Salted Brown Sugar Caramel Truffles
OK if your going to indulge, these you might as well just go all out! These salted brown sugar caramel truffles make a great last minute New Years gift for foodie folks and will be a real talking point to festive dinner parties and soirees!
I love dark brown sugar, especially muscovado. When boiled with cream and poured over a sticky toffee pudding, it is my idea of food heaven. And, mixed with dark and smoky chocolate it gives you a completely different taste experience. Here, instead of a traditional salted caramel recipe, these Salted Brown Sugar Caramel Truffles use the flavour of deep, rich and treacly muscovado with cream and make it into a ganache with dark chocolate – a little bit different, but a new experience for all you legions of salted caramel lovers out there!
Grab your ingredients…
100 g dark muscovado sugar
25 g unsalted butter
250 ml whipping cream
Seeds from 1⁄2 vanilla pod or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
250 g dark chocolate, chopped
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt flakes
50 dark or milk chocolate spheres
250 g dark chocolate, tempered
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
A disposable piping bag
2 baking sheets, 1 lined with baking parchment
Makes about 50 truffles
To make the ganache, put the sugar into a small saucepan or pot set over a low heat. Add the butter and when the sugar begins to melt, add the cream and vanilla. Bring the mixture to the boil slowly, stirring until smooth.
Tip the chopped chocolate into a bowl, add the salt and pour over the hot cream. Set aside for 30 seconds to allow the chocolate to melt in the heat of the hot cream, then stir until smooth. Set aside to cool at room temperature for about 15 minutes before scooping into a disposable piping bag. Snip the end to create a nozzle/tip, pipe ganache into each truffle sphere.
Chill the truffles in the fridge for about 30 minutes to set firm.
Temper the dark chocolate according to the instructions below.
Sift the cocoa powder onto the unlined baking sheet, ready for rolling.
To finish, dip each of the filled truffles in the tempered chocolate to coat. Remove them using a dipping fork, tapping the fork on the side of the bowl to allow any excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl. Drop each truffle into the cocoa powder and roll to coat. Repeat with the remaining truffles, then transfer the coated truffles to the lined baking sheet to set firm before serving.
Are you besotted with salted caramel?
How about making your own Salted Caramel Shooters?!
New to making truffles?
Check out this handy guide to get you off to a flying start!
You may have heard this term banded around by chefs and chocolatiers and not have a clue what it means. Without going into the science of re-crystallizing the crystals in the cocoa butter, it’s basically the way the chocolate becomes shiny and glossy, and hardens with a crisp snap, not soft or bloomed. ‘Blooming’ is when the cocoa butter re-crystallizes on the surface of the chocolate often leaving a white residue. These steps are for tempering dark/bittersweet chocolate. For milk or white, the technique is exactly the same but the temperatures are slightly different.
A preferred method of tempering is to use a marble slab, palette knife, scraper and an electric probe. It’s important to say at this point to either use chocolate in button or callet form, or from a bar, chopped up finely – this will help melt the chocolate easier.
Tempering on the marble is the preferred method for many chocolatiers. However, there are other methods that are simpler and easy to master, so try the one that appeals to you most.
The ‘marble’ technique
Melt the chocolate pieces, buttons (callets) to 45°C (110°F) for 30-second bursts in the microwave on a low heat.
Pour out two thirds of the chocolate onto the clean, marble slab – it must be completely dry as any moisture on the marble will cause the chocolate to seize up.
Begin to spread the chocolate thinly across the marble using a palette knife. This applies a shearing force to the chocolate, which along with temperature, is also critical to the tempering process.
Bring the spread chocolate back together using a scraper, keep it moving and continue to shear and cool the chocolate.
Continue to do so until the chocolate starts to thicken – you will see peaks form when the chocolate is dropped from the spatula. The cocoa butter within the chocolate is beginning to crystallize and the cooled mass should be 25°C (50°F).
Working quickly, place the thickened, crystallized chocolate into the remaining chocolate in the bowl and stir thoroughly until the chocolate is smooth again, taking care to stir out any lumps.
For dark chocolate, it should now be 32°C (90°F) and will be perfectly tempered. Milk chocolate should be 29°C (85°F) and white should be 30°C (86°F).
To make sure the chocolate is well tempered (and it’s always best to make sure), dip a little bit of torn baking parchment into the chocolate and place on your work surface to set a little. It should set hard within a few minutes at an ambient temperature.
The chocolate is now ready to use for moulding, dipping and decorating. Remember to work quickly and confidently with it to avoid further re-crystallization at room temperature.
The ‘seeding’ technique (or adding more chocolate)
This is a good way to start your journey of mastering the art of tempering chocolate.
Weigh out the total amount of chocolate you need for the recipe, then remove one third of it and set aside. Melt the remaining two thirds of chocolate for 30-second bursts in the microwave on a low heat to 45°C (110°F). Then stir through the third you have reserved. Because the unmelted chocolate is already tempered, by adding it to the melted chocolate 45°C (110°F), you are stirring in the crystallized cocoa butter that you need to complete the tempering process.
Continue to stir until all the chocolate has melted.
Check the temperature of the chocolate. For dark chocolate, it should now be 32°C (90°F) and will be perfectly tempered. Milk chocolate should be 29°C (85°F) and white should be 30°C (86°F).
Tempering in the microwave
For small batches of chocolate, tempering in the microwave is best as it’s so quick and doesn’t make as much mess. Just like how we melted the chocolate for the marble technique, warm the chocolate for 30-second bursts in the microwave on a low heat, stirring between bursts.
It is important not to heat the chocolate too quickly as you want to crystallize the cocoa butter slowly, so reduce your microwave power to its lowest heat setting.
Once the chocolate is three quarters melted, stop heating. Stir the chocolate instead until all the remaining lumps have melted. Just like the marble method be sure to check the chocolate is tempered by dipping a little bit of torn baking parchment into the chocolate and place on your work surface to set a little. It should set within a few minutes.
The chocolate is now ready to use. Remember to work quickly and confidently with it.
♥ – ♥ – ♥