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?
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.