavender from the Hill Country Lavender Farm. It's a bit of a drive but it's a really scenic trip.

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