Oh my, I can’t believe it’s been twelve months since I last made these beautiful truffles. Last year I made the classic Honey Truffles instead of giving traditional Easter Eggs, and they were a huge hit.
Inspired by last year’s success, I decided to make the Earl Grey Truffles AND the Honey Truffles this year. I’ll use them for gifts for neighbours, family, kinder teachers and various other people. I’ve also change the presentation slightly, and although I wish the bags I bought were just a smidgeon larger, I’ve still managed to fit 6 truffles into each bag, and I’ve put a bag of each variety in the gorgeous little Easter Bags I found at the local bargain shop. I also managed to find some lovely little patty pans with an Easter theme, so I have put each individual truffle in one of them. I think I’d be happy receiving something like this!
This recipe is from Kirsten Tibballs – who you might have seen on Australian Masterchef. She runs Savour Chocolate and Patisserie School right here in Melbourne. I might have to see if there are any classes for home cooks like me that I wouldn’t feel hopelessly inadequate in!
Logic would tell you that I had re-read my original blog on the Honey Truffles before I embarked upon the Earl Grey Truffles, but in typical fashion I did not. I did use the same chocolate, the Yarra Valley one, but I have got to say I wasn’t as impressed with it as I was last time. It did look a little cloudy in the box, and had a bit of a white bloom on it, but I thought it was just a bit battle scarred. I think somehow that it had been heated up a little and cooled down, resulting in the tell-tale white bits – perfectly possible in this recent weather here in Melbourne – or maybe there was something wrong with the sugar balance – I’m not sure. Regardless, they still taste absolutely divine, although I’m a little disappointed in the whitey bloom on some of them.
For my second lot of the standard Honey Truffles, I decided not to risk it and bought the Lindt Callebaut Couverture Milk Callettes for both the ganache and the coating, and I am pleased to say they look and taste beautiful, with no bloom in sight. They come in plastic jars of 500 grams at my local supermarket, and although they are a little pricey ($18 I think) you do value for money in terms of the number of truffles you can coat with one quantity of the melted chocolate. When you think about how much individual chocolates are at the high end chocolatiers, these actually work out quite reasonably.
The Earl Grey infusion works just beautifully and you get a really distinctive Earl Grey flavour with these truffles. Use good quality tea – I did toy with the idea of breaking open a couple of old Earl Grey tea bags but decided against it. I’m a self-confessed tea snob so it’s very rare that a tea bag even makes it past the threshold at my house, so I couldn’t even guesstimate how old those tea bags were, plus I think that generally tea bags use a lesser quality of tea. I was actually quite surprised as to how much 15 grams of Earl Grey was – and the amount of cream it managed to suck up during the infusing process. I was left with exactly the required 120 grams of cream, which I took to be serendipity and a sign from the Gods that I was on the right track!
I refrigerated the ganache this time as it has been unseasonably warm here in Melbourne, and I didn’t think to take it out of the fridge for a while before I put the chocolate on to melt, which was a mistake. Although the ganache was really firm, it was almost a little too firm to get into nice regular shaped balls, so my Earl Grey truffles are ugly little things 😦 If I were to do it again, I’d give the ganache half an hour or so to warm up a bit, and I’m sure the resulting truffles would be much nicer to look at.
With my second batch, I erred on the side of caution and didn’t refrigerate the ganache, but let it set overnight. It was a bit gooey to work with, but made for easier moulding. I put the prepared balls on some baking paper and put them in the fridge for fifteen minutes before I dipped them in chocolate. It makes life just a little easier as they are less inclined to stick to the fork that your dipping them in the chocolate with.
Dani recommends that if the dipping chocolate starts setting while you’re still dipping to warm it up with a hair dryer… and guess what – it works a treat!! I must admit our cleaner looked at me like I’d completely lost it when she saw me plug the hair dryer in while I was standing at the kitchen bench though!!