Alice's House Truffles 4.0

By • February 7, 2014 • 24 Comments

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Author Notes: I started my career making and selling bite-sized, hand-rolled, cocoa-dusted truffles in Berkeley in the early 1970s. The original recipe, from my French landlady, remains a treasure. I have updated it over the years to meet the challenges of food safety (the original recipe was made with raw egg yolks), new and better chocolates, and our changing taste buds. If you’ve followed me, you may think you already have this recipe once and for all, but I promise that you don’t. Today my house truffles have a touch of salt, a vastly easier method of heating the yolks, and a new, ultrasmooth texture. You cannot buy truffles like these. And if you love the idea of chocolate truffles with red wine, these are the most wine-friendly truffles you will ever find.

Rolling the truffles in cocoa to make them round is the step that takes the longest and makes the biggest mess. But you can skip it! Leave the truffles square. Rather than tossing them in the cocoa with your hands (messy) or with a utensil (which tends to dent them), simply pour them back and forth between two bowls until they are coated. Easy!
Alice Medrich

Makes 64 truffles or more

Truffle Ingredients

  • 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 pound bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (no more than 62% cacao), coarsely chopped
  • 10 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt, preferably fine sea salt
  • 1/3 cup (1 ounce) unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably natural, or as needed

Equipment

  • Food processor
  • Fine-mesh strainer
  • 8-inch square baking pan, lined on the bottom and all sides with foil
  1. Put the egg yolks in a small heatproof bowl, preferably stainless steel, and set the bowl in a large container of very hot water to heat the egg yolks until barely lukewarm. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, put the chocolate, butter, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl, preferably stainless steel, set it in a wide skillet of barely simmering water, and stir frequently until the chocolate and butter are melted and the mixture is smooth and quite warm. (If you have an instant-read thermometer, the temperature should be between 120° and 130°F.) Scrape the mixture into the food processor and set the strainer over the processor bowl.
  3. Bring ½ cup water to a boil in a very small saucepan or in a glass measure in the microwave. Remove the egg yolk bowl from the large container and immediately pour the boiling water steadily into the egg yolks, stirring constantly with a silicone spatula. (When the yolks and water are blended, the temperature should be at least 160°F.) Pour the mixture through the strainer into the food processor. Tap the strainer against the bowl to encourage all of the liquid to flow through, but don’t press on or mess with any bits of cooked egg in the strainer. Process the mixture for a few seconds, then scrape the bowl and process again for 20 or 30 seconds, or as long as it takes for the mixture to thicken and resemble satiny-smooth chocolate pudding. Scrape the mixture into the lined pan and spread it evenly. Let cool, then cover and refrigerate until firm, at least a few hours.
  4. To shape the truffles: Put half of the cocoa in a small bowl. Remove the baking pan from the refrigerator and use the liner to remove the truffle sheet. Invert it on a cutting board and peel off the liner. Cut the truffles into 1-inch squares (or smaller, if you prefer) and toss them in the cocoa powder, adding more cocoa as necessary. You can leave the truffles square or dust your hands with cocoa and roll them into balls. Shake the truffles gently in a coarse strainer to remove excess cocoa. Store the truffles, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  5. Remove the truffles from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before serving. Sift a little extra cocoa over them as necessary.
Jump to Comments (24)

Comments (24) Questions (1)

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Stringio

16 days ago Jesse Gallant

Just made these and they are absolutely delicious! Just wondering if anyone has suggestions as to how to flavour them, perhaps with a liqueur? How much would I need, and in what step would I add it?

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27 days ago Jeff Hawkins

My first attempt never got matte and silky. It stayed shiny and slightly greasy in the food processor. I believe I followed the recipe exactly. Any idea what I did wrong?

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9 months ago Ornella Halawi

Is there a specific purpose to using the food processor or can the same effect be created by hand?

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10 months ago KelseyB

Made these with cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Really tasty. Smooth & Creamy. I couldn't get the egg yolks up to temperature though.

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10 months ago Tim

I made these over the weekend. They are melt-in-your-mouth delicious!! I've shared them with a number of friends and no one has yet to complain. Be sure to let them sit at room temp for 10-15 minutes before eating them. The wait is worth it!

476

10 months ago Gilda Barco-Pritchard

OMG!!!!

476

10 months ago Gilda Barco-Pritchard

Happy Valentine's Day to you and your husband!! I don't blame you guys for eating them all!!! I hope you don't feel like an episode of "THE CAT IN THE HAT"..and if you do, just make another batch of truffles!!! HAHAHHA!!!

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10 months ago Julie

Oh. My. God. I made these tonight for Valentine's Day, with my blender, as suggested in reply to my earlier comment by Alice. My husband is lucky there are any left. We sat in front of the TV with a small plateful and I waited a couple of minutes before I decided I really wanted a third truffle. There wasn't anything on the plate -- we love us some chocolate! -- and my husband had this guilty look on his face, accompanied by puffed out cheeks and proceeded to blame the cat. Thank you, Alice, for a lovely Valentine's Day treat!

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10 months ago megtubman

Does over processing once all ingredients are combined cause the oil to separate from the chocolate?

Stringio

10 months ago DrTeresa

If you do any more cooking classes in the bay area and want a cooking assistant volunteer, i would love too! tmyers4096 at gmail.com

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10 months ago Hannah Robie

As the egg is cooked, I am wondering if it is safe to ship these through the mail as Valentines' gifts- or do they need to be kept at refrigeration temperature?

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10 months ago German

Question from accidental experience: Has anybody ever left a nice ganache outside the refrigerator by accident, and found it a bit fermented the next morning? It happened to me the other day, and found that the flavor and aroma had gotten so much more complex and profound... it's hard to describe, but it seemed like it was somehow a rhum ganache or something like this. I am trying to make it more systemic, in order to reproduce at will. I need to control the fermentation process. Anybody with previous experience in this field? Thanks!

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10 months ago Marty

Thank you for the reply. I hadn't thought of your reference to chicken and it makes sense. I appreciate your help.

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10 months ago Marty

Can you help me a little with step #3 please? I would like to make these for a group of people, some may be pregnant and others elderly. It sounds as though eggs are safe at 160 degrees, is that right? Your recipe says at least 160, can and how much higher can I go, do you know what is too high? I just want to be sure everyone can have them without me worrying, they sound delicious. Thank you.

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10 months ago Simon Y.

When making ice cream, I've had a custard with egg yolks hit 175 F without curdling. You may be able to take it that high here as well. As a point of reference though, white meat in chicken is considered done at 160-165 F so 160 should be enough to kill off salmonella and other bacteria.

476

10 months ago Gilda Barco-Pritchard

I am very lucky to have in my refrigerator a single batch of this truffles made by the one and only Alice Medrich!!! I assisted her @ Draeger's Cooking School,(in the Bay Area), this last Wednesday and believe me...this squares of "melt in your mouth joy of flavor!!! are the best truffles i have ever put in my mouth!!!
It was very interesting to learn to use my ears to know when the mixture is done!!! also, the trick about coating them from bowl to bowl with the cocoa powder!! VERY CLEVER MS. MEDRICH!!!



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10 months ago Alice Medrich

Thank you Gilda! Also thanks for making the class go so smoothly. I'm sending you that book.....

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10 months ago Gilda Barco-Pritchard

You are welcome Alice, it was my pleasure!! Happy Valentine's Day to you! and let me tell you that everybody whom i have given your truffles to, HAVE LOVED THEM!!! I still have a few, and they will be our treat for our weekend.... and the best treat for my life is to have learned so much from you!!! Thanks!

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10 months ago Indrani

I wonder if this could be done in a Vitamix, letting it run until it "cooks" the mixture into a kind of custard, like in this recipe: http://food52.com/blog...

Stringio

10 months ago DrTeresa

How would the recipe go with the original raw eggs? I work with safe pastured eggs and want the health benefits of the raw eggs - is there anything else in the instructions to adjust if I don't do the boiling water addition to the eggs?

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10 months ago Alice Medrich

Melt the chocolate with the butter, salt, and water. Then scrape it into the food processor. Add the egg and whomp it up until it emulsified. Let me know how it goes!

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10 months ago patricia gadsby

reminds me of the chocolate mayonnaise of my childhood

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10 months ago Julie

Is it possible to make this (and have similar results) with a stand mixer? I have a blender and a stand mixer, but no food processor.

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10 months ago Alice Medrich

Try it in the blender. The stand mixer won't do the job right.