Saturday, April 03, 2010

Salty Balls

The perfect ending to a delicious party: melty-chocolatey-burnt-sugary-goodness.

Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Truffles
I found the original recipe here on Epicurious and adapted it, following some of the reviewers suggestions to double the caramel for a deeper flavor. They kind of look like turds or animal gonads, but if turds or animal gonads were this delicious, we'd have both depleted soil and depleted animal populations. E calls these "Salty Balls" and keeps poking around the refrigerator looking for more. These also led E and I straight to the computer to watch for the hundredth time Alec Baldwin talk about his Schweddy Balls. Do yourself a favor and watch it again.

Though this recipe made 26 truffles, I wish it made more. You will too.

You will need:
20 ounces high quality dark chocolate, divided into 8 ounce and 12 ounce portions
2/3 cup sugar
4 tablespoons water
2/3 cup whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

To make the truffles:
Place 8 ounces of chocolate in the top of a double boiler, add water to the bottom, place over low heat, and melt the chocolate melt slowly (stirring occasionally) while the water below simmers. Once the chocolate has melted completely, remove the top of the double boiler from the bottom and set aside, away from heat.

In a medium sauce pan, stir together the sugar and the water, but do not worry about trying to get the sugar dissolved; just make sure it is wet. Place the pan over medium heat and do not stir. Boil the mixture until it bubbles madly and turns medium brown. You should smell a little smoke from the burning sugar. Carefully pour the cream into the sugar mixture and laugh a little as it bubbles and hisses. Turn the heat to low and stir the lumpy mixture together until the cream and sugar have smoothly combined. Stir in the salt. Remove the pot from the heat, pour the sugar-cream-salt mixture into the melted chocolate and stir until it is thoroughly mixed. Cover the pot and place it in the refrigerator overnight, or at least three hours.

Place the cocoa powder in a small bowl, remove the truffle filling mixture from the refrigerator, and prepare to get your hands dirty. Line a baking pan with foil. Using a spoon, dig out about a tablespoon of filling at a time and roll it between your hands until it is approximately ball shaped. (Yes, it will be sticky. Yes, it will look like you've been gardening. Yes, you get to lick your hands once you've finished.) Drop the ball into the bowl of cocoa powder and roll it around to coat with cocoa. This will help the coating stick to the filling later. Repeat the process with the rest of your mixture. Cover the balls and chill overnight, or at least three hours.

When you're ready to finish the truffles, line a large baking sheet with foil. Follow the directions above to melt the remaining chocolate. Once the chocolate is melted smoothly, remove the top of the double boiler and place it in the counter where you'll work. Working quickly and using a sharp-tined fork, stab a truffle filling shallowly and dip it into the melted chocolate. Drop the coated truffle on the foil lined baking sheet. This isn't as easy as it sounds. Repeat the process with the remaining truffle fillings. When you're finished, if you like, sprinkle a smidgin' of fleur de sel or finely ground salt over the fresh truffles. Cover the pan and place it in the refrigerator.

Technically, these can last a week in the refrigerator, but they won't. You'll eat them all long before then.


Amy said...

Salty Balls and Scweddy Balls (love that) in the same post. Just what I needed to read.

They sound tricky at the end, but I bet even I don't get them quite covered all the way with chocolate, they'll still be damn tasty. Mmm. Thank you!

sarahww said...

I made a schweddy balls comment to Russ while eating and it went unremarked upon. Surprising. (He was probably singularly focused on every. single. bite.)

Julia said...

You have inspired me to go forth and conquer salty balls. I've had this idea for a while, but I want to utilize a chunk of hardened salted dark chocolate caramel I "made". I wonder if it can be done? This recipe has made me want to try.

I recently made truffles and knowing myself, froze them, in order to curtail snarfing them in a few days. They maybe lasted a week.

Michelle said...

I must make those, I will make those. And I will share with my husband, really I will . . . maybe.

Christina said...

Amy: You're welcome! They're very good even if you don't dip them in chocolate, but they're amazing when you do. Don't worry about not getting them perfect. I always tell myself that I get to eat the ugly ones when I'm making something like this, but then I'm worried that I might "accidentally" make too many ugly ones.

SWW: Hee hee.

Julia: Go forth indeed. I hereby commend you to the task of salty ball make-age. I don't know quite what to recommend to do with the dark chocolate caramel you made (other than jab at it with a tough spoon and nibble away at it), but it certainly isn't a horrible thing to have around the house.

Michelle: Ha! If you're husband is like mine and he knows there in the house, you will share because he's going to be ferreting them out. Sharing will therefore be unavoidable. Let me know how these guys work for you.

Unknown said...

I LOVE schweddy balls. Yum! :)