The chocolates pictured here are survivors of a kitchen disaster.
Truffles are easy and fun to make, and I find the process comforting. To make these ones, I peeled a chunk of ginger with a spoon (like this), grated it with a microplane, and dropped it into a saucepan with almond milk, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Once the mixture had come to a robust simmer, I poured it over a bowl of chocolate chips. I whisked the mixture into shiny perfection: truffle batter.
So far, so good. I let the batter chill in the freezer, compartment of choice for impatient truffle-makers. When it was firm, I formed the truffles with a melon baller, a method I learned from watching Ina Garten. If you don't have a melon baller, you can approximate one with a teaspoon measure; just make sure you dip the utensil in hot water in between truffles, and don't be afraid to scoop forcefully.
After a quick roll in some cocoa powder, the truffles were almost ready. I ate one, consumed the equivalent of another by scraping the bowl with a spoon so that no gingery chocolate would go to waste, and stashed the tray with the twenty remaining truffles in the fridge to chill.
A bit later, lunchtime rolled around. I took a carton of eggs out of the fridge and headed for the stove. I glanced back as I closed the refrigerator door, worried I had upset the delicate system of containers upon which the tray of truffles was placed. For a moment it seemed like I'd gotten away with it. Then, the tray of truffles slid out triumphantly, propelling most of its contents into the depths of the corner where the broom stays and the shadows under the washing machine.
Only five truffles survived.
I was especially sad because these are my favorite truffles out of all the ones I've made. I love classic truffles (and the coconut-almond variety), brownie batter truffles, lemon cheesecake and cranberry truffles--but these choco-ginger truffles trump them all. Ginger adds an irresistible edge to chocolate, and I'm totally hooked.
As soon as I clear a nice, flat, safe spot in the fridge, I'll be making these again. In the meantime, will you comfort me with tales of your own kitchen disasters? I'd love to hear about them in the comments!
Yield: About 20 truffles
Prep time: 20 minutes, plus 1-2 hours chilling time
Cook time: Less than 5 minutes
1 tablespoon finely-grated fresh ginger (from a piece of ginger about 2 inches long)
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (omit if your almond milk has vanilla in it already)
Pinch of salt
10 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate or chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)*
1-2 tablespoons cocoa powder, for rolling
*If you need your truffles to be dairy-free, vegan, or soy-free, make sure to check the ingredients on your chocolate carefully since many brands contain soy or milk products. If you are looking for a chocolate without refined sugar, check out Eating Evolved bars, which are sweetened with maple syrup.
Place the chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Combine the ginger, almond milk, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then pour it over the chocolate. Cover the bowl, wait a minute or two for the chocolate to melt, then whisk the mixture until smooth.
Chill the truffle mixture until it's firm enough to scoop (30-45 minutes). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and fill a glass with very hot water. Use a melon baller (the larger side if it's double) or teaspoon measure to scoop out one truffle at a time, dipping the utensil in hot water in between scoops. It's okay if the balls are not perfectly spherical--truffles are supposed to be rustic, and you'll have a chance to round them out a bit when you roll them in cocoa. You should end up with about 20 truffles.
Place the cocoa powder on a plate or on a sheet of parchment, and briefly use the palm of your hand to roll each truffle in the cocoa until well-coated. (If it's very warm in your kitchen, you may need to place the truffles in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes before rolling them in cocoa; mine were firm enough to roll right away.)
Store the truffles in the refrigerator, and serve chilled or at room temperature.
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