How to Table Chocolate Ganache for Truffles

How to table chocolate for truffles - The Messy Baker

03 Dec How to Table Chocolate Ganache for Truffles

Chocolate Truffles - The Messy Baker

Last week I had the pleasure of taking a truffle and bon bon making course in Toronto with Marissa Scibetta at Bonnie Gordon College of Confectionary Arts. For two glorious evenings I was the proverbial kid in the candy shop, weighing, heating, mixing, spooning and dipping chocolate ganache. My only complaint is I am no longer happy with store bought chocolates that don’t snap when I bite into them. Plus, I now want a fancy electronic scale that can tell the difference between 176 grams of something decadent and 175 grams.

If the name Bonnie Gordon looks familiar, this is where I went last year when Master Chocolatier Derrick Tu Tan Pho nearly gave me a heart attack by putting metal in the microwave.* Amongst other skills, he showed us how to temper chocolate  in the microwave, which has proved a handy trick more than once.

For this class, Marissa was the instructor. She’s a Red Seal chef and knows her stuff. One of the best tricks she taught us was how to “table” or “marble” chocolate ganache so you can get to the truffle making without leaving the ganache to rest overnight.** The technique requires a marble or granite surface, which cools the ganache at a controlled rate without damaging it by extreme temperature fluctuations. (In the past, I admit to shoving my ganache in the freezer so it would “hurry up and set”. Big mistake.) Not only does tabling safely speed up the setting process, it improves the taste and texture of the ganache. We compared tabled ganache with a room temperature batch which hadn’t set long enough to pipe. The flavours in the tabled ganache were deeper and fuller, and the mixture was creamier.

Professional bakers like Marissa will have a marble pastry slab handy for such occasions. If you don’t but are lucky enough to have granite countertops, you’re ready to go. Just clean the surface with vodka, get yourself a couple of meticilously clean drywall scrapers and dump your chocolate ganache on the cool stone surface.

Tabling chocolate ganache for truffles - The Messy Baker

Spread the ganache thinly over the marble or granite.

Tabling chocolate ganache for truffles - The Messy Baker

Scrape the ganache to one side. Repeat the spreading and scraping process until your ganache is the consistency to pipe. You’ll see streaking as it reaches this stage. If you table the ganache for too long, it will become too firm to pipe.

Tabling chocolate ganache for truffles - The Messy Baker

If you’re piping the truffles, use a disposable piping bag with a large tip. Marissa says it may sound wasteful but you will never get a cloth pastry bag clean.

Filling a piping bag with chocolate ganache for truffles - The Messy Baker

Pipe your ganache onto a pan lined with parchment. Let it set just a bit so you can roll it gently. You don’t want it to set too firmly or you won’t be able to roll out the pointed tip.

Piping chocolate ganache for truffles - The Messy Baker

Don’t have a piping bag? Spoon the ganache.

Spooned chocolate ganache for truffles - The Messy Baker

Regardless of which method you used, when the ganache is set, roll it using your finger tips, not your palm since the warmth of your hand will make the truffle melt. Don’t worry about making perfectly round truffles. Marissa assures me knobby ones are “rustic” and a sign they are homemade. Anything you say, Marissa. Wonky is my specialty.

While the truffle surface is still slightly rough from your finger tips, roll the truffle in dark cocoa. Just drop it on a rimmed pan and shake it about.

Coating chocolate truffles with cocoa - The Messy Baker

To be more efficient do several at a time. And in minutes you’ll have a batch coated and ready for their closeups.

Cocoa-coated chocolate truffles - The Messy Baker

And that’s just one of the tricks I learned at my class. Stay tuned over the next little while to learn how to candy nuts and “bottom” square chocolates.

*Yes, you can put a metal bowl in the microwave, as long as it is stainless steel and does not touch the sides. I finally worked up the nerve to try this a few months ago, and can report that it works.

**If you don’t have a granite or marble surface you can let the ganache set using old-fashioned time. The results will be wonderful.

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6 Comments
  • Robin Smart
    Posted at 13:40h, 03 December Reply

    Oh my gosh those look WONDERFUL! I would be happy take lumpy or rustic ones off your hands.
    Love,
    Robin

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 10:25h, 04 December Reply

      Oh, they WERE good. :-) I’ve saved some of the milk chocolate ones for you.

  • Roz Cummins
    Posted at 10:08h, 04 December Reply

    That looks sublime!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 10:26h, 04 December Reply

      Thanks, Roz. These truffles are fig and balsamic. They were really good. I couldn’t stop eating them. Getting the fruit puree is hard since it’s a specialty item. Once I work out how to make my own, I’ll be experimenting with other flavours.

  • Monica Bhide
    Posted at 16:37h, 30 January Reply

    Super fantastic!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 08:20h, 07 February Reply

      Thanks, Monica. Stay tuned. There’s more chocolately goodness to come!

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