Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Let It Snow...

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! What do you do when life gives you a snowstorm? Make snowmen...truffle snowmen. I'm on a truffle roll. I had some ganache made for truffles to give to my crew on our trip before Christmas, so I thought I'd try making truffle snowmen. They were fun to make, but like my penguin truffles, a little labor intensive. I experimented and think I have come up with the easiest way to do it. This recipe is for 20 snowmen, but I made about 10 and made single truffles with the rest of the ganache. They are really more of an accent, and not something you'd want to give some a dozen of. It is said that to be a good truffle maker, you need cold hands and a warm heart. So dust off your small motor skills, grab your patience, take the phone off of the hook and let it snow!

Snowman Truffles

For the ganache:
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 1/4 cups heavy cream

For the dipping:
12 ounces white chocolate

For the buttons:
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

For the twig arms, eyes and mouth:
1/3 cup melted semi-sweet chocolate (approximate)
wooden skewer

For the "carrot" noses:
2 tablespoons melted white chocolate
orange food coloring

To make the ganache: Break 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate into small pieces and process in a food processor until very fine. Heat the cream until just boiling and pour through the food processor feed tube in a steady stream, with the motor running. Process just a few seconds, until smooth. Transfer to a bowl to firm. This should take a few hours at room temperature. You may also put it in the refrigerator. Once firm, using a 1 inch melon baller or ice cream scoop, scoop out balls of ganache and place on a parchment lined tray.
Dust hands with powdered sugar and roll ball between your hands to smooth into a round ball. For the snowmen, make 3 balls for each one. Make the largest 1 1/8 inch, make the middle size 1 inch and make the smallest 3/4 inch. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Stack them on top of each other, largest on the bottom and smallest on the top. Press down slightly so they are flat on the bottom. Put aside. To make the "carrot" noses:
Dab a toothpick into the orange food coloring and mix thoroughly into the melted white chocolate. Color the melted chocolate a carrot orange color. Put the colored chocolate into a small zip lock bag, seal and diagonally snip a 1/8 inch piece off of the bottom corner. On a parchment or plastic lined plate, pipe the chocolate into carrot noses by pressing the chocolate out of the bag and then tapering to a point. Make 20-25 and let harden.
To make the "twig" arms:
Place the melted semi-sweet chocolate in a small zip lock bag,
seal and diagonally snip a 1/8 inch piece off of the bottom corner. Onto a parchment lined tray, pipe a 3/8 inch wide "V" shape. Then pipe a straight line through the "V" continuing for about an inch long. Make about 50. Let harden.
To coat in white chocolate:
Melt 12 ounces white chocolate by breaking it into a medium bowl placed over a pot of hot water. The bowl must not touch the water and the water must not simmer, but just remain hot. Stir until melted and then take off of heat and cool until it is about 84 degrees, or dab a small amount on your upper lip. It should feel slightly cool.

With a wooden skewer, poke a hole at a slight downward angle into the middle truffle of the stack of 3. Carefully insert a "twig" arm into the hole. They are delicate, so be careful. Place a grilled rack (cooling rack) over a lined cookie sheet. Holding the stack in your fingers over the slightly cooled melted chocolate, carefully spoon the white chocolate down the top and sides of the snowman. Do not let the white chocolate get onto the twig arms. Make sure the snowman is covered and let the excess chocolate drip off. Then place on the grilled rack to continue dripping. The carrot nose may be placed on while the chocolate is still soft or applied later with a dab of melted white chocolate as the glue. The mini chocolate chip buttons may also be placed on at this time or later with a dab of melted white chocolate. Let harden.

Remove from the rack carefully by slicing underneath the snowman and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Using a toothpick dipped into melted semisweet chocolate, place 2 dabs of chocolate for the eyes. For the mouth place 4 smaller dabs, into a smiling face. Don't worry about any pointy ends, once hardened they can be broken off if desired.

Let the snowmen harden at room temperature.

Have fun by displaying on a bed of freshly fallen powdered sugar and with a satin ribbon (1/4 inch wide) scarf tied around the neck. A little glue stick glue helps to keep the ends of the tied scarf in place.Makes 20-25 truffle snowmen.

Snowman Truffles recipe.

I always try and use the least amount of packaging as possible, and I thought I'd share a way I wrap presents. Many times I use extra fabric and wrap a present with it. Or I make the wrapping part of the present, like a scarf or tea towel. Years ago I bought some silk organza napkins...don't ask me why, and they seem better suited to wrapping presents than wiping mouths. Just place the present in the center and bring opposite corners together and tie. I also recycle old Christmas cards to use as gift tags the following year. I think this makes for a prettier and more interesting package.

Enjoy your holidays!

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