Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffles


     I love to make candy. I prefer it to almost any other kitchen activity. Some people find it tedious, and others complain that it is hard, but I think it is one of the most rewarding foods you can make! People just don't get excited about veggies, or casseroles, or soups they way they do about candy! And they are almost always impressed when they find out you made it yourself. So, if you are in the mood to be complimented, or you want to surprise a sweet-lover in your life, make them some candy!

    I made these truffles for a tea we had at church recently. I wanted something that would appeal to the majority of women, and I have found that dark chocolate is (almost) universally loved! Since it is spring, and the tea was just for the ladies, I also decided that raspberry would be the perfect complement. Who can resist pink?

     The key to these truffles is the cream cheese. I won't sing the praises of that most delicious ingredient right now-suffice it to say, I love it! Throw that in with just a few other things, and you will quickly have candy that will amaze and impress all your friends. 




Dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffles
Makes approximately 36-40 candies

5 oz. cream cheese (softened)
1 1/2 tsp. raspberry extract 
4 c. powdered sugar 
Red food dye or coloring
1 package (10 oz.) Ghiradelli 60% cacao bakings chips



1. Thoroughly mix the cream cheese and raspberry extract together. 
2. Slowly add the powdered sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, stirring each time until it is completely incorporated. 
3. If the mixture forms easily into balls, you may want to taste it to see if you want to add more raspberry extract. Be aware, though, that the flavor will intensify as the chocolates chill, so don't add too much. I felt that after 24 hours the 1 and 1/2 tsp. amount was perfect. 
4. Add your food dye if you like. I used gel food coloring (for cakes, etc.) so I didn't have to add much liquid to achieve the color I wanted. If you are using traditional food coloring, you may have to add more powdered sugar afterwards so that the mixture will be firm.
5. Scoop mixture out by level tablespoons, and roll into balls. Place on waxed paper and freeze for 10-15 minutes, or refrigerate for 30 minutes. Don't leave them in the freezer for too long, because if they actually start to freeze, they will expand once they are dipped and crack the chocolate, and it will make the extract "ooze". They will still be tasty, but they won't look as nice!
6. Melt the chocolate according to the package directions. (Basically, in the microwave at half power, in 30 second increments).
7. Working quickly, dip the candies using two forks, top with sprinkles or edible "pearls" if desired, and place on waxed paper to set.
8. Place in fridge to set. Once they are completely hardened, they can be placed in mini muffin liners to gift, and stacked. Keep them refrigerated!



    These were a huge hit! I based them on this recipe, but found the proportions weren't tasting right. So I changed them to suit myself. And of course, I had to make them into truffles. And dip them in dark chocolate! I love it when I can start with an idea and then really turn it into something that I love. And I love these! 


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