Les Truffes ~
Truffles, the chocolate ones, just like their namesake, truffle,
the fungus one, have become synonymous with luxury and decadent
indulgence. With whole stores dedicated to offering these little
bites of flavored chocolates, you would think there is a grand
mystery to making them. No, there isn't.
You can make them fairly easily in your own kitchen, spiced
up with your favorite flavors. Let's first review what a truffle
Basically a truffle is ganache covered with tempered chocolate.
What's 'ganache' (ga nahsh)? It's a mixture of melted chocolate
and cream. What's tempered chocolate? It's chocolate that has
been melted to a certain temperature, cooled to a certain temperature,
then melted again. The ganache is formed into a ball and then
dipped into the tempered chocolate.
This gives it a hard covering that provides a crunch as you
bite into the chocolate ball, while the ganache stays soft and
silky in the center.
So, as you can see the 'hard' part of the truffles is the 'hard'
part of the recipe because tempering chocolate can be kind of
tricky. But that particular step can be skipped without too
much loss in flavor or consistency.
In the nine recipes that follow the truffles are flavored with
rum, coconut, lime, orange, ginger, Pernod and Cointreau. They
are then simply coated with melted chocolate and rolled in cocoa
powder, confectioner's sugar, or nuts, etc. . .the flavor combinations
I've included a "Classic" recipe to which you can add vanilla,
cinnamon, Chambord or any other kind of flavoring you think
would make a good combination.
Chocolate Cake spans the globe to include recipes from diverse
countries and cultures, such as the classic French chocolate-and-almond
Reine de Saba; the Austrian inspired Walnut Chocolate Torte;
a Hungarian confection called Rigo Jancsi, consisting of layers
of sponge cake sandwiching a thick layer of whipped cream; and
that all-American classic, Classic Devil's Food Layer Cake with
Urvater's recipes are as simple as the Wacky Chocolate Cake,
in which the ingredients are mixed directly in the baking pan,
to the Opera Cake, a fantasy confection consisting of cake layers
alternating with layers of chocolate filling and coffee buttercream
and glazed with chocolate. And each recipe is coded with a degree
of difficulty so that everyone from the novice baker to the
professional chef will be able to achieve success-and chocolate