Two Sundays ago I decided to go all out in the kitchen, and one result was my Chocolate Java Head Stout Truffles. I love their richness and how they melt in your mouth. My fellow BeerCampPhilly folks also enjoyed them, along with some others from IndyHall. That’s how chocolate should be.
Chocolate Java Head Stout Truffles
8 oz chocolate (I used a blend of semi-sweet, bittersweet and unsweetened, only because that’s what I had available)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup stout syrup
Stout Syrup Ingredients
1/2 cup Tröegs Java Head stout
1/4 cup sugar (I used my homemade vanilla bean sugar*)
Put the chocolate in a heat-save bowl and set aside.
Over medium high-heat, stir together sugar and beer for the syrup. Stir regularly to keep mixture from burning and reduce until the syrup slowly drips off the spoon. This will yield about 1/4 cup.
Once the syrup is made, heat the cream in a pot over medium-high heat until it comes to a simmer. Stir occasionally. Add the stout syrup a few tablespoons at a time, stirring to incorporate.
Once all the syrup is mixed into the cream (you can use less if you’d like), pour the hot mixture over the chocolate. If you have a lid for the bowl, put it on and let the chocolate and cream sit for 3-5 minutes, undisturbed. Then mix together.
If you have some unmelted chocolate lumps, microwave the mixture in 15-20 second bursts, stirring well after each time.
Refrigerate mixture for 2 hours. Once fully chilled, scoop out truffles with a melonballer, firming up the shape in your hands. However, I was having no luck with this method and spent more time with chocolate on my hands. I googled “truffle shaping tips” and came across this gem from Chowhound, in which you line a container with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. For me, this was less messy and headache inducing. However, when I went to cut the truffles into squares, the chocolate began fracturing where it wanted. Thus, my truffles look like thick, dark chocolate bark, but let’s see who complains.
(Inspired by Sweet Fiend at Endless Simmer, with the basic truffle-making directions adapted from Simply Recipes.)
*The vanilla bean sugar is super easy to make. I followed the directions from A Year from Scratch, but than took it a step further. I used the leftover vanilla bean pod from when I made a vanilla bean finishing salt. I followed AYFS’ directions (so easy) and basically forgot about the sugar for 5 days. Once I remembered, I pulled the slightly mummified vanilla bean pods out of the sugar and finely ground them in my spice grinder. Then I added my sugar (it was about 1/3 cup or a little more) into the grinder to incorporate. The mixture is fragrant and can be used in a variety of applications.