Celebrate Your Clients with Valentine’s Day Truffles

Filed under: Recipes , Tags: , , — Author: Caron Golden , February 11, 2014

Heart truffles

We know from talking with you on our forums that many of you enjoy making special treats for your clients. Well, Valentine’s Day is at the end of the week and we thought you’d like to have at least one sweet option on hand. Truffles.

In San Diego, we have a dangerous chef friend, Andrea Davis. Andrea is dangerous because she’s so good at what she does, which is truffle making. Andrea’s Truffles puts out 500 to 800 truffles a week, which are sold at a variety of locations around San Diego. Once a savory chef, she takes that understanding of flavor pairings and extends it to chocolate, with often whimsical varieties, including Bacon Whiskey and Spicy Cinnamon with Tequila, Peanut Butter with Cap’n Crunch Brittle, and Sculpin Pretzel Bark (made with local Sculpin beer).

bacon and whiskey truffles2

For Valentine’s Day, she’s making Strawberry Champagne for the restaurant 100 Wines, Blood Orange Chocolate with Humbolt Fog Goat Cheese and Chocolate Praline for Ripe North Park, and Bucherondin Goat Cheese with Homemade Raspberry Jam. She does pairings with breweries, coming up with truffles like Goat Cheese and Blood Orange Truffle to pair with a Jucundus Orange Honey Wheat ale.

Bucherondin Raspberry truffle

If you’re ever in San Diego, you should definitely check out her website or Facebook page to learn where her truffles are. But, in the meantime, Andrea offered some of her best truffle making tips.

The first, of course, is clear by looking at them. They’re not the traditional truffle shape—as in round and dusted with cocoa powder to imitate truffles rooted out from the dank ground. Davis admits that she’d been watching Alton Brown on TV making truffles and when she saw him pour the ganache into a half sheet, then slice them into squares like a brownie she had an aha moment and switched out her technique.

Davis uses a combination of Callebaut and Valhrona chocolate as the base of her ganache, into which she blends butter, cocoa powder, and cream, going low and slow with the heat. If she adds alcohol like tequila or beer to the ganache she takes out an equal amount of the cream. When it’s thoroughly blended she pours the ganache into aluminum trays lined with plastic wrap since the cooled and set ganache is the easier to lift out so she can unwrap it and slice it into squares.


Davis dips the truffles in tempered chocolate, relying on touch to let her know when the chocolate is cool enough to dip. She places each truffle on a fork to quickly dunk, turn, and lift out. Both the ganache and the tempered chocolate must be cool enough so that the chocolate doesn’t run and puddle around the truffle when it’s placed back.

While the tempered chocolate is still soft after the dousing, David adds the finishing touches. It could be lime zest and cinnamon, gold dust, sea salt, or brown sugar.

Spicy cinnamon with tequila2

Have we lured you into trying your hand at this for client gifts? If so, find a basic truffle recipe that includes chocolate, heavy cream, butter, and cocoa powder—not condensed milk. Then take to heart Andrea’s additional half dozen tips:

1. When it comes to flavors, think about what works with what and remember that less is more. You don’t have to mix them all together in the ganache either. You can always sprinkle some on top for an extra punch. For example, Andrea makes a green tea and white chocolate truffle but to round it out she sprinkles cinnamon on top.
2. With chocolate, use the best ingredients you can afford.
3. Layer your flavors. Don’t mix everything together at once. Build the flavors as you’re cooking the ganache or the caramel.
4. When using alcohol in the ganache, take out the equivalent amount of cream so it doesn’t get runny.
5. When incorporating a dark stout or wine, first reduce the liquid to half to capture more of the flavor when it’s blended with the chocolate.
6. When using tequila you’ll find that it actually makes the ganache sturdier, so take that into account and don’t use a heavy hand. The tequila also keeps its flavor so, again, don’t use so much that it will overpower the chocolate.

Do you have favorite truffle flavor combinations? Please leave a comment and let us know.

Not an APPCA member? Now’s the perfect time to join! Go to personalchef.com to learn about all the benefits that come with membership.

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Caron Golden


Founder of premier organization of personal chefs inspires students to follow their dreams of culinary entrepreneurship.

Candy Wallace, executive director of the American Personal & Private Chef Association (APPCA), today was recognized by Sullivan University’s National Center for Hospitality Studies as its 33rd Distinguished Guest Chef.

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