Sunday, October 30, 2016

Halloween Bloody Eyeball Chocolate Truffles

     Bloody Eyeball Chocolate Truffles
     Plain chocolate candy eyeballs are easy to make.  Today's recipe goes a few steps further.  Tempered crisp white chocolate coats a classic brandy dark chocolate ganache truffle center!  White chocolate was tinted to create the black, blue and red color detailed highlights on each bloody eyeballs.
     There is nothing tricky about today's recipe.  An accurate digital candy thermometer or a digital probe thermometer is required for tempering chocolate.  This is because the temperatures for tempering white chocolate fall into a narrow range.      
     Tempering is different than simply melting chocolate and the result is easy to notice.  When chocolate is heated to a melting temperature, the coconut oil is displaced.  When melted chocolate is cooled, it will be semi hard and the finish will have a dull luster.  This is because the oil (cocoa butter) was not recombined with the cocoa.  Candy made with cooled melted chocolate will easily melt when handled with fingers.  A snap sound will not be heard when the piece of cooled chocolate is broken, because the texture is too soft.    
     The characteristics of tempered chocolate are the opposite.  Tempering involves melting chocolate at a specific temperature, then constantly stirring the melted chocolate till it cools to a specific temperature.  This way, the cocoa butter recombines with the cocoa.  After the tempered chocolate cools and solidifies, the chocolate candy will be shiny and hard.  Cooled tempered chocolate candy is hard enough to hear a snap sound when it is broken in half.    
     Ganache also is easy to make!  Chocolate ganache can be flavored and a classic choice is brandy.  Ganache can have a variety of textures, depending on the cream proportion and the amount of time that the ganache is mixed.  For truffles, a firm stiff ganache that is minimally mixed is best.
     Plastic chocolate candy molds were used to make the chocolate truffles.  Thin plastic candy molds are safe to use with tempered chocolate, because the temperature of the chocolate is low.  Plastic Bloody Eyeball Chocolate Candy Molds can be found in craft stores and specialty shops during the Halloween season.  These chocolate molds can also be found at internet shopping websites, like Amazon.
     The assembly of the bloody eyeballs must be done in stages, so this recipe does take some time to make.  The white chocolate shell has to be hardened in the mold, then the ganache filling is set in place.  More white chocolate seals the ganache filling in the candy.  To do this, the candy project must be chilled between each step.  
     Tinting small amounts of white chocolate with liquid food color can be tricky.  Water is the enemy of chocolate, so concentrated food dyes are best.
     The black chocolate pupil and blue chocolate iris are applied directly in the mold.  Painting the red tinted bloodshot eyeball streaks on the raised highlights can be done by dipping the tip of a chopstick in the warm tempered red tinted white chocolate and dragging the chopstick over the raised highlights.
     By the way, I used a hot knife to cut the one truffle open for display in the photos above.  Do not make the mistake of thinking that the white chocolate was soft!  The heated knife blade melted the chocolate truffle as it was sliced open.  A hot knife is the best way to cut tempered chocolate.  

     Tempered White Chocolate:
     This recipe yields more than enough to make 4 Bloody Eyeball Chocolate Truffles. 
     • For chocolate candy making, it is best to melt more chocolate than what is needed.  In fact, the more chocolate, the better.  It is easier to control the temperature of a large quantity of chocolate, than a small quantity.
     • The white chocolate is added to the double boiler in two stages.  A small proportion of white chocolate is added to the melted white chocolate just before the cooling and tempering process begins.   
     • An accurate digital candy thermometer or probe thermometer is necessary.  The exact temperatures are critical for white chocolate tempering!  
     • Do not allow the melted chocolate to come in contact with any liquid or water.  Water is the enemy of chocolate!
     • Any excess tempered chocolate can be cooled and stored.  The extra chocolate can be melted and reused at a later date.  One pound of white chocolate is tempered in this recipe.  
     Step 1:  Select a small pot and a small mixing bowl that can be used as a double boiler.
     Fill the pot half full with water.
     Bring the water to a boil over high heat.
     Reduce the temperature to very low heat and allow the water temperature to stabilize at the lower temperature.
     Step 2:  Place 11 ounces of chopped high quality white chocolate in the small mixing bowl.
     Set the mixing bowl on top of the pot of hot water.
     Clip a candy thermometer in place.
     Constantly gently stir the white chocolate as it melts with a small rubber spatula.
     Step 3:  Bring the melted white chocolate to a temperature of 110ºF.
     Immediately remove the mixing bowl from the heat.
     Add 5 ounces of finely chopped white chocolate, while gently stirring.
     Constantly gently stir till the chocolate reaches 84ºF.
     Step 4:  *The white chocolate is now tempered.  The tempered white chocolate now has to be heated a few degrees, so it can be applied.  Take care not to overheat the white chocolate or it will have to be tempered a second time. 
     Place the mixing bowl of tempered white chocolate back on the double boiler.
     Reheat the white chocolate for about 5 to 10 seconds, till it reaches exactly 87ºF.  (Do not allow the temperature to exceed 89ºF!)
     Step 5:  The white chocolate is now tempered and ready for use
     The white chocolate may have to be reheated to 87º a few times during the bloodshot eyeball candy assembly.  As long as the white chocolate temperature does not drop below 84º, it will not solidify, but it will have to be stirred occasionally.

     White Chocolate Truffle Shell:
     This recipe yields 4 bloody eyeball candies that weigh about 1 1/2 ounces apiece.
     The application of the tinted chocolate and white chocolate are done in stages.    
     Step 1:  Black Eyeball Pupils:  
     Place about 1/2 teaspoon of the warm tempered white chocolate in a small stainless steel ramekin.
     Add 2 drops of black food color, while stirring.
     Allow the chocolate to cool, till it becomes a putty consistency.
     Step 2:  Roll 4 tiny balls of the black colored chocolate, that are the size of a dried split pea.
     Press each ball in place where the pupils are in the bloody eyeball candy molds.
     Place the candy mold in a freezer for a few minutes, so the chocolate becomes solid.
     Step 3:  Blue Eyeball Iris:
     Mix 1 tablespoon of warm tempered white chocolate with 2 drops of blue food color in a stainless steel small ramekin.
     Step 4:  Remove the candy mold from the freezer.
     Spread the blue tinted white chocolate over the black pupil and fill the iris section of the candy mold.
     *Use a sterile piece of paper towel to wipe off any excess if necessary.
     Place the candy mold in the freezer, till the blue tinted chocolate becomes solid.
     Step 5:  White Eyeball: 
     Remove the candy mold from the freezer.
     Spread a thin layer of tempered white chocolate in each bloody eyeball mold.  The layer should be about 1/8" to 3/16" thick.
     *The entire white of the eyeball should be coated.  Any excess can be scooped out after the white chocolate starts to become firm, when it is chilled.
     Chill the candy mold till the chocolate becomes solid.

     Dark Chocolate Ganache Truffle Filling:
     This recipe yields enough dark chocolate truffle to make 4 eyeball candies, plus a few extra truffles.   
     • The chocolate ganache for truffles is rich and thick.  The ganache should be cooled to less than 78ºF, before it is rolled or shaped.
     • You will have to judge how much chocolate truffle filling will be needed for each white chocolate eyeball shell.  If you want to completely seal the dark chocolate truffle with white chocolate like I did, then only fill the shell, so a 1/8" empty space is left at the top.  Then tempered white chocolate can be spread over the dark truffle filling to completely seal the shell with hard white chocolate.
     • As an easy alternative, the dark truffle filling can completely fill the white chocolate shell and no white chocolate seal will be needed. 
     Step 1:  Place 1/2 cup of cream in a sauce pot.
     Place the sauce pot over medium heat.
     Allow the cream to scald.
     Remove the pot from the heat.
     Step 2:  Add 1 ounce of brandy.
     Add 10 ounces of finely chopped Couverture Bittersweet Chocolate.
     Allow the mixture to stand undisturbed for 30 seconds.
     Step 3:  Stir as the chocolate melts, to create the ganache.
     Cool the mixture to 90ºF.
     Step 4:  Immediately add 1 1/2 ounces of soft unsalted butter, while stirring.
     Stir till the truffle ganache is thoroughly mixed.
     Allow the mixture to cool to 78ºF, so it becomes thick enough to be shaped.
     Step 5:  Place the chilled white chocolate bloody eyeball candy mold on a countertop.
     Press a small amount of the truffle ganache into each chilled white chocolate eyeball shell.  (About 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons.)
     Leave a 1/8" space on top of the truffle filling, if you want to seal the truffle filling with white chocolate.
      *An option is to completely fill the white chocolate eyeball candy shells with truffle, if you prefer to leave the eyeball candies unsealed.  Unsealed black truffle will necessitate covering the exposed truffle filling with fancy candy wrapper foil.
     Step 6:  Return the candy mold to the refrigerator and chill till the truffle filling becomes solid.
     *Any excess truffle ganache can be rolled into small ball shapes, then refrigerated till they become solid.  The chilled ganache balls can then be dredged in cocoa powder to create classic truffles.
     Sealing the Truffle Filling inside Bloody Eyeball Candies:
     If you chose to seal the truffle filling in the eyeball candies with the white chocolate, then follow these steps!
     Spread tempered white chocolate over the truffle filling to seal the bloody eyeballs.
     Freeze the candy mold till the chocolate becomes solid.
     Bloody Eyeball Vein Detailing Steps:
     Step 1:  Scrape off or cut off any excess chocolate flash that may surround each eyeball on the candy mold.
     Step 2:  Invert the candy mold onto a chilled plate and pop the chocolate candies out of each mold.
     Trim any flash off of the edges of the eyeballs.
     Freeze the eyeballs, till they become cold.
     Step 3:  Mix 2 drops of red food color with 1 tablespoon of tempered white chocolate in a stainless steel small ramekin.
     Step 4:  Place the plate of chilled bloody eyeballs on a countertop.
     Dip the tip of a chopstick in the red chocolate.
     Drag the red chocolate dipped chopstick tip over the raised veins on each eyeball, to paint the veins.
     *Use the tip of a pairing knife to scrape off any goof ups!
     Chill the finished Bloody Eyeball Chocolate Truffles till the red chocolate solidifies.

     Bloody Eyeball Chocolate Truffles:
     Keep the eyeballs chilled till they are needed.
     Allow the chocolate eyeballs to reach room temperature before serving.
     Present the Bloody Eyeball Chocolate Truffles on a small platter!

     Viola!  Bloody Eyeball Chocolate Truffles for Halloween!

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