This Valentine's Day, why not homemake your sweetie's chocolates to show them how much you care? It is surprisingly easy. Instead of tea leaves you can customize these truffles by whisking a little alcohol into your cream mixture before pouring it over the chocolate. To temper your chocolate, melt 3/4 of the chocolate reserved for the shells and bring the temperature of the melted chocolate quickly down by removing the chocolate from the heat and adding the remaining 1/4 chopped chocolate
These chocolates are special because the bitter tea balances with the bitter chocolate and both are mellowed out enough to bring the brassy citrus flavors of the black tea to the fore to really elevate the taste of the truffles.
Earl Grey Truffles
3/4 cups cream
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and clarified
3/4 Tablespoon loose Earl Grey tea leaves
8 ounces good quality (70% or better) semi sweet dark chocolate, chopped
5 ounces good quality milk or dark chocolate, chopped
1. Create the ganache: heat cream over low heat and add tea, allowing it to steep for 10 to 20 minutes. Bring cream up to a low boil and turn heat off immediately. Add clarified butter to cream and whisk to combine.
2. Place your 8 ounces chopped dark chocolate into a stainless steel bowl and pour hot cream and butter mixture through a sieve into the chocolate.
3. Stir to melt chocolate with the heat from the cream and butter mixture. When everything has been combined and all chocolate has been melted, set aside in a dry, cool place to come to room temperature.
4. In roughly 30 minutes, when the ganache has set, form into Tablespoon sized balls. Cover tightly and set briefly in the fridge while you melt the remaining chocolate.
5. Fill the bottom of a double boiler with about 3 inches of hot water and bring to a temperature just below a simmer. Put 5 ounces chopped chocolate in the top layer of the double boiler and melt, stirring frequently to avoid burning.
6. Take melted chocolate off of the heat and dip ganache balls into it one by one, balanced on the tines of a fork. Shake excess chocolate off after each truffle is dipped. Set covered truffles on a parchment lined sheet tray to cool. Store in an airtight container in the fridge, or serve immediately to your sweetie.