Earl Grey Chocolate truffles
Why I Love This Recipe
These are a surprisingly elegant and complex twist on a standard chocolate truffle, which is arguably a fairly perfect confection in its own right. Earl Grey tea is great here, because it's got hints of citrus that work well with high-quality chocolate.
Ingredients You'll Need
1/2 cup (4 oz) heavy cream
1 tbsp sugar
3 bags high-quality Earl Grey tea
8 oz bittersweet chocolate (54-60% cacao), chopped fine
1/2 cup (4 oz, or 1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tbsp brandy
1/8 tsp coarse kosher salt
Unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
Mix cream and sugar in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring just to a boil (do not let the cream start to bubble). As soon as it reaches the simmer point, remove from the heat and empty the bags of tea into the cream. Cover and let the mixture steep for 20 minutes.
While the cream is steeping, melt the chocolate and butter in a double-boiler (or in a saucepan over LOW heat, but a double-boiler is better), stirring to smooth. Remove from heat; transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.
Strain the cream through a very-fine-mesh strainer or several layers of cheesecloth directly into the chocolate. Stir to combine. Next add the brandy and salt and stir to thoroughly combine. Let the mixture sit out at room temperature until it cools thoroughly, stirring occasionally. Once it's at room temperature, cover and chill, at least 4 hours, or overnight.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Scoop the chocolate mixtures by rounded teaspoonfuls. Roll the scoops in the palms of your hands briefly to form balls. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Put the sheet back into the fridge to re-firm, about another hour.
Sift the cocoa powder into a small bowl. Take the truffles out of the fridge. Working in batches, roll them again between the palms of your hand, then drop them into the cocoa powder. Toss to coat, then place the truffles back on the baking sheet and put them back into the fridge to chill and set.
NOTES: Since there are very few ingredients here, they all need to be top-quality. Using a mass-produced Earl Grey might give you a decent cup of tea, but the flavors won't hold up to the chocolate in this setting. This creates a very firm ganache - it can be a bit tough to work with in the rolling stage. For a softer ganache, you'll want to tinker with the cream/butter ratio, upping the cream while lowering the butter. I'm sure there are others on this site who can provide more exact figures. The straining of the cream is extremely important. I think you should take out some insurance here and line a fine-mesh strainer with cheesecloth. Mass-produced teabags usually have very small shreds of tea leaves in them. Some of them can slip through a fine-mesh strainer, causing a gritty candy.