I’ve been wanting to experiment with infusing chocolate truffles with different flavors, ever since a friend of mine posted a video about it on Facebook. I decided that, since I was making truffles as a Valentine’s Day gift, I would give it a whirl.
I wanted to use what I had on hand, so I came up with the idea of steeping chai tea bags in the cream. I used Bigelow Spiced Chai Tea, but you can use any brand or even make your own.
The truffle recipe calls for 1/2 cup of cream. I heated it until it just started to bubble around the edges, and then I put 4 tea bags in it and left them there while the cream cooled. I squeezed as much cream as I could out of the tea bags, being careful not to break them, and discarded the tea bags.
I poured the chai cream back into my measuring cup and added more cream to bring it back up to 1/2 cup. This is the cream I used to make the truffles. It had a nice aroma of chai spices that was very present.
If you already know how to make truffles, you can skip the next two paragraphs.
You make truffles by chopping up high-quality dark chocolate (I used Scharffen Berger Semisweet Dark Chocolate, with 62% cacao), heating the cream until bubbles start to form around the edges of the pot, and pouring the hot cream over the chocolate. Let the mixture sit for about 5-10 minutes, and then gently stir with a whisk, until it is smooth. This is the ganache.
Once the ganache cools—I put mine in the fridge for about 30 minutes—you scoop it and roll it into small balls. These are your truffles, which you then roll in cocoa powder, chopped nuts, or whatever you want. You can even dip them in chocolate to form that hard coating that commercial truffles have.
I decided to roll mine in toasted and chopped almonds. I thought the nutty, earthy flavor would be a nice complement to the chai spices, and boy, was I right. I hate to brag, but these truffles came out great!
Chai-Infused Dark Chocolate Truffles with Toasted Almonds
What you need:
- 8 oz quality dark chocolate
- 1/2 cup cream, plus about 1/4 cup more due to cream absorbed by tea bags
- 4 chai tea bags
- 3/4 cup sliced almonds
What you do:
- First make the chai-infused cream. Pour 1/2 cup heavy cream into a sauce pan. Heat the cream until small bubbles form around the edges, just shy of boiling. Submerge 4 chai tea bags into the cream. Steep until cream cools. Gently squeeze the cream out of the tea bags, and discard them.
- While the cream is steeping, prepare your chocolate. Chop it into very small pieces, and place it in a heat-proof bowl. Set aside.
- Pour the chai cream into a measuring cup, and bring it back up to 1/2 cup by adding additional cream. Heat the cream, as above, and pour it over your prepared chocolate. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
- Gently stir the chocolate and cream with a whisk, until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate about 30 minutes. You want the ganache to be firm enough to roll into balls, but not too firm to scoop.
- While the ganache is cooling, toast the sliced almonds in a 400-degree oven until fragrant and lightly browned. Keep an eye on them so they don’t over brown. Allow to cool, and chop finely.
- Remove the ganache from the refrigerator. Using a teaspoon for smaller truffles or a tablespoon or dough scoop for larger ones, scoop the ganache and roll into balls. This step is very messy. Refrigerate for about 10 minutes because they will be soft from handling.
- Remove from the refrigerator, and roll the balls in the chopped toasted nuts.
- Keep refrigerated in a sealed container.
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