Monday, October 21, 2013

Gingerbread Truffles for Halloween!

I posed a question a few weeks ago, asking what candy reminds everyone most of Halloween.  The overwhelming response was candy corn, candy corn, candy corn! There seems to be two camps when it comes to the stuff.  Love it or hate it.  Personally, I'm not a fan.  The reason? I don't know what it's supposed to taste like.


I don't like things that don't have a distinct flavor. This is the reason that I don't like Coke or Pepsi, what are they trying to taste like?  Don't answer cola.  That's not a sufficient answer for me.  Oddly enough I really like Dr Pepper, which is basically cherry coke.  I know, I'm strange.


So, candy corn. Right. I went to the grocery store and even bought myself a bag of the classic treat.  I had a few pieces and put the bag away.  The only flavor detectable in a piece of candy corn is sugar.  And a little wax.  I wanted to make some candy Halloween, but I didn't want to make something with no flavor just for the sake of cuteness.  I wanted something with flavor and holiday cheer.


Enter these truffles.  They make look simple and unassuming, but they are packed with flavor.  They taste like Halloween in a bite.  The chocolate center is rich and smooth, with a hint of pumpkin spice and the outside is crunchy and oh so festive.  You won't need more than one of these truffles to satisfy your chocolate and Halloween cravings.


One Year AgoHomemade Almond Milk
Two Years AgoChicken Caesar Pasta Salad
Three Years AgoAcorn Squash Ravioli with Cranberry-Walnut Sauce

Gingerbread Truffles
Adapted from Making Artisan Chocolates

I used my scale and measured the chocolate in grams.  It was much more specific than relying on the markings on the chocolate bars.  You can do it either way, a few fractions of an ounce more of one chocolate or another won't change the flavor too much!

The fridge will be your best friend during this recipe.  If you find that your chocolates are getting too soft at any point, just pop them in the fridge for 5 minutes.

2 ounces (56g) 64% bittersweet chocolate
2 ounces (56g) 84% dark chocolate
3/4 ounce (21g)  milk chocolate
7 1/2 tablespoons (105g)  heavy cream
2 teaspoons (14g) light corn syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons (7g) butter, cubed, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup puffed rice cereal
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pound white chocolate

Chop all chocolates and place in a large bowl.  Combine heavy cream and corn syrup in a small pot.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Once the cream comes to a rolling boil, pour over chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes.  Stir with a silicone spatula until smooth.  Using a candy thermometer, let chocolate sit until cooled to 95 ºF.  Add butter and spices and stir until butter is all melted.  Let ganache cool for about 40 minutes and transfer to a piping bag.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Pipe small blobs of chocolate ganache onto the parchment paper.  If the ganache is too loose and won't form balls, place the piping bag in the fridge for 2 minutes. Roll the blobs of chocolate in your hands until round.

Preheat oven to 350 ºF.  Place puffed rice cereal and remaining spices in a 9x9-inch baking pan.  Toast cereal for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and pulse 5-6 times, or until cereal is mostly broken up.  You don't want it all to be dust.  Return to the baking pan.

Melt white chocolate in a double boiler (Or bowl set over a simmering pot of water).  Dip truffles one at a time.  Tap off excess chocolate and drop in the cereal crumbles.  Sprinkle top with more cereal and roll around truffle to coat completely.  Let truffles sit in the baking pan until the chocolate is completely set.

Store truffles in the fridge, but bring to room temperature before enjoying!

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