Sunday, October 2, 2011

Cinnamon S'mores Truffles

"I'm sorry, I didn't hear anything you just said, I was focusing on the truffle."

This is how many were left today.
I had a recipe for S'mores truffles already, but Chrome gave me a malware warning when I went back to the website, so I went looking for another version and landed on this one. AMAZING. I've been pushing these on everyone I know/meet. The recipe says it makes 24, and I made 47 with the same ingredients, so don't get too hung up on a specific number. No matter how many you make, they will be gone quickly.

This is how many I made. Plus one that mysteriously went missing.
I made them Friday afternoon. Friday night, G and I ate a lot of them, maybe 2/3 of a plate. Saturday morning, G went to work, and I sent out a distress email to some friends to help me eat the rest. Home all day with a fridge full of truffles? Prognosis (of me not eating all of them): Negative. My old roommates and their new roommate came by and loved them, G's visiting friend and his girlfriend came by and loved them, G loved another, I loved some more of them, and I ended up sick to my stomach. WARNING: Don't eat more than two or three of these within a few hours. Definitely don't spend all day at home eating them. They're extremely rich. You need willpower. Willpower or an iron stomach. G voted these his favorite so far, and he looooved those mudslide balls.

OK, it's baking time. You need this stuff:

12 oz. chocolate, 1/2 cup heavy cream, approx. 50 mini-marshmallows, 6-7 graham cracker sheets, 2 tbsp butter, 1 pan, 1 whisk.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. I went with the gigantic and only pan we had, and I would strongly suggest sticking with something smaller. Less chocolate will be wasted in the end since there's a smaller surface area for the remnants to stick to. Whisk in the cream and bring it to a boil.

Remove the pan from heat and stir in the chocolate chips until everything's melted. I want to try this with baker's chocolate instead of chocolate chips next time - that might help the chocolate be more moldable and less melt-all-over-your-hands-able.

Oh, the smells.
Don't eat this yet. Or do. What do I care.
Chill the saucepan in the fridge for an hour or so, until the chocolate is solid and roll-able. This is another reason why a smaller saucepan would be helpful. We lost an entire shelf in the fridge, and I had this monster sitting there for a week. It's a long story. TIP: don't worry about keeping it in there too long. A couple of minutes out of the fridge and the chocolate will be fine and melt-y. If you have it in there a while, remember to keep it covered so it doesn't desiccate. (Bonus tip courtesy of G, who kindly covered my chocolate for me).

Cold, mold-y chocolate. Moldy in a good way.
While you're waiting for the chocolate to look like this, break out some cinnamon graham crackers. Obviously you can use whatever kind of graham cracker you want, or buy the crumbs pre-crushed, whatever you feel like. I like cinnamon. I went with 7 sheets, and it ended up being almost exactly 1 cup of crumbs. I ended up with a lot left over, so it might depend on how heavily you crumb up your final balls. Stick the sheets in a plastic bag, and mash 'em up with a rolling pin. Or crush them with your bare hands and reenact your favorite beer can-crushing or strangulation movie scene. Then move the crumbs into a small bowl or Tupperware container.

Moldy in the fake-bad way.
Please excuse the Mold Monster on the plastic bag. My lunch keeps getting stolen at work, so when a coworker was browsing the MoMA store and saw these thief-deterrent bags with fake mold on them, she bought them for me.

More like a Measuring Monster, am I right? Measusaurus.
Poke your cooling chocolate. Does it smush at all? Leave it in for longer. If it's stiff, take it out. Now comes the PIA part. The original recipe contains these directions: "roll into 24 balls, stuffing a mini marshmallow into the center of each." Seems easy enough. Gloss over-able. But I started to do it, and I realized that I don't know how to roll a mini-marshmallow into the center of a ball. I can roll chocolate into a ball, and I can place mini-marshmallows next to those balls of chocolate, but that's it. Am I supposed to cut a hole in the chocolate and stuff the marshmallow inside? No. Let's take a look at some of the mess this caused before I show my solutions:

I licked one finger clean before I realized this should be recorded as a warning/enticement/reminder to try different chocolate. I didn't take a picture every successive time I needed to wash off my hands, but it got much worse than this. For future attempts, I'm going to make sure I carve out all of my chocolate first so I don't have to keep washing my hands to get more pieces.

I looked like this for an hour before realizing it.
What worked for me was to cut out slices with a spoon and wrap them around the marshmallows, mushing the chocolate together at the joints. This gets messy, so it's best to keep the pieces large in order to minimize the mess. Easier to cut off the extras than try to join many small pieces.

My first slice. Way too small.
Bigger is better.
This thickness is pretty good.
Even thinner shavings like this are great.
Wrap a chocolate strip around the marshmallow, and stick two smaller pieces on each end.

 Smooth down the edges.

This was my most perfectly formed truffle, and it used double, thin layers.

If you end up with a couple that have bald spots, don't worry about it. You can hide that once they've hardened a bit. I did worry about it, and I ended up in the bizarre situation of trying to wipe melted chocolate off of my fingers and onto the melted truffle chocolate. This made the situation worse, always. I gave up and popped them in the fridge, and I smoothed some chocolate over the patches when there was less risk of causing structural damage. This is also a good time to make them more spherical, if that worries you. Do not try that on the first go-round, when everything's melting and making a mess.

Balding. It's hard to see, but it's there.
Another successful Hair Club for Truffles member.
 Double truffle!

Once you've used up all the chocolate, stick the truffles in the fridge to harden up a little. Take them out, roll them in the crumbs, and put them back in the fridge to finish solidifying. My kitchen was hot, and this process was time-consuming, which made me paranoid about melting. I was constantly moving completed balls into the fridge, but my hands were chocolate-y. My left foot got a unique workout that day.

You're done! If you get impatient, you can do what I did:

Spoon S'mores Truffle
It's a pale imitation of the real thing, which is SO GOOD. The printable version of the recipe is here.

 I tried making a graham cracker cabin for the remaining truffle to live in, with a graham cracker bed and marshmallow pillow. Melted marshmallow joint-work, of course. Not my best idea.

On October 14th, I'm donating baked goods to a work fundraiser for breast cancer research. If I can figure out a way to transport a ton of these truffles on the subway without them melting or getting crushed, I'm throwing out the pink cupcakes idea. I'm totally winning this fundraiser.

For the future: I want to try adding cinnamon and graham cracker bits to the chocolate.

Next project: Thin Mint Truffles.

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