Goat or Cow’s Milk, Caramel Chocolate Truffles

IMG_0045 (1)For the first batch of these decedent chocolates, I made them with Kalona SuperNatural cream and butter.  But then, I came across a can of goat’s milk and butter from my caramel-making.  Finding these these ingredients inspired me to delve into another experiment.  I figured if Goat’s Milk Caramels are delicious why not truffles as well.  Low and behold they are luscious with just a bit of tang.

It’s important to have all the ingredients at the ready as the caramelized sugar will continue to cook even when off the heat.  It waits for no one and will quickly go from perfect to burnt in a matter of seconds.  But with the ingredients at hand, all that is needed is to do is pour in the cream and add the butter to stop the cooking process.

As far as which chocolate to use, seek out such brands such as Callebaut, Ghirardilli, Scharffen Berger, or Valrhona.  I used Valrhona Manjari 64% Dark Chocolate disks. If you’ve ever considered enjoying a side by side taste test, here’s a perfect opportunity to hone in on which one(s) you like best.

I’ve also crossed the line whereby I now caramelize sugar without the addition of water.  There’s no going back as it takes considerably less time than if water is added as it must evaporate before the sugar will caramelize. If you are not ready to venture into this territory by all means add a bit of water to the sugar, say 2 tablespoons. This will give additional security and control of the caramelization process.

If using goat’s milk and butter:
12 ounces canned goat’s milk
2 tablespoons (1 ounce or 30 g) goat butter
7 ounces (200 g) dark chocolate, 64%, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup (4 ounces or 120 g) granulated sugar
pinch salt
1/2 cup give or take (100 g) unsweetened cocoa powder

Pour the goat’s milk into a small saucepan.  Place the pan on medium heat and reduce the milk to 1/2 cup (4 ounces).  It should take about 20 minutes. Keep an eye on it.  Trust me, it will boil over if left unattended.

As it’s reducing, check for volume by pouring the milk into a glass measuring cup. If it’s not quite 4 ounces, pour the milk back into the saucepan to reduce a bit more.  Once it measures 4 ounces in the liquid measuring cup, set aside.  (This mixture is in place of the cream.) From here continue with the method given below the next list of ingredients.

If using cow’s cream and butter:
7 ounces (200 g) dark chocolate, such as 64%, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup (4 ounces or 120 g) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon water, optional*
2 tablespoons (1 ounce or 30 g) unsalted butter
Pinch fine salt
1/2 cup (12 cl or 125 milliliters) whipping cream
1/2 cup give or take (100 g) unsweetened cocoa powder

Place the  chop the chocolate in a heat proof bowl and set aside.

If NOT using water:
Place a medium-sized heavy bottom saucepan on medium heat and carefully sprinkle about 1/3 of the sugar across the bottom of the pan. As the sugar melts, swirl the pan so that it starts to melt evenly. Add another 1/3 of the sugar and continue swirling the pan to melt the sugar, then add the remaining sugar and keep swirling.

If using water:
Off heat, in a medium heavy bottom saucepan and add the sugar and water.  Stir the water into the sugar until it resembles wet sand.  Place the pan on medium-low heat and continue stirring until the sugar melts.  Once it melts stop your stirring.  It’s okay to swirl the pan but you don’t want the sugar to splatter on the sides of the pan.  If that happens take a pastry brush dipped in water and wash the sugar back into the pan.

As the sugar melts it will caramelize, have a toasty aroma and look like the color of a copper penny. Once this occurs quickly pour in the cream, salt and butter. Be careful as the cream will bubble up and create quite a bit of steam. Stir with a heat proof spatula until the caramel as completely re-melted. Then pour it directly onto the chocolate and allow the caramel to melt the chocolate.  After it has cooled a bit stir the mixture to melt the chocolate completely. Refrigerate until the mixture becomes firm to the touch.

After the chocolate has set-up, scoop out portions with a small spoon or tiny spring loaded scoop to make small balls. (They don’t have to be perfectly round as they should resemble the other kind of truffles that are found buried under oak or hazelnut trees.) Place them on a parchment lined pan or plate and return them to the refrigerator until they are again firm.

After they are firm roll them in cocoa powder.  Allow them to come to room temperature and enjoy by themselves or with a glass of port.

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