The final construction is an earl-grey ganache overmolded with dark chocolate within a one-part mold. The basic steps are:
Most steps require 5-20 minutes of refrigeration. Expect to spend 2 hours.
This can be prepared in advance.
Master Class: Classic Chocolate Truffles
I did this with a double-boiler, and I have promised myself that I will never do that again. The temperature swings up extremely quickly, and I ended up re-tempering 3 times… and applying a healthy dose of "good enough" at the end. I want to try this either in a sous vide or a self-regulating crucible. I didn't have enough free hands to photograph this process. Maintaining the chocolate's temper while making the truffles was beyond my solo capability. If you haven't done this before, have a sous chef or two to help here.
Chocolate Tempering: How To Temper Chocolate
Make sure the mold is clean and dry. Any moisture will seize the chocolate.
Use a rubber brush or a spoon to apply a thin layer of tempered chocolate to the surface of the mold cavity. Any voids in this layer will cause the resulting truffle to crack on demolding.
Cracked outer shell due to small void in the first layer
Allow this layer to setup in the refrigerator for 5 minutes.
The temperature of the ganache has to balance between hot enough for a low viscosity and cool enough to not upset the first layer. I eyeballed this by watching it pour from a spoon.
Put the ganache in a plastic bag and snip the corner. A smaller hole is easier to work with, a few millimeters is plenty if your temperature is good.
Pour enough ganache into each cavity so there is still room for layer 3.
Tap the mold to release bubbles. A warm ganache and a cold layer 1 will make this easier.
I ran out of the Earl Grey ganache and filled the rest with a COTS peppermint chocolate.
Refrigerate to set.
Make sure the chocolate is still tempered. I gave up on this aspect, see rant above. Non-tempered chocolate will still work, but it will melt at a lower temperature and may look moldy.
Seal each cavity with tempered chocolate. I started this process with a spoon, but found that a silicone spatula was more effective. Flowing the chocolate around the ganache is relatively easy at 88F, but near impossible at 80F. Bring a partner!
Refrigerate to set once more. I let this go overnight, but it should be ok after an hour or so.
The Sorta Clear 37 released the truffles beautifully. Being able to see through the underside showed exactly what parts were still connected, and guided light pressure to release. That said, the COTS mold is thin-walled, which made it possible to simply invert the cavities. I might try thin-walling in the future.
If layer 3 connects adjacent truffles, snap or slice this first.