I have long been a fan of salted caramel. Straight up, spread on waffles. Then a few months ago I was introduced to the glorious combination of salted caramel and chocolate. Small balls of crisp chocolate with a liquid caramel centre. Bliss. So when the truffle theme for this month’s Sweet Adventures Blog Hop was announced, a chocolate and salted caramel combination seemed obvious.
Caramel is something I have always thought to be quite complicated, but it is surprisingly easy to make. It is really just sugar, melted with a small amount of water, that has been allowed to scorch. But not too much. I can melt things. I can definitely burn things. Turns out I can make caramel.
Caramel does need to be watched carefully though as it can go from dark to really burnt in the blink of an eye. Sugar begins to caramelise at 170C so, as tempting as it is, don’t stick your fingers into the mix or lick the spoon as the caramel is cooling. Not unless you actually want a nasty burn.
My original intention was for a dark chocolate truffle with a salted caramel undertone, but I used up all the dark chocolate in the house trying to get the texture right. It was unbelievably hot outside and I couldn’t face a trip to the shops, so I decided to switch to white chocolate. The plan was to get the texture right then remake them later with dark chocolate.
Interestingly, the salted caramel flavour shone better in the white chocolate base. The problem then became getting the texture balance right. More chocolate dulled the flavour of the caramel. Less resulted in a ganache that refused to set. It occurred to me that if the softer ganache was wrapped in a shell of hard dark chocolate, I could preserve the caramel flavour and make a truffle similar to the one that introduced me to the wonderful marriage of salted caramel and chocolate in the first place. I love it when I’m right.
Salted Caramel & White Chocolate Truffles
For the ganache
- 200 g white chocolate finely chopped
- 125 ml cream
- 80 g sugar
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
For the truffles
- 150 g dark chocolate chopped
- sea salt
To make the ganache
Place the white chocolate into a heatproof container and set aside.
Place the sugar and water into a small saucepan over a medium - high heat.
Using a pastry brush dipped in water, wash any sugar crystals off the side of the saucepan.
Do not stir the sugar and water. Just allow the sugar to slowly melt.
Once the sugar is melted, continue to cook until it turns a dark brown colour. As the sugar starts to colour, swirl the saucepan periodically to distribute the colour throughout the pan.
Once the sugar has turned dark brown, remove from the heat and immediately pour in the cream. The mixture will spit and the caramel will solidify.
Place the saucepan back onto a low heat and gently stir until the caramel has melted.
Pour the hot mixture over the chopped white chocolate and allow to sit for 1 minute.
Stir the chocolate into the caramel, and add the salt, vanilla extract and nutmeg to the mixture.
Allow to cool and then refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
To make the truffles
Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Take teaspoons of the ganache mixture and quickly roll into balls.
Place the balls on the baking tray and put the tray into the fridge for 30 minutes.
Place the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl and sit the bowl over a simmering saucepan of water to allow the chocolate to melt. Stir occasionally until the chocolate is smooth.
Line another baking tray with baking paper.
Remove the ganache balls from the fridge and quickly coat them in dark chocolate by dipping the ganache ball into the bowl of melted chocolate.
Allow any excess chocolate to drip off the ball and place the ball on the baking tray.
Place the balls back into the fridge for 5 minutes.
Drizzle any extra dark chocolate over the tops of the balls and sprinkle with sea salt.
Store in the fridge until ready to serve or gift.
Recipe NotesResist the temptation to stir the sugar as it melts. This can cause the sugar to crystallise, meaning it will clump and not melt.
I used white sugar here as it is easier to see the colour change in the saucepan. My preference is, however, to use golden castor sugar.
It is extremely important to keep the ganache balls cold as they will become difficult to handle or will loose their shape.
The balls may stick to the baking paper prior to coating with chocolate. If this occurs just slide them off with a butter knife. The flat bottom will be hidden by the chocolate coating.
I found the easiest way to coat the balls with chocolate was to do one ball at a time. Place the ball into the bowl of melted chocolate, spoon chocolate over the top and then lift it out of the bowl with a fork. Allow the excess chocolate to drain off the bottom and then place it on the tray. Don't try and multi-task here and do more than one ball at a time as the hot chocolate will melt the ganache.
This months Sweet Adventures Blog Hop is hosted by JJ at 84th & 3rd. Don’t forget to check out all the other wonderful truffle creations at the bottom of this post.