Caramel Truffles improve on traditional truffles by using a base of homemade caramel to give the candies warmth and depth of flavor. The toasty, rich sugar taste is not overwhelming, but is does add a nice background note to these truffles. These candies, like most truffles, have several extensive chilling periods, so make sure you leave enough time when making them.
Caramel truffles are especially lovely when topped with Candied Cacao Nibs. These are optional, but they add a great crunch and element of dark sweetness.
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 2/3 cup cream
- 1 lb 5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped, divided
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- Candied Cacao Nibs, if desired
1. Combine the sugar, water, and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat and stir until sugar is dissolved.
2. Continue to heat and bring the mixture to a boil, brushing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystallization. Allow the mixture to cook until it turns a caramel color. Remove it from the heat once it reaches a medium-brown color.
3. Meanwhile, scald the cream in a small saucepan until small bubbles form around the edges of the pan.
4. Melt 9 ounces of chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, or over a double boiler.
5. Return the caramel to the heat and pour the hot cream into the caramel (it is natural for this mixture to sputter as it is mixed). Stir, heating, until the caramel and cream are completely combined.
6. Pour the caramel-cream into the melted chocolate and stir gently until the mixture is well-combined. Cover the chocolate with cling wrap and cool to room temperature. Once it is cool, refrigerate until firm enough to scoop or pipe, about 2 hours.
7. Form the truffles. You can use a spoon to scoop 1-inch truffles onto a baking sheet lined with parchment. Alternately, you can fill a piping bag (fitting with a ½-inch round tip) and pipe 1-inch mounds on a prepared baking sheet. Either way, place the formed truffles in the refrigerator to firm up for another 1-2 hours.
8. Pour the cocoa powder on a sheet of waxed paper or parchment. Dust your hand with cocoa, and roll the truffle mounds into balls. Return to the refrigerator until firm, about 1-2 hours.
9. Temper the remaining 12 ounces of chocolate.
10. Dip the formed truffles in the chocolate and return them to the baking sheet. If desired, top with Candied Cacao Nibs. Repeat for all truffles, and chill in the refrigerator until set, about 15 minutes. Serve at room temperature, and store excess in an airtight container in the refrigerator.