In honor of St. Patrick's Day, clearly something festive is in order. The list of alcohol infused pastries that I could make became endless, and I am as indecisive as they come. So I started to think about a trip I took to Dublin with my girlfriends while we were studying in Paris a few years ago.
After flying out of the most sketchy airport in Paris, and fearing that one of our friends wouldn't make it back into France due to some student paperwork issues (don't worry, she was fine!), we were all in need of some coffee when we landed. Irish coffee. Coffee with alcohol in it? I'll take five. So that is what us girls did--drank lots of Irish coffee. Of course touring the Guinness Brewery, doing pub crawls, kissing the Blarney Stone, and getting matching Claddagh rings were also in our schedule. So here is to St. Patrick's Day, to some of the nicest people I have ever met, and to a wonderful trip with the craziest of friends!
These Baileys chocolate truffles are fun and delicious. Like all bakers at the CIA, learning how to make truffles was something that was thoroughly drilled into my head. We practiced them dozens of times, and ate them even more! You could say that I have this skill down pat, which is why I want to show you how easy it is to make your own chocolates. Not only do these truffles have just 6 simple ingredients, but trying out that Baileys on its own is a great way to "product test!"
Heavy Cream--2 oz, or 1/4 cup
Corn Syrup--0.75 oz, or 1 TBL
Dark Chocolate--5 oz, or 3/4 cup
Butter (soft)--0.35 oz, or 1/2 TBL
Baileys Irish Cream (room temp)--0.35 oz, or 2 tsp
Cocoa Powder--as needed
Put the chocolate in a heat proof bowl.
In a small pot, pour in the heavy cream and corn syrup, and place on the stove.
Turn the burner on medium to heat up the cream/corn syrup mixture.
Once this comes to a boil (it will begin to rapidly rise in the pot), pour over the chocolate.
Let this sit for about a minute to let the chocolate melt a bit.
Now, using a spatula or wooden spoon, begin to stir in small circles, allowing the chocolate to fully melt.
Once you have a homogenous mixture, add in the softened butter and stir, making sure that it is entirely incorporated.
You now have a ganache!
Now add in the Baileys and stir.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let this all sit for about 20-30 minutes, allowing the ganache you have made to firm up a little.
Now comes the fun part, you get to table your ganache!
This works best on a marble countertop because of its cool temperature. If you do not have one, wood, metal, whatever your beautiful kitchen has for table/counter space, is perfectly fine!
Pour the ganache onto the (clean) countertop. Using a spatula, or an offset spatula, spread it in a thin layer. This agitates the fat crystals in your chocolate, which leads to it setting more firmly and having a smoother bite.
Now you want to put all of that ganache into a pile again, which is most easily done with a bench scraper, but using any flat tool you have works just as well (knife, rubber spatula).
You will want to do this about 3 times, until you have noticed that your soft ganache has stiffened. You can tell it is ready when you can pile up the ganache, put your offset spatula/knife into it and it feels like you are dipping into a jar of peanut butter.
Next, you want to transfer your tabled ganache into a piping bag fixed with a round tip to begin making your truffles.
*Note* This is where always having cold hands (like me!) is a great thing. If your hands are too warm, it will begin to melt the chocolate, making for a gooey mess. Wrapping a towel/paper towels around the piping bag will help in preventing the chocolate from melting.
Now, pipe your truffles onto a piece of parchment paper. The size is really up to you. I pipe mine to be 6-7 grams, which ends up being around 1" in diameter after they are rolled.
Once you have finished piping all of the ganache, let the truffles sit for at least 20 minutes to firm up. They can also be put onto a sheet pan and wrapped in plastic wrap if you would like to store them overnight to finish the following day.
When you are ready to coat them in cocoa powder, roll each truffle into a ball.
Once they have all been rolled, put about 4 or 5 of them into a sifter, add cocoa powder and sift to cover them.
Continue to do this until you have finished with all of your truffles.