May 2 is National Truffle Day—as if we needed an excuse to make these delectable confections.
If anyone can offer a fun and laid-back book about making chocolates, it’s the Queen of the Chocolate Turtle and owner of Turtle Alley chocolate shop, Hallie Baker. In fact, the mastermind behind these scrumptious critters, who loves to hide everything from cranberries to chilies under those chocolaty turtle shells, encourages experimentation and making a mess in the comfort of your own kitchen.
She also teaches the rules of baking—but don’t worry, anyone can do this with a little know-how. Baker is not above telling first-time chocolate bark makers to rely on a chocolate thermometer and other tools to make tempering chocolate easier.
Her first book, Turtle, Truffle, Bark! Simple and Indulgent Chocolates to Make at Home (The Countryman Press, April 2015) is in her own words “the book that wants to be grease-splattered and dog-eared, the one you turn to when you need a lift, or want to get reacquainted with your chocolate dreams.” Baker divides the book into three sections, starting with the easiest recipes and ending with great tips on how to approach the very delicate and hard to handle, truffle.
If you’re less adventurous, try a simple chocolate bark recipe. Kitchen Sink Bark is simple and pressure-free, plus you can toss in any nuts or dried fruits sitting in your pantry for a fun, delicious and carefree baking spree where you can mess around with flavor and texture. Baker is no stranger to including exotic ingredients in her treats, and the Milk Chocolate Coconut Curry Truffles are no exception.
Put curry in anything and you’ll have my heart. Despite how busy this truffle sounds, we go easy on the curry to develop a more subtle flavor, and then roll in shredded coconut. I love to make this with a hot curry, but that’s not for everyone, so I really recommend using Maharajah curry. It’s sweet, but still packs a true curry punch, flavor-wise. The coconut should be unsweetened, so it doesn’t compete too much with the curry. What we’re looking for here is balance.
What you’ll need
2 ounces butter
3/4 cup light cream
1 1/2 pounds tempered milk chocolate
1 teaspoon Maharajah curry
1. Over low heat, melt butter into cream in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Use a small silicone spatula to stir gently. When the butter has completely melted into the cream, remove from heat.
2. Slowly pour a medium-sized stream of tempered chocolate into the cream and butter mixture, whisking constantly. When chocolate is fully incorporated, whisk in curry. Using a medium spatula, pour the truffle mixture into a parchment-lined, 9 × 9-inch baking pan.
3. Let cool completely, drape a piece of parchment paper over the top of the pan (do not wrap tightly—truffles need to breathe), and leave out at room temperature (not warmer than 70 degrees F) overnight.
What you’ll need
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut, shredded
Unsweetened cocoa for dusting hands and melon baller
1. Put coconut in a shallow bowl. Set aside.
2. Coat a melon baller in cocoa then scoop truffle mixture into a ball. Drop ball into coconut, and roll around until completely covered. Place truffle on parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat until truffle mixture is used up.
3. When the truffles have rested for a bit, they can be put into candy cups and served, or stored in an airtight container for up to one week.