I love tea! I’m not sure if it’s my Turkish heritage or my hero worship of Captain Jean- Luc Picard, but I’ve always loved tea, and through the years Earl Grey has remained my favorite. It is the king of teas. It harnesses the dark, bitter flavors of a great black tea, while the bergamot oil that gives Earl Grey its distinct flavor imparts the fruity and citrusy notes that make this tea so complex and wonderful. What happens when you marry this lovely flavor with the complexities of dark and milk chocolate and butter? I created these truffles to answer that question. The basic truffle recipe is just a ganache that has butter added to it, and it can be infused with various flavors. I invite you to experience the divine.
- Yield: 50 Truffles
- 0.33 cup (80 g) unsalted butter
- 13 oz (370 g) 66% to 70% dark chocolate
- 2 cups (480 g) heavy cream, plus more to replenish after steeping
- 1 tbsp (20 g) plus 1 tsp Earl Grey tea leaves
- 3 tbsp (75 g) tbsp plus 2 tsp corn syrup or glucose syrup
- 2 cups (150 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- Cut the butter into ½-in (12-mm) chunks and set it on the counter about 2 hours before cooking to allow it to come to room temperature.
- In a large stainless-steel or glass bowl, melt the chocolate over a saucepan of simmering water. Alternatively, melt the chocolate in the microwave on medium power for about 45 seconds, or until melted. Stir the chocolate every 20 seconds with a rubber spatula so that it doesn’t burn. Keep warm.
- In a medium stainless-steel or enamel-coated saucepan, over medium heat, bring the heavy cream to a boil. Whisk the tea leaves into the hot cream. Remove from the heat. Cover the saucepan and let steep for 7 to 8 minutes.
- Strain the cream through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth and discard the tea leaves. Add more fresh heavy cream to bring it back to the original volume (the tea leaves will have soaked some up). Clean out the saucepan to remove any leftover tea leaves. Return the strained cream to the clean saucepan, add the corn syrup, and bring it back to a boil.
- Place the bowl of melted chocolate on the counter top with a towel underneath so it doesn’t shift around when mixing. Pour half of the infused cream over the melted chocolate and begin to emulsify with a rubber spatula. Stir quickly at first to begin the emulsification process. Pour in the remainder of the cream and continue mixing to emulsify the mixture. Finish by mixing with a handheld blender to obtain a silky emulsion. Set the ganache in a cool space on the counter top and allow it to cool to 95° to 104°F (35° to 40°C).
- Add the butter to the ganache. Use the handheld blender to emulsify the mixture completely, until all the butter is incorporated and the mixture looks like a silky, thick chocolate mayonnaise.
- Place a layer of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the ganache to prevent a skin from forming. Keep at room temperature overnight to cool and crystallize. The ganache can be made in advance and held in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days. When ready to create the truffles, take the ganache out of the refrigerator 2 to 3 hours before using and set it on the counter top to allow it to come to room temperature.
- Sift the cocoa powder into a large, shallow bowl; line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a small #60 scoop to make ½-in (12-mm) balls of the ganache. Roll each ball in your hands (powder-free latex gloves work great for this process) until rounded and truffle shaped. Place a few truffles into the cocoa powder and roll them around to coat, shake off excess powder by tossing them in a fine-mesh sieve, and then transfer them to the prepared baking sheet. Work in small batches so the truffles do not stick to each other in the powder.
- Pile the truffles in a glass bowl and enjoy. The truffles can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. Roll in fresh cocoa powder before serving.