Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Easy Home Made Truffles, That's How I Roll. Plus A Giveway From OXO.

   Sometimes, the things that seem to be the most expensive and rare, turn out to be the simplest and easiest to make at home. Good quality ricotta, pickled and spiced cherries, artisan breads and truffles. Now, when I'm talking about truffles here, I'm not talking about those things that highly trained dogs and pigs unearth in the Perigord region of France, the hills of Tuscany, and the forests of Oregon. No, I'm talking about those chocolaty delights that can easily rock your wallet at 25 bucks for a half dozen.

   Good quality truffles no longer have to be a pricey extravagance as I recently discovered. In fact, making delicious truffles is probably one of the easiest things I've ever tried. If you've ever made a simple ganache frosting you're halfway there. All one needs for high class truffles is some good quality bittersweet chocolate, cream, and imagination. Also,  a recently discovered secret weapon a  digital scale.

    I'm known among my friends for going as old school as possible most of the time. I cook in clay, I hand grind spices when I can, and if something can possibly be done the hard way, that's usually the way I choose. For years I've heard people sing the praises of having a kitchen scale. My friends who do molecular gastronomy swear by them. However, I am of the "handful and pinch" tradition. This, I discovered doesn't always work well.

   For instance, when Paula Wolfert included on of my recipes in her  book Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking  just saying a  fistful of something didn't fly. I had to be precise. I bought a scale. But not a very good scale as it turned out. I was scale challenged. Then one day I received a 5 lb digital scale from the people at OXO. They also sent me an extra scale to share with someone. Game on. I had to find something to make that needed some precise measurements. It was just the excuse I needed to try my hand at making truffles.

Chocolate Truffles

Here's What You Need:

1 cup of organic cream
4 oz of good quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate. I use either Valrhona or Callebaut
8  green cardamom pods
1 pinch of cardamom
1 cup of good quality  unsweetened cocoa powder

Here's What To Do:

Pour 1 cup of cream into a pot.

Crush the cardamom pods.

Remove the seeds and put them into the cream.

Turn up the heat to medium and bring the cream to a boil. When it starts to boil put a lid on the pot, take it off the heat and let the cream steep for 30 minutes so that the cardamom becomes infused in it.
Weigh the chocolate. You need 4 ozs. Then chop the chocolate into pieces. Set it aside.

After the cream has steeped for a half hour, strain the cardamom seeds out of it and put it back into the pot. Reheat it slowly.
Do NOT let it boil.
Meanwhile in a double boiler, melt the chocolate.
When the cream is hot but not boiling, pour the melted chocolate into it.

Take it off the heat, and mix everything together well.
Set it aside.

After it cools a bit, place the mixture in the refrigerator to firm up for a while. Chill it for at least 2 hours, or until you can easily roll teaspoons of it into a ball.
Place a piece of waxed paper on a cookie sheet.
Scoop teaspoons of firmed-up chocolate ganache out of the pot and roll it into balls.
Dip the balls into 1 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder.

Roll the cocoa coated bits into balls

Set the balls down on the waxed paper.
Place the cookie sheet with the fresh truffles into the fridge to chill further.

When they're well chilled, put them into an airtight container until you wish to serve them.

They're damn delicious and this recipe makes about 3 dozen truffles. Of course if you make them larger, you'll have fewer truffles.

   When I mentioned that one can use one's imagination in truffle-making, besides making cardamom truffles I made a second batch of Kaffir lime truffles. This involved adding 3 Kaffir lime leaves and the zest of 1 lime to the cream instead of adding cardamom, then straining it out after steeping.

   If you'd like to try your hand at truffles, or anything else requiring accurate measuring, the folks at OXO have given me one of these great digital scales to share. They're easy to operate, measure in ozs or kgs  and have a pull-out display feature for easy reading. They've totally changed my mind about the whole scale thing.

    If you'd like a shot  getting this great OXO scale  here's what to do.

Leave me a comment about what you'll do with this great digital scale from OXO
For extra chances:
Follow me on Twitter @kathygori
Follow OXO on Twitter @OXO
Like The Colors Of Indian Cooking on Facebook
Let me know in comments if you do any of these things.
The winner will be drawn by on Saturday May, 5th
Because of shipping issues unfortunately only residents of the USA are eligible for this contest.

I want to thank the people at OXO for giving me the opportunity to try out this great product. Over the years I've purchased a lot of their products , but it's always a trip to discover that something you never thought you needed, could turn out to be a kitchen necessity!

Coming up next meet Jessica Rabbits even sexier cousin, Bunny Brulee!  Follow along on Twitter @kathygori


  1. Well, I'll tell you this: I like the way you roll!

  2. I think your spice and chocolate pairing is perfect. I make ice cream using both ingredients and It Rocks and Rolls Great job and beautiful photography !!!

    1. I have to admit I was pretty happy with a first time attempt

  3. nice job my friend hope you are doing great..... Headed to Arizona wished it was closer to meet you! I dont get that far out many times lol
    Great giveaway... I have on too hope you enter! Take care xo Claudia

  4. I use our kitchen scale for everything from making bread to weighing out clay for sets of bowls/cups. It would be great if I had a seperate scale for cooking and ceramics :)

  5. I'm not against volume measurements, having leveled off more measuring cups than I can count. But, especially when making bread, if there's a weight option that means I don't have to scoop and level eight or nine times, I'll use the scale without question. Thanks for the giveaway. (Truffles look great, by the way!)

  6. Saladgoddess already following you on Twitter

  7. Saladgoddess already following Oxo on Twitter. (Love Oxo!)

  8. I would use it to convert recipes from grams to cups.

  9. I follow you on Twitter via @MooshuJenne

  10. I follow OXO on Twitter via @MooshuJenne

  11. I liked The Colors of Indian Cooking on Facebook via Jenne Kopalek

  12. hi kathy! i'm new to your blog (i found you on google while ruminating on the deliciousness of kale chips) and i really like what you're doing here. i made the following adjustments to accommodate my lack of kitchenware:

    - used a completely pathetic makeshift double-boiler using a small pan inside a larger one
    - used the pre-measured 4-oz. ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate (sorry! decent grocery stores are quite a drive from me)
    - "infused" -- don't want to get too affected, i'm not a good enough cook to go there -- with this vanilla, coconut and safflower white tea i just happened to have on hand

    otherwise, i did exactly what you said. unfortunately, it didn't work. i was worried when i mixed the chocolate and cream together, because the color was like a very-chocolatey chocolate milk and the picture you posted looked really rich and truffle-like. i thought, oh well, maybe the trick is in the cooling. so i kept calm and carried on, even extending the time far beyond the recommended 2 hours. while i fell completely in love with the wacky flavor the tea imparted to it, it was still just chocolate soup.

    i can't figure out what happened! can you?

  13. @Juicy Mouse,
    Hmm..well my "double boiler" is exactly what you used, a bowl sitting on a pan. The fanciest thing I've got is that scale, cause before that I was in handfull city! Did you chill the chocolate? Sometimes it takes a while. It's got to be firm enough to roll into balls. The first time I made these I was sure it was not going to set..and I was going to have chocolate soup too. Was I surprised that it did! The only other thing I can think of..might be the cream. Did you boil it the first time and then bring it to a boil again? Other than I've made these twice now and the second time it took a lot longer for the stuff to cool and be rollable. Ha! Infused= soaking.
    I love the idea of tea and was planning on trying that myself. One of my friends also suggested orange zest too. I don't think the quality of the chocolate has anything to do with anything. Whatever chocolate you can get should work. As to color, the Valrhona is very dark so that could account for a color difference.
    I'm not a big candy maker as I usually wind up welding things to whatever pan I use which is why Paula Wolfert gave me that copper pot. It really helped. I was surprised I was able to pull this one off so easily. If you decide to try it again, let me know.

  14. Oh Kathy, I so want to win this OXO scale. After recently shifting to the US I had started baking and a weighing scale in my kitchen will definitely help me a lot on my new venture.
    I never thought truffles are so easy to make. Just a little worried whether I'll get the exact quality to roll these into balls. My husband coming back tomorrow night, I hope I can make a batch of these truffles to welcome him home.

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  16. sweet truffles!! perfect from mother's day!! great giveaway~

  17. I roll the same way like you, everything the hard way. My sister rolls her eyes and thinks I ma crazy, but for me, it's a kind of therapy. I love grinding my own spices, sometimes even in a mortar and pestle, the really hard way:)
    And I really love truffles, so deceptive in their simplicity:)
    When I was growing up in Serbia, we always use a scale for baking, but fistfuls and pinches were acceptable in cooking. I continue to weigh my baking ingredients, but my scale is dying (plus, it's not digital:)
    So, I would love to win OXO scale:)
    I "like" you on FB (Svetlana Watkins), and I have been following you on Twitter for ages (@Bibberche):)

    1. thanks so much. A scale is something new for me to use as I'm one step above cave-people in my old schoolness, but I love this cool little digital device.

  18. This is so simple and I love cardamom flavour...

  19. Is the "pinch" of cardamom added to the cocoa powder or does it go in with the cream and crushed pods?

    1. it goes into the cream, to steep. If you use ground cardamom seeds be sure and strain them out first before reheating the cream when you add the melted chocolate.



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