Yeah…so I’m still in love with Woodchuck Draft Cider. It’s such a refreshing drink when you want an alternative to an ice cold beer--have an ice cold cider! It’s crisp and packed with flavor. Or even better? Have some Woodchuck Draft Cider Chocolate Truffles with your ice cold cider!
Some of you may remember my Woodchuck Draft Cider Sorbet from last summer. That incredibly easy recipe has become my #1 viewed recipe on this whole blog! Thanks to all of you that keep Stumbling it. Truly appreciated. I was thinking about different ways to use it, and in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, which is just around the corner, I decided to try making Woodchuck Cider infused chocolate truffles.
I’ve made flat truffles before (which are one of the simplest and most velvety truffles I’ve ever had), but this time, I wanted round ones. I also wanted to coat them in chocolate instead of a dusting of cocoa. I needed a way to infuse the cider into the ganache--and as you know, you can’t add too much liquid to your ganache, there are limits here, people! Universe fabric and strands of time may be altered if you ruin your beautiful chocolate. It’s true. (Or maybe you’ll just break your ganache and then you’ll have to try to fix it.) I decided that the best way would be to reduce the cider and intensify the flavor.
Woodchuck Draft Cider Chocolate Truffles
makes about 32 truffles (I can’t be sure because of truffle thieves wandering in and out of the kitchen while my back was turned.)
2 12 oz bottles Woodchuck Draft Cider
1/2 cup heavy cream
11 1/2 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tbsp butter, at room temp
1 1/2 cups chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 tsp shortening
Pour the ciders into a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Watch the pot carefully, as the cider will really foam up when it hits a boil. Stir if it does foam up, and it will go back down. Set the pan to simmer (just a bit of bubbling) and let it go, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes to an hour. I went from 24 oz cider to about 6 oz (3/4 of a cup). Set aside to cool.
Place the chopped chocolate and the butter in a medium sized bowl. Heat the cream and 4 tbsp of the reduced cider in a small saucepan to just a simmer-swirl it around a bit a couple of times. As it starts to bubble around the edges and a bit in the middle, remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate and butter. Let it sit for about 2 minutes, then stir it gently with a rubber spatula. Don't stir it vigorously, or you'll add too much air to the ganache. Fold it all in gently until completely combined, and you have a bowl of velvety chocolate that you'll want to stick your whole face into. Seriously, you'll want to. Let me just look away and give you some privacy…
If you haven’t devoured the ganache with your face yet, cover it with plastic wrap, touching the surface of the chocolate, and refrigerate for about an hour to an hour and a half. When it's chilled, pull it out of the fridge. Cover a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper or foil. Instead of rolling the truffles in my hands, I used my 2 teaspoon cookie scoop from OXO. This was a huge timesaver and made so much less of a mess. I highly recommend using one if you can.
Scoop up the ganache and place the truffles on the baking sheet. I found that if a truffle was shaped a little funny, I could fill an empty space with more ganache and smooth it out easily with the warmth of my fingertips. When you've finished, place the baking sheet back in the fridge so the truffles can chill.
When you're ready to coat them, melt the 1 1/2 cups of bitter or semisweet chocolate and the 1 1/2 teaspoons of shortening in the microwave. (I like to use a small bowl that's deep rather than shallow. That way, you're not hitting the bottom of the bowl when you dip them.) Start with a minute, then melt it in 30 second increments, stirring after each time. Keep going until it's completely smooth. Take the truffles out of the fridge, and using a candy fork or regular fork, dip one truffle at a time in the melted chocolate. Lift it out of the chocolate and let it drain, gently tapping the fork against the bowl. Place the truffles back on the sheet. If you're going to sprinkle something over the top, do it now, and quickly, because they set up fast.
Chill them all completely in the fridge. In cooler weather, I'd say store them at room temp, because the chocolate will taste so much better. But if it's warm in your part of the world, the fridge would probably be the best place. Just take out a couple at a time and let them warm up a bit before you eat them.
- They taste great! I mean, they’re chocolate truffles infused with hard cider--they’ve got lots going for them already! I’d definitely store these at room temperature, because that brings out the flavors even more.
- I’d love a super intense cider flavor, and I can taste the cider in there, but I want more. This may call for more experiments in truffles. Not a bad thing when you think about it.
- EDIT! It seems that a few days later, the flavor of the truffles has significantly intensified. Very happy about that! The coating has lost it's shine, though, so bummed about that. It hasn't lost any flavor, though! So--maybe make the ganache balls and let them age for a few days, then dip in chocolate. Or, I may have to temper some chocolate, after all. Further updates will follow!