Sunday, May 2, 2010
Sweet Melissa Sundays: Peanut Butter Truffles
A baking recipe with 5 ingredients is generally not my friend. The fewer the ingredients, the more skill and finesse needed to execute the recipe. For example....pie dough or meringues. And now I can add truffles to the list. This week was most definitely an exercise in patience for me. And my sister. She was staying with us for a few days this week and helped me take on this week's Sweet Melissa Sundays recipe for Peanut Butter Truffles.
Our first go round on Thursday night was unsuccessful. Best I can figure is the cream reached a boiling point. The cream and peanut butter mixture was quite thick. When it met up with the chopped up chocolate the result was a textured looking sludge. Hmmmm. Not good. Here's what it's NOT supposed to look like:
Off to the grocery store again the next day to pick up more chocolate and more heavy cream. I decided to use semisweet for the second round because the bittersweet called for in the recipe seemed too dark.
Friday night we went for round 2. We decided to make a few modifications. First, we chopped up the chocolate in smaller pieces. Then we melted the peanut butter in the microwave first, rather than heating it up with the cream. (Upon suggestions from other SMS bakers about these truffles not being peanut buttery enough...we used 1/2 cup instead of 1/4...and it turned out to be just the right amount of peanut butter goodness). And lastly we watched the cream like a hawk as it came up to temperature to ensure it did not reach the boiling point. Just as tiny bubbles were forming around the edges I added in the melted peanut butter and it combined together much easier than round 1 and the end result was more liquidy. We poured this over the chopped chocolate and let it sit for 5 minutes. Whisk, whisk...add a little butter, another whisk or two....and voila! A nice silky chocolate truffle base. Thank God! I don't think I could have handled round 3!
We decided to mix it up and bit and we added rice crispy cereal to half the truffle base. I had visions of a crunchy crispy peanut butter truffle. It looked great. But the crispies lost all their crunch by the time we rolled out the truffles. Not sure how to keep the crispies crisp. I did a little web browsing on the subject, but didn't see much to help solve this problem. Any ideas fellow SMS bakers?
Luckily we still had half the mixture untouched by experimentation...this turned out to be plenty of truffles. We made the full recipe and it yielded 6 dozen truffles in total. Though the (not so) crispy ones were edible, I was happy to have the regular ones to fall back on.
On to the fun part...the truffle coating. Originally I was going to skip the chopped up peanut coating recommended in the recipe. But at the last moment I picked up some honey roasted peanuts on one of our many trips to the grocery store. We decided one coating option just would not do. So we opted for 4....cocoa powder, powdered sugar, chopped up peanuts and dark chocolate shavings.
I loved Hanaa's idea of chocolate shavings! I meticulously chopped up a semisweet bar....but unfortunately there was a little mishap with the shavings. We stored the bowl of shavings in the freezer while we waited for the truffles to be rolled out. When I went to pull the bowl out of the freezer it flew right out of my hand and chocolate dust went flying everywhere. Sigh. Then we couldn't help ourselves and my sister and I burst into laughter. The scene was very comical! I should have taken a picture! After the multiple step clean up effort (which included removing a drawer from my freezer, a broom, papertowels and clorox wipes), we jumped in the car at 9:30 pm and headed to the grocery store....yet again! But I was determined to have chocolate shavings.
After all that....guess which topping turned out to be our favorite? The chopped up peanuts! They added that extra sweet (from the honey roasted), salty peanutty zip to the truffles. And visually I thought they looked the best....really bringing home the concept of what flavor you would be biting into.
The powdered sugar didn't really work for us so we only did a few. The cocoa powder was nice and the chocolate shavings were good too and had a great texture. It was fun trying different options! Next time I might try milk chocolate shavings mixed with chopped nuts to capture a peanut butter cup taste.
Showing off our final product! Thanks for the help this week sis. I had a blast!
This recipe is a keeper! Thanks to Mara for selecting these tasty treats this week. For the recipe check out Mara's site, Love Your Mother Earth. And see what other SMS bakers did