‘Nduja Chocolate Truffles

‘Nduja Chocolate Truffles are a little bit special. The hint of the smoky chilli in the ‘nduja makes these truffles incredibly complex and totally moreish.

‘Nduja Chocolate Truffles are a little bit special. The hint of the smoky chilli in the ‘nduja makes these truffles incredibly complex and totally moreish.

‘Nduja is my new favourite ingredient. It’s a rich smoky and spicy spreadable salami originating from Calabria which you can use in just about anything. I had an ‘nudja bloody mary at Jamie’s Fifteen and I’ve been sold on its versatility as an ingredient ever since.

‘Nduja Chocolate Truffles are a little bit special. The hint of the smoky chilli in the ‘nduja makes these truffles incredibly complex and totally moreish.

If you ever want to experiment with an ingredient then chocolate truffles are the way to go. It’s hard to find anything chocolate doesn’t get on famously with. Chocolate and chilli is a classic combo and a pairing with ‘nduja is just a little more complex than that. ‘Nduja is strong stuff so a little goes a long way but nothing that a healthy amount of chocolate and cream can’t handle.

‘Nduja Chocolate Truffles are a little bit special. The hint of the smoky chilli in the ‘nduja makes these truffles incredibly complex and totally moreish.

I have been using a very fruity Madagascan 70% chocolate lately for all my recipes and oh my this chocolate is out of this world. If you can find something similar then I would heartily recommend it but if not then just get the best 70% chocolate you can afford.

‘Nduja Chocolate Truffles are a little bit special. The hint of the smoky chilli in the ‘nduja makes these truffles incredibly complex and totally moreish.

And if you are finding ‘nduja hard to get hold of then a specialist supplier might be your best bet. I sourced mine from Cannon and Cannon, a british charcuterie producer at the farmers’ market but have heart as Ocado have just started stocking ‘nduja too.

‘Nduja Chocolate Truffles are a little bit special. The hint of the smoky chilli in the ‘nduja makes these truffles incredibly complex and totally moreish.

These ‘Nduja Chocolate Truffles are pretty easy to make once you’ve sourced the good stuff. I would recommend making them for a really special someone, or to impress at a dinner party. They will certainly be a talking point. I, of course, made them on a whim on a Saturday evening and had scoffed most of them by Monday, so the rest had to be shipped off to Luke’s office. I am nothing but the perfect role model.

Print Recipe
‘Nduja Chocolate Truffles
Fruity Chocolate Truffles with a hint of smoky sweet spicy 'nduja
‘Nduja Chocolate Truffles are a little bit special. The hint of the smoky chilli in the ‘nduja makes these truffles incredibly complex and totally moreish.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
15 Truffles
Ingredients
  • 225 g dark chocolate
  • 200 g whipping cream
  • 50 g ‘nduja roughly chopped
  • 3 teaspoons light muscovado sugar
  • 20 g cocoa powder
Prep Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
15 Truffles
Ingredients
  • 225 g dark chocolate
  • 200 g whipping cream
  • 50 g ‘nduja roughly chopped
  • 3 teaspoons light muscovado sugar
  • 20 g cocoa powder
‘Nduja Chocolate Truffles are a little bit special. The hint of the smoky chilli in the ‘nduja makes these truffles incredibly complex and totally moreish.
Instructions
  1. Chop the chocolate into small pieces then put into a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Pour the cream, ‘nduja and sugar into a blender and blitz until smooth.
  3. Pour the ‘nduja cream into a small saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring intermittently. Rest for a minute so as not to scorch the chocolate.
  4. Pour the ‘nduja cream over the chocolate pieces and stir together so the chocolate melts completely into the cream, turning into a thick ganache.
  5. Rest the ganache in the fridge for one hour to achieve a rolling consistency.
  6. Remove the ganache from the fridge and shape your truffles by rolling into about 15 small balls in your hands.
  7. To finish roll the truffles in a dusting of cocoa powder.
Recipe Notes
  • You can coat the truffles in tempered chocolate if you like instead of the cocoa powder by following these instructions. It’s a bit more involved but would make for an even more impressive truffle.

Fleur de Sel and Olive Oil Chocolate Truffles

Fleur de Sel and Olive Oil Truffles

Last night I had the joy of addressing all of my lovely fellow members of Stroud Green Women’s Institute about one of my favourite subjects – chocolate.

I was thrilled to be able to talk about how to make the perfect truffle, a subject for which I may be no expert but I certainly make up for it in enthusiasm. The most important aspect to making a good truffle is perfecting the ganache, which is the whipped filling inside a chocolate truffle, but can also be used as icing to adorn a glorious fudge cake. Ganache is made up of chocolate mixed together with a liquid ingredient, and the most common pairing is with cream. 250g of melted dark chocolate + 250ml double cream is the easiest ganache in the world to make. Just pop it in the fridge after you have mixed them together so they can firm up a little which will make it easier to ice your cake or roll them into truffles. You don’t have to use cream in a ganache though or even dairy at all. You can make the most delicious ganache with all sorts of liquid added to the melted chocolate – fruit puree, tea, coffee, hot water infused with fresh mint. The choice is endless and that is the fun of making your own chocolate truffles.

Fleur de Sel and Olive Oil Truffles

The ganache is only half the story though with truffle making. It’s true that you can happily roll stiffened ganache into balls and then coat them in cocoa powder, sprinkles or spices, or even crushed biscuits to finish off a deliciously quick truffle. However, the truffle really comes alive when it is dipped into silky tempered chocolate. The truffle is then left for the tempered chocolate to harden around its soft centre. I have written a post about tempering chocolate here so if you are unsure of what the hell I’m talking about then this is the place to go.

The evening at the WI came together really well and we all got down and dirty with chocolate. We learnt all about where chocolate comes from, how it is made, all the various kinds of chocolate you can buy, what their cocoa percentages mean and most importantly what they all taste like. Getting everyone to taste the Valrhona’s Dulcey chocolate which I was experimenting with earlier this year, was particularly fun with the consensus being that it was just expensive Caramac.

Then we came to the truffle making. I have a few ganache recipes up my sleeve that I have kept meaning to write about, then every time I go to blog about them, somehow they never make it to the picture stage. My most favourite of which is my fleur de sel and olive oil truffles. Guys – it’s happening today. These truffles have been doing the rounds with my friends and family for months now and I have had the best comments from these truffles than anything I have ever made. Those that have been asking for the recipe and to which I have assured them that it will be on the blog soon can breathe a sigh of relief that the day has finally come, then hopefully rush off a whip up a batch.

Fleur de Sel and Olive Oil Truffles

In fact I have made this ganache so many times that it has even been transported from the truffle stage and adapted for use in my favourite cake. Don’t worry, the cake will come in time. Now you will just have to be placated by the glorious truffle version, which is the unadulterated way to eat this most divine of chocolates.

Fleur de Sel is just another word really for fancy salt. It hails most typically from Brittany where the salt crystals which lie on the rocks are left for the water to evaporate out, the top layer of salt crystals are then scraped off the top to become fleur de sel. It’s easy to get hold of online but if you don’t want to wait for the postman then a good sea salt like maldon can be used instead, just not table salt – it wouldn’t be nice. The olive oil to use here should also be the good stuff and I save my best extra virgin olive oil for this very job. The olive oil is used for flavour here rather than anything else and it really does matter that you splash out a bit on this part. I get my fancy olive oil from The Italian Farmers on Stroud Green Road, a bottle of 750ml can cost about £9 but it’s worth it when you try these truffles and you only need a little so it will last an age. The first time I had the combination of chocolate, sea salt and olive oil was at a tapas restaurant in Barcelona many years ago. I don’t remember anything else about that meal but the memory of that sweet, salty, fruity intense combination was one of the most arresting food experiences of my life.

Fleur de Sel and Olive Oil Truffles

The fact that it takes about 10 minutes to knock the ingredients together for this truffle then 10 minutes to roll them out is just a boon. I went the extra haul here though and wrapped them in a snappy tempered chocolate coat and sprinkled a few fleur de sel crystals on top. That crisp shell really is worth the extra effort for the texture contrast between the initial crack of chocolate between your teeth, then the rich velvety chocolate oozing with the fruity notes of olive oil and pep of salt which rests within. The ladies in the class who dipped their truffles in the tempered chocolate definitely noted the difference and how it transforms an everyday chocolate that you make in your kitchen to something a little more professional.

Having said all of that, if you don’t have time to temper the chocolate then you should by no means hold back on making the ganache and then coating them simply in cocoa powder, or even chocolate sprinkles. Believe me, they will go down with your recipients just as well.

So after having spent the past few days making copious amounts of this ganache for my chocolate masterclass, it came to my blog post today when I really wanted to talk about my fleur de sel and olive oil truffles and guess what, I still didn’t have any to photograph – they had all been eaten. So what’s a girl to do but make more. This time these truffles are all for you, no one is touching them before you get to see them. Although I can’t promise what will happen as soon as these photos are taken.

Fleur de Sel and Olive Oil Chocolate Truffles

Makes about 30 truffles

320g dark chocolate
1 tsp fleur de sel
270g whipping cream
2 tsp light muscovado sugar
60g extra virgin olive oil
500g tempered chocolate or 60g cocoa powder
extra fleur de sel for decorating

  1. Chop the dark chocolate into small pieces, put into a large bowl with the fleur de sel and set aside.
  2. Pour the cream and sugar into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Stir through to make sure all the sugar is dissolved. Rest for 1 minute so as not to scorch the chocolate.
  3. Pour the cream over the chocolate pieces and salt and stir together so the chocolate melts completely into the cream and turns thick and glossy.
  4. Slowly pour the olive oil into the chocolate ganache, mixing all the while to ensure the oil is completely absorbed into the chocolate.
  5. Rest the ganache in the fridge for 1 hour.
  6. Remove the ganache from the fridge and shape your truffles by rolling into little balls in your hands. Each truffle should weigh about 18g so you should be able to produce about 30 truffles.
  7. At this point you can either dust the truffles in cocoa powder or you can coat with tempered chocolate.

How To Temper Chocolate

Everything you need to know about how to temper chocolate
Making your own chocolate truffles and hand filled chocolates is a bit of an indulgence.  It requires some time and a little bit of patience to learn how to temper chocolate but a whole lot of satisfaction.  If you find the whole process slightly intimidating then have no fear, it is much easier than you think and once you have done it a few times, you may find making your own beautifully hand filled chocolates more than a little addictive.  Or maybe that’s just me, but I don’t hear any complaints from friends or family.

Why do you temper chocolate?

Chocolate does not need to be tempered if you are melting chocolate for everyday use such as adding into cakes, buttercreams, biscuits or tarts.  However, if the finished look and texture of the chocolate is important, such as if you are coating truffles, creating chocolate cages for your cakes, making Easter Eggs, chocolate bark or hand-filled chocolates then you will need to temper the chocolate. Chocolate bars we buy from the supermarket have already been tempered but if we melt the chocolate we are taking it out of temper, which means that the crystallisation of the cocoa butter will run amok. We need to take these crystals into line by regulating the temperature of the chocolate during the melting process. Think of the lovely glossy shine of an Easter egg right before you break it apart with a glorious crack.  Without tempering, chocolate will bloom, giving it a dull white streaky appearance and with no satisfying snap, the chocolate will crumble miserably.

Marble Slab Method

There are two main ways of tempering chocolate, the marble slab method and the seeding method.  The marble slab method gives a more consistent result if you are dealing with large amounts of chocolate but it does require you to have a large marble slab or countertop. The seeding method, which I am concentrating on here, is more suitable for tempering chocolate at home as you can temper less with more control and you are not pouring chocolate all over your kitchen. Well, at least that isn’t the aim.

Seeding Method

The only bit of special equipment required for the seeding method is a digital thermometer. I definitely have a preferred instrument – my thermapen (thermapen.co.uk) – as it reads the correct temperature immediately. Some of the cheaper digital thermometers do have to be held in the chocolate for thirty seconds or so to confirm an accurate reading which could be the pivotal amount of time to drive up your temperature and lead to over-tempering, plus they have annoying wires which really get in the way. Thermapens are not the cheapest but they come in different colours and if you shop around some of the colours are strangely cheaper than others.

How To Temper Chocolate

How much chocolate do you need?

The minimum amount of chocolate you can temper successfully is about 300g, any less and you will have difficulty getting an accurate temperature reading. More chocolate means the temperature gauge can fully immerse in the chocolate, plus you will have more control with the more chocolate you are handling.

What kind of chocolate do you need?

I recommend buying good quality chocolate chips rather than relying on Green and Black bars, mainly due to the cost, as it is so much cheaper to buy chocolate in bulk online than in single bars from the supermarket. Also chocolate chips will melt much quicker which will really help when you are adding your seed back into your chocolate. Now, you also can’t buy just any old chocolate chips, if you are spending your afternoon tempering chocolate and covering some delicious chocolate truffles then you really want the chocolate to be of the utmost quality. Of course you can go absolutely crazy with this as different brands can be astronomical, but a good place to start is Belgian Callebaut chocolate chips as they are reasonably priced and are also delicious. I buy my chocolate online from www.chocolatetradingco.com as they have a very good selection. The different types of chocolate, dark, milk or white work to different crystallisation temperatures, so do read be careful that you follow the correct method for the correct type of chocolate.

I always wear latex kitchen gloves when handling melted chocolate as it will get all over your hands, your kitchen work surface, spoons, bowls and the floor. Melting, then cooling, melting, then cooling. Also chocolate moulds can be messy if you are not used to them. Gloves mean there is less temptation in licking all that molten goodness off your fingers and you can concentrate on the task at hand.

How many times can you re-temper chocolate?

You can re-temper the chocolate 3-4 times so don’t worry about the amount of chocolate you are melting if you actually only need about half. You can always have a few chocolate projects on the go. However, once you are done with the tempering you will usually have some spare melted chocolate left sitting in your bain marie. For this reason my home made chocolates always come with some brownies on the side as you do not want that chocolate to go to waste. Remove the chocolate from your bain marie whilst it is still in a molten state otherwise it will pretty impossible to shift once solidified.

Once you get the hang of it tempering chocolate is really quite easy. Making homemade chocolates is a lovely way to spend the day. The Easter weekend is the perfect time to tackle such a project with the obvious reward being lots of delicious chocolates which will cost a hell of a lot less than those you will get from your fancypants chocolatier and a million times more delicious than Terry’s All Gold.

Everything you need to know about how to temper chocolate

How to Temper Dark Chocolate

For tempering white or milk chocolate look to the table below for the different temperatures to work with, the rest of the method remains the same.

  1. Measure out your chocolate, then set aside ⅓ of the chocolate to create the seed.
  2. Place the first ⅔ of the chocolate in a bain marie or a metal bowl set over a saucepan with 1 inch of hot water in it. The water should not be boiling and should not be touching the bottom of the metal bowl.
  3. Melt the chocolate very slowly, stirring occasionally but always checking the temperature. You want it to reach 55°C which is usually just after all the chocolate has melted.
  4. As soon as the melted chocolate reaches this temperature, remove the metal bowl from the heat and place on a tea towel to halt the heating.
  5. Tip your ⅓ of chocolate seed into the molten chocolate and stir in very quickly and firmly so that the chocolate melts completely. You need the temperature to reduce to 27-28°C. This could take about 10 mins of constant stirring. If by this stage your seeded chocolate has not completely melted you need to remove the lumps as these will impair the finished temper of the chocolate.
  6. As soon as the temperature has dropped to 27-28°C then place the metal bowl back on the heat and bring back up to 31-32°C. It can take just moments so keep stirring with the thermometer at hand to monitor.
  7. When your chocolate has reached 31-32°C it is now in temper and is ready to use.
  8. If you are able to keep the chocolate between 31-32°C whilst you are using it then that is ideal, however, if not then you need to work very quickly coating your truffles or filling your moulds otherwise the temperature will drop out of temper. As the chocolate cools it will thicken and become impossible to manipulate.
  9. If you let your chocolate rise above 31-32°C then you will have over-tempered the chocolate and will need to start again by raising it to 55°C and taking it from there.

chocolate tableTable adapted from Paul A. Young’s Adventures in Chocolate

STEP 1 STEP 2 STEP 3 STEP 4 STEP 5

Easter Egg

How To Temper Chocolate

Quick Guide on How To Temper Chocolate

This is a long post so if you want a quick easy reference on the basic points of how to temper chocolate then download my quick guide on how to temper chocolate at the link below!

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