Tuesday, December 18, 2007

On to truffles.

There is no knitting going on at the moment. I'm having pain control issues (more on that tomorrow after Round Two with the Air Force base... I almost punched a Physician's Asistant today, seriously) and can't concentrate to knit. So what do I do when I feel decent?

Bake. Or make candy. (Or plot the murders of people who annoy me, oh, I'm sorry, did I type that out loud?)

This past week I've been doing truffles. The first batch or two didn't go so well. I was having troubles with portioning and rolling the little fuckers. First I tried to roll them, straight out. That didn't work. Then I tried cutting the batch into squares while refrigerated, and rolling them out. That didn't work either. Then, late the other night, I had a brain wave. Candy molds. Yeah. I'd get candy molds, fill 'em with the truffle filling, put 'em in the freezer, pop them out, and start a veritable assembly line. Off I went Sunday to buy candy molds.

Didja know truffle filling sticks to plastic like fucking glue??

Batch two, tossed out.

Late that night, I had another brainwave. (I get them a lot at three in the morning; jerk awake, with the solution to a problem. Dunno what that means. I think it means my brain is weird.) Piping bag. I could pipe the filling while it was still warm. Yeah. That would work. Plus I have piping bags and tips sitting right in the kitchen. (I wish I'd thought of this before I spent the $6 on candy molds and the two hours finding them, but did I mention, my brain's weird?)

I mixed up a new batch of truffle filling (white chocolate and vanilla), and off I went. (Before you criticize my piping technique, keep in mind my right hand's screwed up.)

There's a trick to getting it at the perfect temperature, where it's warm enough to pipe, but not so cool that it's solid. But it works. Back in the fridge to cool, a bath in chocolate, and viola.

Truffles. I've since cranked out another eight dozen centers (a batch of hazelnut, and a batch of lemon), and am trying to get motivated to dip them all in chocolate.

As for the dipping, I tried the Alton Brown/Shirley O. Corriher trick of putting the chocolate on a heating pad. (Meant to get a picture. Whoops.) See, when you're melting chocolate, JUST chocolate with no cream or butter or anything else (such as the truffle filling), you've got to keep it dry. Water is the kiss of death for melting chocolate. Double boilers with steam rolling out of them is just asking for disaster. I like the new heating pad method, except for one minor drawback: it took an hour for the chocolate to melt in the first place. Still, if you can plan around the time issue, it's awesome.

While I was making some truffle filling, the Goober came out to the kitchen and wanted to know what I was doing. I picked her up and showed her on the stove. She took one look at the cream and melting chocolate and said "mmmmmm. Chocolate soup." That's my Goober.

Oh, and she's also discovered the joys of 'boinging' on Mumum and Dadad's bed.


Catie said...

looks yummy

b said...

They had truffles at my work's Christmas party--the kind rolled in chopped nuts--it made me want to make them again, but last time nobody liked them.

Alwen said...

Truffles . . . mmmm.

Your piping technique looks a lot like mine (minus the MRE Beverage bag).

(And what's up with the Polish verification words, eh? This time I got "srzcyzfo"!)

Amy Lane said...

The truffles get yummy, but I gotta tell you the Goober's getting more and more shockingly beautiful everyday... (my kids are watching Looney Toons Christmas special right now...Daffy Duck keeps saying 'Bah, Humduck!' and I expect him to say 'Bah, Humshit!')

Barbara said...

I just have to say the Goober's gotta be the cutest kid in blogland. What a face! Ya done good for a rookie.

And piped truffles? Tres elegant. I figure piping's like knitting, whatever gets the job done.

Donna Lee said...

I wish I could get motivated to do some holiday baking. I have all the ingredients but no motivation. I suppose it will hit me all at once, just like the decorating did. Maybe once I stop work, of course that's the 21st and I will have to be VERY motivated at that point to get anything done.

Roxie said...

Let me get this straight: You are in acute migraine pain so you make truffles? I don't attempt truffles under the BEST of conditions. You, my dear, are Wonder Woman!(And they look divine!)

debsnm said...

Ah, sleep! Back when I used to sleep, I worked out a crochet doily pattern that I couldn't figure out. I've also solved knitting dilemmas and other office-related problems. I think it's that stupid sub-conscious that doesn't let go of anything working stuff out.

Caroline said...

I like the way your kid thinks.

I almost had a Homer Simpson moment when I read that, "mmm, chocolate soup..."

catnurse said...

I took a truffle class this fall - they're way easier than you're making them. Anyway - melt your chocolate in the microwave (50% power, stir every 30 - 60 seconds)then put the bowl on the heating pad to keep the chocolate liquid.