Chocolate always brings smiles to people’s faces. Some love the gentle snap of dark chocolate, as a small piece for savoring is broken off a bar. For others, it is the sweet melting quality of milk chocolate, or the subtle aromas of dark varietal chocolates.
Famed pastry chef and confectioner Michael Recchiuti can trace his love for chocolate back to his childhood, when his grandmother taught him how to bake. During his years working as a pastry chef, his love of high-quality chocolate inspired him to later open Recchiuti Confections in 1997 with his wife, Jacky.
All of Recchiuti’s confections call for superior chocolates, and employ key confectionery principles that Michael himself has developed over the years, like infusing cream with carefully selected complementary herbs or other aromatics to draw out as much of their essence as possible when flavoring ganache. His Force Noire Ganache truffle is one of our favorites, as the intense richness of the chocolate isn’t overwhelmed by the lightly floral sweetness of the infused vanilla bean.
How To Make Rolled Truffles
Adapted from Michael Recchiuti and Fran Gage’s Chocolate Obsession.
When making chocolates, begin your work a couple of days in advance, so that you have the time to properly infuse your chocolate, or let the ganaches rest. For making rolled truffles with Michael’s Force Noire Ganache, which infuses overnight, it is necessary allow for three days for production. One day to infuse the cream, another to make the ganache, or roast any nuts you would like to use for rolling. On the last, the ganache square is then cut into 1-inch pieces, and then each square is rolled and finished in cocoa powder or another covering.
Remove the ganache you’ve made from the refrigerator.
Using a ruler, mark a grid of 1-inch squares on the ganache square. Using a thin-bladed chef’s knife, cut the ganache into the 1-inch squares along the grid lines, dipping the knife in hot water and wiping it dry before each cut and wiping it clean after each cut.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Put about ½ cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder in a bowl and dust your palms with cocoa powder. One at a time, pick up a square, roll in into a ball between your palms, and then drop it into the bowl of cocoa powder. After you have made about six truffles, shake the bowl to cover the rounds completely. Using a fork, transfer them to the lined pan. Continue rolling until you have used all the ganache.
Because the truffles are not covered with tempered chocolate, you need to refrigerate them. Transfer them to a bowl or plastic bag that contains enough cocoa powder to prevent them from sticking together. They will keep for up to two weeks. Remove them from the refrigerator and put them on a place about 30 minutes before serving so they are at room temperature.
For a different look and taste, roll the rounds in finely chopped chocolate, finely chopped nuts, chopped seeds, or cocoa nibs instead of cocoa powder.