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Truffle Tips [Follow-up post]

Alrighty!  So a number of you guys tried out my Truffle Recipe from a few weeks ago, and had a little trouble with it.  So, I thought I’d share a couple of tips and tricks.  I’ve also done some research to learn a bit more about it myself, so I’ll share my newfound knowledge with you here.

Originally, as posted on Facebook, I had planned to make the truffles again trying out these methods myself… Which I still plan to do… But in the meantime, I thought I’d share what I’ve learned, and hopefully this will help bring some soft truffles back to life!  Remember though, *most* of this is head knowledge… We’ll see how it all plays out, when I actually get a chance to try these things.  In the meantime, however, bear with me.  We’re in this together.  😉

Here are some common questions I got from you guys, and now, here are some answers, as best as I am able to give them at present. 

1)  My truffles are too soft/The ganache is too runny
   There could be a couple of reasons for this: 
   The first being my fault; chocolate chips, as I mentioned before, are not the best quality chocolate.  If you use a higher quality chocolate, you’ll get a higher cocoa butter content– which yields a firmer truffle when you’re finished.  So, while chocolate chips usually work for me, that could have something to do with the brand you’re using– so maybe try using a different brand of chocolate chips, or just forget those altogether, and use a higher quality chocolate.
   The second reason could be that, as I mentioned in my post, your ganache has separated.  This basically means that the fat and water portions in your ganache are not blending well, and the ganache will take on a more grainy, runny texture.  It will set okay (kinda-sorta), but the finished truffles will be quite soft– and the texture will not be as smooth.  If this is the problem, you can fix it be re-heating your ganache to 95-100 degrees F, and then whisking it like the dickens until it comes together again in a thick, smooth mixture.  If you want to know what that should look like, check out my Truffle Recipe and look at the photos.  🙂 
  In the event that doesn’t work, you can then add a small amount (1-2 tsp) of room temperature milk (not cream), a little at a time, to the ganache while again… whisking like the dickens.  If the ganache comes back together before you’ve added all your milk, stop adding liquid; the lesser amount added the better.
 
2)  Should the truffles be hard?

   They will be quite firm when cold, and not so much when they are room temperature.  This recipe is meant to yield a soft, melt-in-your-mouth kind of center.  It is *excellent* coated in a chocolate shell… But I chose to do the simpler method for the recipe, for simplicity and speed.  I don’t like to let them sit out for too long before serving them; straight out of the fridge is good, but I like them best when they’ve been out for a few minutes first.  

3)  How long will they last?
   Well, I don’t usually notice them lasting long, if you know what I mean.  😉  Hehe, but in all seriousness, if you store them in an airtight container in the fridge, they should be good for at least 4-6 weeks. 

4)  How should I store them?
   Definitely in the fridge.  They will be too soft if left out for too long, and keeping them cold will preserve them longer.

5)  Can I use 18% or Half and Half cream instead?
  No.  There are no substitutes here!  A lesser fat content will make the truffles runny, and they will not turn out.

Hope this helps!  If you have any other questions, feel free to ask… Or maybe just wait until I post again with my experiences using these methods, and we can go from there.  😉

Bye for now!

–Naomi

**EDIT:  Well.  I tried.  I tried to make the ganache separate so that I could share my experience with getting it back together again… Buuut…. It wouldn’t work.  It looks perfect.  And try as I might, I can’t mess it up.  *sigh*  The chefs of the world are shaking their heads…  Sorry guys!  :-/  There is something incredibly frustrating about this… and something kind of nice…

…The thing is, I know I’ve made it separate before.  So… Yeah, weird.  I’m capable of creating a truffle disaster, just not when I try to.  😛

Let me know if you try either of these methods out!  I’d love to hear about it.   

35 thoughts on “Truffle Tips [Follow-up post]

  1. Its not seperated but its still too runny. Could it be too runny because it hasn't been in the fridge long enough?How do I tell. And if it doesnt set how can i fix it. It a lot a chocolate sauce. I dont think it will get used if this doent work. Should I melt more chocolate and add it?

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  2. I just tried to make these and I used ghirardelli 60% chocolate. It separated and it appeared I had too much fat. Please help, my husband was very sad, as am I!

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  3. It could be that it hasn't been chilled long enough; It is best to chill overnight, at least. Again, the truffle ganache can be frozen and used as chocolate syrup as you need it, or to make hot chocolate. It really does make the best hot chocolate ever– If you like that, give it a try. It's a good way to keep it from going to waste!

    Runnyness is a sign of separation though… If it continues to have that problem, I would suggest trying the methods listed above to correct it, and see what happens. All the best!

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  4. Sorry to hear this! Did you try the correction methods listed above? Separated ganache does tend to have a more fatty texture, so this doesn't surprise me. I hope the methods I have described in this post can help you fix this problem!

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  5. I let it set in the fridge for about two days and it got thicker but not thick enough. I did use some of it to fill a cake and it does make amazing hot chocolate.

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  6. Hi Manny. I used the Hersey's special dark chocolate chips and they worked fine. Maybe try that brand if you are going for a darker chocolate taste?

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  7. can you use milk chocolate? i personally love semi-sweet chocolate, but my family perfers milk chocoloate. Would i use the same amount of chocolate to cream ratio, or would that need to be altered a little? Thank you for your help

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  8. Yes, for sure! Both milk and white chocolate can be used, in the same ratio, yielding delicious truffles– but both of these kinds will make a softer ganache, so I recommend coating them in a hard chocolate shell instead of rolling them in nuts or cocoa. The workability is fine when it's cold, but at room temperature, milk and white chocolate tend to soften quicker. So, if they're enclosed in a chocolate shell, that makes them more servable– and the softer center only adds to their decadence. 🙂

    Hope this helps! Thanks for the comment.

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  9. My ganache came out super yummy. I used the Hersheys Special dark chips. But it was like it was kinda chunky. Did I not let it melt enough? Or is that seperation? I dont ever cook or bake or anything so I dont know what it looks like.

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  10. Hey Ashley!

    Chunkiness is probably the result of not melting enough, or not mixing it enough to blend the chocolate with the cream. Glad you're enjoying it anyway, though! I guess, with chocolate and cream, what's not to like? 😉

    Next time I'd say, just let the chocolate chips melt a few minutes longer. All the best!

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  11. Hey Brandi!

    Nope, I never have. And I'm actually not sure of their chemical makeup, so I wouldn't be able to tell you if they'd work or not. If you give it a try, let me know! Now I'm curious. 🙂

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  12. Hi – I only have Semi-sweet chocolate baking bars in my pantry right now and was hoping to make this tonight. What is the weight equivalent of 2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips? I was going to use Ghiradelli semi-sweet. I also have Ghiradelli 60% bittersweet cocoa chips, but from what I'm reading above, that wouldn't work, right?

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  13. Thank you so much! I haven't finished the truffles, but looking at the ganauche this morning it seems to have set very firm, so I think all is well. I had some trouble fully melting the chocolate so I microwaved the mixture in 8 second intervals just to keep it warm while I whisked it, and it never got hot, which I think helped keep it firm. Thank you again! SO excited to coat these in all sorts of goodness 🙂

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  14. Could you maybe add some icing sugar to it when it's runny? Wouldn't be exactly a truffle and will probably be a bit sweeter but would probably work. Would turn out to be more of a fondant type chocolate? Just a thought.

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  15. Well, it never hurts to experiment! I would be wary of adding icing sugar though, as you tend to need a LOT of sugar before it stiffens it; often, sugar will thin it out sooner than stiffen it. If you added as much icing sugar as you'd need to thicken it, at that point, it would be chocolate frosting, probably needing butter to keep it from being to pasty.

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  16. I made these yesterday and they came out perfect. The texture is just as you describe. The only problem is forming the balls. I used 2 different sized melon ball scoops and then finally my ice cream scoop which has the handle to release the ball. The balls were way too big so I had to form them into a ball after coating each. It was a bit more work, but came out great. How do you get the chocolate to release from the melon ball scoops? Even the hot water did not help. If you try to touch the ball, it loses it's shape. In the end, they were DELICIOUS. I can't wait to hear what my guests think of them.

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  17. What to do if the chips did not melt all the way. I do not want to keep stirring and over mix, plus it is not hot enough to melt the chips in my opinion.
    Thanks, these look great and the grenach still taste great.

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  18. Hi Cindy!

    I have never found that the cream, when it's brought to a boil, is not hot enough to melt the chips. You may need to let them sit alone for as long as 5 minutes before you stir them, just to give them more time to absorb the heat. Don't worry about over mixing if the chips are not even melted yet– once the chocolate and cream are melted and combined, it's at that point that you want to stop stirring.

    Sounds like you're being careful, which is awesome! All the best, and thanks for the comment! I hope this is helpful.

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  19. Naomi,

    I have used another easy recipe to make truffles and in that recipe it says to boil the cream for 1 min (to help kill all the bacteria)and then to let the cream cool for 1 min before pouring over the chocolate. If the cream is too hot it will 'burn' the chocolate and that is why is separates. The recipe also says to stir until the chocolate is very glossy. My understanding is that it is the heat not the stirring that causes the separation. Hopefully this might help some of the readers with this problem. Christi

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  20. Hi Naomi,
    Thanks for the recipe. My ganache is a bit soft, but I'm pretty sure it hasn't separated; I think it was the chocolate we used OR because we added a bit too much Chambord 🙂 Either way, I would love to try coating them in a hard chocolate. How do I do this? Do I roll the balls in the chocolate or dunk them? What tools should I use for dunking? Just my fingers? Thank you for your help!
    -Kristyn

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  21. Hi Kristyn,

    You can coat the truffles in chocolate a number of ways, but I find a simple way to be using a regular fork. You'll want to make sure you're using a thinner chocolate, like melting wafers or chocolate chips thinned with parafin wax to coat. Then you can just set the truffle on a fork over the melted chocolate, dip it (or set the fork into the chocolate and spoon chocolate over top to cover it), then scrape off the excess with a knife, and slide it off the fork onto wax paper to set.

    Hope that's not too confusing! Enjoy!

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  22. Hey,

    I ACCIDENTALLY used a whole pint of cream instead of one cup and two whole bags of the Ghiradelli 60% cacao chips. I used the same chips the first time I made them and they turned out wonderful. This time because I used too much cream they aren't the same as they were the first time. This time they seem like they are a little runny. Has it turned into chocolate sauce on me? Is it even salvageable?

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  23. Racquel,

    I'm not sure how this would work, but since a pint is double the amount of cream for this recipe, you could try melting this amount of chocolate again (2 c.), then melt your soft ganache, and mix the two together. I don't know how this would hold up, but I think that's your best bet.

    All the best! Hope they turn out.

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  24. Hi Naomi, I tried the truffles with Hershey special dark chips and they were awesome!
    I saw an episode of Americas test kitchen where she poured the melted ganache into a wax paper lined 8×8 pan, let that cool then chill till firm, then used the paper to lift the ganache square out. She cut it into strips and then small squares that she rolled onto balls and rolled in cocoa. Have you tried that method instead of scooping before with your recipe? Sounds possibly easier and less messy on your towels.

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  25. Ok, so it is parchment paper not wax paper. Sorry! I just did 3 batches back to back and this method works even better! No messy towel, no scooping, and less wasted chocolate! You make a sling out of the paper that covers the bottom and a bit past the sides of the pan (both ways) so you can lift the hardened chocolate out. Then turn it onto a cutting board, peel off the paper, and cut in 1″ squares. The board let's you put it back in to chill if needed. I also cooled my hands on a hard plastic ice pack so the balls won't melt in my hands when rolling. I found it much quicker and less messy for me. Give it a try!

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  26. Sorry to hear this! Was it cold through after 3 hours? Sometimes, if you make a lot, or you have a deep bowl, it might beed a bit more time than that.

    Other things that might have happened is that if your chocolate isn't high quality, or if you don't use whipping cream (35%), it won't set properly. If you have used a high quality chocolate, and real whipping cream, then my only guess is that it may have separated.

    Hope this helps, and I wish you all the best with your future truffle making endeavours!

    –Naomi

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  27. Temperature and agitation can both be factors… It will separate if you stir below a certain temperature (dependent on chocolate type). It has to do with the crystalline structure of chocolate and the tempering process which harnesses them in the correct order. You can stir all you want in the “safe zone” but once it drops, stop. I generally keep a bain marie going so it's not an issue. I can't recall the actual temps as I'm out of practice, but I believe I try and work around 30 C° and stop stirring below 27 C° for dark chocolate. Also, if the cream boils away a lot of moisture (personally, I wouldn't intentionally boil for a minute), the ganache could split because the fat content is now too high. If this is the case, don't try and revive it by stirring more cream in, rather, try stirring (at the correct temp) in small amounts of alcohol -good for preservation AND flavor, or a lower fat milk.

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  28. Chocolate can be tricky, like you said it comes in all sorts of processed forms and with all sorts of different ratios of ingredients. I think the people here who are having trouble with their ganache setting might be using a chocolate that requires tempering. Compound chocolate chips wouldn't have this problem. Now I know a truffle isn't supposed to harden precisely, so you don't really want to temper the chocolate exactly, but a compound chocolate chip would set better after being melted then a real chocolate chip (unless it had been properly tempered). I don't know whether or not this is playing into the situation – I'm not a truffle maker but I am looking forward to testing out your recipe.

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