I love to draw and paint and make photographs. That’s mostly what this blog is about. But I also love to cook. Since the general theme seems to be that I just like to make things, I think it is appropriate to include my love for cooking on my art blog. that’s my story, anyway, and I’m sticking to it.

I made these cute little truffles the other day. This actually my second attempt; I had to try again after not being happy with my first batch. These truffles are flavored with peanut butter and rolled in crushed peanuts and cocoa powder.

homemade peanut butter chocolate truffles

homemade peanut butter chocolate truffles

I found a recipe online and modified it to make these. The original called for a mere three tablespoons of peanut butter, which I thought was not nearly enough. I’m not sure exactly what I used but it was probably almost double that paltry sum.  I also decided not to beat the ganache, but to simply pour it into a glass baking dish and refrigerate it for several hours. I also find that a melon baller is a better tool than an ice cream scoop for portioning and shaping the ganache (I don’t know who keeps around ice cream scoops that tiny – not me!) Before rolling the truffles in either peanuts or cocoa powder, I decided to give them a very thin coating of semi-sweet chocolate. I think the chocolate coating is nice because the peanuts stick to it better. Also, you can use the leftovers to make nice things like this:

salted chocolate dipped strawberries

salted chocolate dipped strawberries

I prefer the truffles coated in chopped peanuts, but truffles rolled in cocoa powder are the most traditional. I always make a few with a cocoa dusting, but I learned the hard way that it is very important to use the right kind of cocoa powder. Natural cocoa powder can be bitter and acidic when raw. Dutch process cocoa is much less bitter. To achieve a thin coating of cocoa I roll the truffles in the powder, let them harden a bit, and then dust off any excess cocoa with my fingers. They still tasted a bit too bitter for my taste, so the next time I make these I think I’ll augment the cocoa powder with some powdered sugar. Even the less bitter dutch process cocoa powder still needs something to round off the flavor a little bit.

The chocolate is important too, of course. Truffles are, after all, mostly just little balls of chocolate. I try to use a good quality semi-sweet baking chocolate. The nice thing about this recipe is that I always have a few ounces of chocolate leftover to nibble on.

All in all, I think my truffles were pretty successful, although not perfect. The texture was improved, I think, by the inclusion of the peanut butter in the ganache. The peanut butter flavor was not too overwhelming, either, which is perfect because truffles are supposed to be all about the chocolate. These truffles might be revisited again soon since I still don’t think I have all of the kinks out, but that’s fine with me. Practice makes perfect, and practicing truffles just means that I get to eat more truffles. It’s hard work, but someone has to do it.

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