Last weekend when I was at home for spring break, my aunt Hannah gifted me a couple of bars of Lindt 90% cocoa chocolate.
After sitting on them for a week (and tasting a piece and deciding that eating it straight-up was not going to be an option for me), I decided to make some truffles- earl gray truffles, to be specific.
The first time I made chocolate truffles (not to be confused with the savory fungi), it was for Valentine's day about five years ago. Which is weird to think about. I made Alton Brown's recipe from Good Eats, a show that I am still very fond of. I definitely go back and watch old episodes for quick refreshers on basic dishes.
These truffles are inspired by a bar of chocolate I had a few years back. I can't remember the brand, but I know I bought it at a local Jewel-Osco. It was a earl gray infused chocolate bar, and, oh man, was it good.
For some reason, I've always really liked earl gray tea- it was kind of my gateway tea back in 8th grade, when Starbucks offered the "London Fog" (now simply called an "Earl Gray Tea Latte"). There's that slight bitterness from the black tea, coupled with that citrus note from the bergamot.
Since I'm living in the dorms, I'm not using fancy ingredients. I have a bit of milk left over from a work meeting, the tea in my ever-growing stash, and, of course the chocolate from my aunt. Add in a touch of sweetness in the form of agave nectar and a pinch of salt, and voila- no-frills chocolate truffles (as if such a thing actually exists).
The truffles didn't actually have a ton of earl grey flavor... But they were still pretty good, I think. Here's how I made 'em!
First, heat up about 1/2 cup of milk or cream. I used skim, because that's what I had. Stick a couple of earl gray tea pouches in that, along with 2-3 tablespoons of fat. And, since I used super dark chocolate, I put in about 2-3 tablespoons of agave nectar. Really, any kind of sugar would work, but again- I used what I had.
You might thinking to yourself, "Self- do you notice that there are no pictures of the above steps? Also, do you notice that these instructions are super vague?" And to those noticing that (and those who now notice because I just pointed it out to you), I say, sorry, but I'm kinda new to this kind of thing. And I'm terrible at remembering to take photos. Whoops. I'm also not a huge recipe kind of person... But I'm trying. Please.
Moving on. After you do all that stove action, you want to chop up some nice chocolate (really, any kind you like). I used super dark chocolate, because that's what I had (are you sensing a theme here?). Put the chopped chocolate in a bowl, and check on that milk that's heating up.
Side note: I realllly like the way chocolate shards(?) look when it's being chopped up. It's just so geometrical.
After the milk is sufficiently heated (it should look like it's about to boil and you should maybe be able to see a couple wisps of steam?), pour it over that chocolate in a bowl. Yum. Then don't touch it for a good 3 minutes. Check your Twitter (and follow me @cesteunice - shameless plug). Stretch a little.
After the 3 minutes are up, carefully stir the melty chocolate. It's gonna look kind of disgusting in the first couple stirs (not gonna lie, that's why there aren't pictures of that process). But then, it gets all silky and YUM.
Stick that melty goodness into the fridge and let it set for a couple of hours. Scoop some out, roll it between your palms, and roll it in some cocoa powder. I also rolled some in this vanilla honey mixture my friend Claire had, and in a mixture of cocoa powder and cinnamon. (To be honest, the regular cocoa powder coating was my favorite; Claire liked the cinnamon the best.)
Aaaand that's it. Making truffles is pretty easy, but kind of time consuming. I think the hardest part is 15 seconds into mixing the chocolate and milk: it is seriously gross-looking. But in the end, everything turned out quite nicely.
PS: This recipe made more truffles than Claire and I wanted to eat, so we made some hot chocolate with it: and it was delicious!
The recipe (like, the specific recipe that created the above truffles):
1/2 cup skim milk
3 tablespoons coconut oil
3 tablespoons agave nectar
2 bags earl grey tea
7 oz dark chocolate
1/4 cup cocoa powder
Combine the milk, coconut oil, agave nectar, and earl gray tea in a small saucepan and heat over medium low heat. While the milk mixture heats, chop up the chocolate and place into a small bowl. Just before the milk mixture comes to a boil, pour it over the chocolate (removing the tea bags). Let it sit for 3 minutes. Then, mix the chocolate and milk together, until smooth and shiny. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Scoop out truffles using a spoon, roll into a ball, and coat with cocoa powder. Enjoy!