I sort of have this thing for desserts. Especially easy to serve ones.
And for crafting.
Which I guess explains why I love when I can make something that tastes amazing LOOK amazing, too.
It’s so much fun to watch people’s eyes widen and hear them say, “You made those?! Wow!”
Even better when they ask for the recipe. That’s the fastest way to becoming my best friend forever.
I mean, the validation- it’s so gratifying. Once, my grandma, the best baker I've ever known, asked ME for a recipe. I thought I had died and gone to heaven.
Truffles definitely represent the marriage of a decadent dessert and a fancy looking food craft. One that can be customized to fit any party theme. Music to my ears, I tell ya.
So, after a handful of recipes and roughly 50 batches of truffles over the last 20 years, I’ve learned a few things about how to make them look professional (or, as professional as possible without a machine) and how to make the process as easy as possible.
Which, let’s be honest, makes it more fun. And more likely to be something you make again. Nobody wants to make something that brings all the curse words to their tongue and sweat to their armpits. Let’s be real.
I’m fairly certain you’re gonna feel like truffles are no big deal and your friends and family are gonna be going crazy for your "balls" after you read this. Let’s get to it!
Avoid: Trying to form the truffles when they are at room temp.
Instead: Chill the truffle dough in the fridge for about 30 minutes before forming them.
Avoid: Rolling the truffles by hand. It’s messy, imprecise, and melts the truffle filling- making it harder to work with.
Instead: Use a cookie scoop. It’ll change your life. Okay, well, only while you’re using it, but it really makes quick work of the whole process. Plus, it will ensure the truffles all turn out to be the same size, which makes them more appealing and easier to work with later on. AND it creates a nice, flat bottom so the truffles doesn’t roll all over the place. Amazon has good ones at $15 or less that are eligible for Prime shipping, or you can pick one up from the food crafting section of the craft store with a coupon for a little less. Depending on the recipe and occasion, I use a small or medium sized scoop. (Below is the small sized scoop.)
Avoid: Coating the truffles right after you form them (while they are close to room temp).
Instead: Allow them to cool completely in the fridge for 30-60 minutes before adding the outside coating. I don’t recommend the freezer because it can make the hot coating harder to apply smoothly. But, if you are in a pinch, a 15 minute freeze is better than nothing.
Avoid: Setting your truffles directly on a baking tray or plate after you coat them.
Instead: Set them on a flat tray lined with parchment paper. (No, waxed paper and aluminum foil are not good substitutes. They stick- turning the last step into a really frustrating time suck.)
Avoid: Microwaving the coating. Sometimes, the microwave is the answer. Like for rice krispies treats. Sometimes it’s not. Like for coating truffles. It’s a lot harder to get a consistent looking batch when the coating starts to cool half way through the dipping. Or when you scorch the coating around the outside of the bowl. Such a bummer.
Instead: Heat the coating over medium-low heat in a double boiler. (Or a homemade double boiler with a 1.5 qt and a 2.5qt pot.)
Avoid: Heating an entire bag of coating at once.
Instead: Add half the bag at a time to the top of the double broiler. And stir before and after each truffle to keep the temperature consistent.
Avoid: Dropping the truffles directly into the pot of candy coating. It’s a total pain. Well, maybe just a quasi pain for most people. But I spend too much time in the kitchen to be chasing around balls in bowls.
Instead: Set the truffle on a butter knife and use a spoon to pour the coating over the truffle. (Use another knife to wipe away the excess along the base of the truffle.) This way the truffle won’t melt and fall apart or leave crumbs in the coating. It also makes the coating go farther because less leaves the pot every time. My favorite part is that it's the easiest way I've found to slide the truffle back onto the tray without touching the top of it when you're done. Easy peasy.
Avoid: Ignoring the power of presentation. Most people just set the truffles on a tray and call it a day. But you are not most people.
Instead: Use a knife to cut the excess coating off the bottom and place the truffle in a super cute, festive, mini cupcake liner. It makes all the difference. Trust me. Look:
If you follow only one tip, let this be the one! You won't regret it.
If you try these tips out, I'd love to hear about it! (Leave a comment below, friend.) And if you're on Instagram don't forget to tag me in your truffles posts.
Happy dipping and coating and serving, friends. And whatever you make, make it yours!
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