Mango-Chili Chocolate Truffles
Andrew Weitsman of Needle Meet Haystack guest-blogs for OneLifeToEat today, sharing his delicious India-influenced home-made truffles. I’ve enjoyed reading Andrew’s blog the last year and when he shared he also cooks, I was pleasantly surprised. When he sent me his recipe, all I could think of was the creamy, sweet, rich texture of a chocolate in my mouth, slowly melting, as I read it. His step by step recipe will walk you through how to make chocolate truffles at home. It’s much easier than you’d think. Get ready to salivate!
I’ve been a fan of One Life to Eat for a while now, but one thing that’s always bugged me is how desolate the dessert recipe section is. So when Sabera put out the call for guest recipes, I knew exactly what I had to do.
I’ve been making chocolate truffles since college, when I used them as a cheap gift for a friend’s birthday. They don’t cost much to make, and can be whipped up in a couple of hours. And the best part is that almost everyone finds them impressive. This recipe is based on my standard butter-cream truffle method, with a little Indian influence by way of the mango and chili flavors. While you can coat it with whatever kind of chocolate that you want, I’ve found that using a 65%-75% dark chocolate yields the tastiest results.
For the filling:
- ¼ cup softened or melted butter (unsalted)
- 1 cup sifted/strained powdered sugar
- A few drops of vanilla extract
- ½ pinch of salt (optional)
- 1 can or 2 cups of mango nectar
- Chili powder (cayenne preferred)
For the shell:
- 6-8 oz (by weight) white/milk/dark chocolate
Serving Size: 12-24 chocolates
1. Pour the mango nectar into a small saucepan and heat on low to medium low, stirring occasionally (once every 4 minutes is fine). Continue to heat until volume of the liquid is reduced by half.
2. Take out 4 tablespoons of the reduced nectar and place in a small saucer. Add chili powder to taste (I recommend using around 1/8 tsp – although it may seem a bit strong with just the nectar, it will weaken when added to the other ingredients)
3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt (use soft butter only if you will be using an electric mixer, otherwise, melted is fine). Once the ingredients are incorporated (it will be a thick, dough-like consistency), add 2-3 tbsp of the mango-chili mixture. (This may not seem like much, but it will do the trick – 2 tbsp for a less intense flavor, 3 at most for more intense; any more, and the filling will not set) The mixture will now have a more liquid consistency
4. Pour your mixture into a container, like a small tray, flat bowl, or plastic sandwich bag. If you’re using the bag, get as much air out as you can. For the other two, leave them uncovered. Place in the refrigerator to cool and harden (about 5-15 minutes, depending on the refrigerator temperature and contents).
5. Once the mixture has set (it has a more solid and malleable consistency), portion out small dollops onto a parchment-lined baking sheet (you can use a melon baller or a 1 tsp measure to help, if you want). Place the sheet into the refrigerator for 10 minutes, then remove, and using AS FEW MOVEMENTS AS POSSIBLE, shape into spheres. Place the spheres in the freezer.
6. Melt the chocolate. If it says on the packaging that it can be melted in the microwave, do so according to the instructions (place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl when you do this). If it does not specify this, create a double-boiler using a saucepan with boiling water and place a heat-resistant bowl that is slightly larger than the top of the saucepan over it. Put the chocolate in the bowl and stir constantly until it is all melted and obtains the same consistency.
7. Remove the spheres from the freezer. Take one from the sheet, drop into the bowl of melted chocolate, and, using a spoon, cover the sphere with chocolate. As soon as it is coated, take the spoon and quickly fish out the chocolate-covered sphere and return it to the tray. Continue this process until all spheres are coated. You may notice that the chocolate has already begun to harden. Return the tray to the refrigerator for an extra 10-15 minutes to speed up the process. Overall hardness and texture will depend on what kind of chocolate you used.
8. Eat! Share! Enjoy!
- Instead of using reduced mango nectar, make your own mango jam/jelly at home (recipes can be found on many websites). However, the stringiness of the fruit can make less consistent textures and flavors, although you will be eliminating some of the additives that can be in the nectar.
- Buy candy molds and, using a small paintbrush, coat the insides of the molds with chocolate. Refrigerate to harden, then add the chilled mixture to the shells (using a plastic bag works best for this, as you can squeeze it out). Return the refrigerator to allow them to set, then use additional chocolate to seal the bottoms of the shells. Refrigerate again, then pop the truffles out of the molds.
- Add a bit of chili powder to the outsides of the chocolates by sprinkling it on top before they’ve hardened. You can also roll the dipped chocolates in cocoa powder, coconut, finely ground nuts, sea salt, espresso powder, or other toppings to add other flavors and a unique appearance to the truffles.
Although he is an avid home cook and food-lover, Andrew Weitsman blogs about things that are most often not directly associated with cooking, like employment, personal development, and business several times a week at Needle, Meet Haystack. He would like to remind you that chocolate truffles are not part of a healthy and balanced diet, just a delicious one.