Friday, April 8, 2011

Mexican-Inspired Cinnamon Truffles

I am in love with Mexican hot chocolate and solid chocolate.  It's spicy and wonderful.  I bought some recently when I found it and I had to find out what the magical ingredients were that made it so delicious.  To my surprise, it was just sugar and cinnamon.  I was a tad disappointed.  I tried to make spiced truffles once, and I put all sorts of spices in them.  Chili, cayenne, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves... It was too spicy for some of my co-workers.  I thought it was okay, but definitely not as exciting to me as Mexican chocolate.  So, now with the goal of doing something a bit more simple in terms of flavor, I decided to try an ode to Mexican chocolate, truffle-style.

Stacey's Mexican-Inspired Cinnamon Truffle Ingredients:
20 oz Guittard 64% dark chocolate couverture
4 oz Guittard 38% milk chocolate couverture
12 oz heavy cream, organic
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tbs cinnamon
1.5 oz butter, salted, organic
3 oz glucose

Cacao nibs
Turbinado Sugar, organic
Chocolate Flake
Additional Guittard chocolate for enrobing

Pyrex measuring bowl
Immersion blender with whisk attachment
1-1/8" scooper
Spiral Dipping Utensil from the Ateco Dipping Tool Set

As always I tempered the chocolate first. 
Another trick that I realize that I do, is that I put some chocolate off to the side from the measured amount (see pic above), then heat the remaining chocolate up to 100-110F and then I add in the off to the side chocolate in to cool it to the 90F temperature.
Works pretty well.  

Then I heated the cream and glucose in the microwave until it was about 100F. 
I took a little of the warm cream mixture and added it to the cinnamon, to make sure that the cinnamon would be incorporated and not clump up.
Then I added this cinnamon mixture back to the cream, and added the vanilla.
In the meantime, I heated the butter slightly until it was soft. You don't want it to be melted because that makes the truffles too heavy feeling (or so I've heard - I've always done it this way, so I don't actually know. I'm a good girl that follows best practices. ;D ). 
Once the cream had cooled to about 90F, I poured it in on top of the tempered chocolate. 
I stirred until it was nice and smooth before plopping in the butter. 
I used my immersion blender with whisk attachment to blend this in (to save my arm) until it was all smooth.
I covered it in plastic wrap and then let it sit overnight before rolling.
Once it was set, I used my 1-1/8" scooper to scoop out truffle balls.
I rolled some of these in a mixture of cacao nibs, turbinado sugar, and chocolate flake.
I noticed because the cacao nibs are so much larger than the turbinado sugar and chocolate flake, they tend to take over.  I had to roll them again in turbinado sugar so that the sugar could fill in the cracks.  They came out like this:
And as an added bonus, I have video for you of me rolling truffles!  How exciting!  Well, I guess it's exciting if you don't know what I mean by rolling truffles... Now you can see! :) You can also see how I rolled it additionally in the turbinado sugar again afterward. 
Some I packaged just like this, for my mom to give to some of her friends, in a cute little 2-piece package.
The rest of the truffles, I decided to go all the way, and dip them after rolling them in the cacao nib / sugar mixture, like I did to the Guinness Truffles.  I'm pretty much running out of ways to finish truffles, so I hope you don't get bored of the same ol' things... I used a 5:1 mix of the dark:milk Guittard chocolate to dip these.
This week you get spoiled by not just one but TWO videos.  In this second video, I show you how I dip the truffles in chocolate with the spiral dipping utensil. 
I sprinkled a little bit of cinnamon on some of these, for decoration.
All lined up in their cute little cups...
And lastly, a cut version.  You can see that one of the cacao nibs made a divot down the center of the truffle as the knife pushed down on it.

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