Chocolate Chai Masala Truffles

It’s Friday!  The weekend is here in all its glory.  Time to treat yourself a little.  Let the dishes sit, and get outside in the sun.  Sleep in, if only for a half hr.  Have that extra glass of wine (or mojito.  Sunday’s dinner will be Mexican-themed.  Hopefully the recipes will be a success and I’ll be able to share them :P).  And make yourself these orbs of chocolatey indulgence.

Start with finely (or not so finely) chopped chocolate.

Infuse your cream with chai tea.

Let the warm cream mixture sit with the mostly melted chocolate.

Stir to combine and melt the remaining bits of chocolate.  Stir in some softened butter.  Oh my does that look good.

Spread the ganache in an even layer and let cool at room temperature.

Then cool in the fridge.

Instead of spooning or scooping your truffles, cut the ganache into 1″ squares.

Sift cocoa, confectioners’ sugar, and cinnamon together for the coating.

Roll the squares into balls and shake with the cocoa mixture.

Savor the melt-in-your-mouth smoothness and deep chocolate taste.

Chocolate Chai Masala Truffles – Cook’s Illustrated – January & February 2012 (Issue 114 / online variation), directions altered ever so slightly

  • 12 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tbp. heavy cream
  • 2 chai tea bags
  • 2 tbp. light corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 tbp. unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces and softened
  • 1 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

FOR THE GANACHE:

Lightly coat 8-inch baking dish with nonstick pan spray.  Make parchment sling by folding 2 long sheets of parchment so that they are as wide as baking pan.  Lay sheets of parchment in pan perpendicular to one another, with extra hanging over edges of pan.  Push parchment into corners and up sides of pan, smoothing flush to pan.

Microwave chocolate in medium microwave-safe bowl at 50 percent power, stirring occasionally, until mostly melted and few small chocolate pieces remain, 2 to 3 minutes; set aside.  Microwave cream in microwave-safe measuring cup until hot, 1 to 2 minutes.  Add tea bags and let steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and microwave until warm again, about 20 seconds.  Stir corn syrup, vanilla, and salt into cream and pour mixture over chocolate.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap, set aside 3 minutes, and then stir to combine with wooden spoon.  Stir in butter until fully incorporated.  Using rubber spatula, transfer ganache to prepared pan, and set aside at room temperature for 2 hours. Cover pan and transfer to refrigerator; chill at least 2 hours. (Ganache can be stored, refrigerated, for up to 2 days.)

FOR THE COATING:

Sift cocoa powder, confectioners’ sugar, and cinnamon through a fine-mesh sieve into large bowl.  Sift again into large cake pan and set aside.Gripping overhanging parchment, lift chocolate from pan.  Cut chocolate into sixty-four 1-inch squares (8 rows by 8 rows).   Coat hands lightly with cocoa mixture to prevent chocolate from sticking, and roll each square into ball.  Transfer  balls to cake pan with cocoa mixture, and roll to evenly coat.  Lightly shake truffles in hand over pan to remove excess coating. Transfer coated truffles to airtight container, and repeat until all chocolate balls are rolled and coated.  Cover container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 1 week.  Let truffles sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Yield – 64 (this really depends on the size pan you use and how large you’d like to make your truffles.  I used a 9″ pan and wound up getting about 42 truffles.  Probably over-compensated for the layer being so thin.)

– How strong your chai flavor pervades will depend upon the brand of tea you use, how hot your cream is, and the length of time you steep.  I used Good Earth brand chai tea, in moderately hot cream, for 5 min. and felt the flavor was on the weak side.

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