Truffle Cracks?!?

1,403
37
Joined Jan 1, 2001
I've been having fun making truffles again. The centers are nice, creamy and rich but I'm having some problems with my finished product. Maybe some of the other pastry chefs here can give me some advice.
The recipes I'm using for the truffle centers are very soft at room temp (68?F) so I must chill them before I can dip into tempered chocolate. I let them warm until they are just below room temp and still firm enough to dip.
After dipping they set up nicely--I can still temper chocolate after all these years! But within 10 minutes of cooling the outer shell cracks!
Any suggestions?

Thanks a million, folks!
 
415
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Joined Jan 15, 2001
Yes, I've had that problem too. Usually happens when the ganache is too cold. Maybe try double dipping or making ganache a bit more firm?
 
2,938
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Joined Mar 4, 2000
I've had that prob. too, and I find that piping the ganache into a choc. shell, and then dipping that (or not) makes for a perfect, uniform truffle with no cracks.
 
1,403
37
Joined Jan 1, 2001
I should add that I've been using a 70% dark chocolate for the ganache and the coating. I was wondering if tempering in a little extra cocoa butter would provide more elasticity to the coating, thus eliminating the cracking problem.
Has anyone used this as a remedy?
The cracking doesn't seem to happen with the milk and white chocolate varieties.

As a side note, this problem has not been addressed in any of the chocolate books I've referenced-"Real Chocolate" by Chantal Coady or " The Art of Chocolate" by Elaine Gonzales.
 
2,938
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Joined Mar 4, 2000
I never did try cocoa butter, but I've tried shortening and paramount crystals, which helped slightly. I've also used the non-tempering chocolate, which sets slightly softer than real chocolate, and that still cracked. I don't know if cocoa butter would help, because the fact remains that the filling expands, and any hard thin coating won't withstand the pressure. If you do try it, please let us know whether you notice a difference.
 
799
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Joined Feb 21, 2001
For what it's worth, this is straight out of my notes from chocolate class. I think we also used to equalize the time the centers spent in the fridge and how long they sat at room temp before dipping.

center too cold- condensation forms around filling eventually causing sugar bloom, there will be a thick layer of chocolate around filling, cocoa butter will set unevenly, coating will crack
Chocolate coating should set evenly from outside inwards
 
1,839
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Joined May 29, 1999
to keep the truffles from cracking,
hand roll set truffle filling in thin coat of tempered choc, let set and roll or dip in final coat.


the extra layer keeps things together.
 
2,938
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Joined Mar 4, 2000
I wish that method had worked for me; unfortunately, my truffles were too stubborn to obey!:mad:
 
1,403
37
Joined Jan 1, 2001
Tried your suggestion this morning, M......bummer, still cracked and also did this other strange thing.
Little worms of ganache oozed out of the little cracks. Weird.

I guess I'll have to go to a firmer ganache with less cream and butter.
Oh well, it's little loss as all my ingredients were leftovers from a styling job.

The nieghbors, thankfully, don't mind the cracks and are happy to get free chocolates.
I wish there was a way to give them all to you folks.
 
1,640
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Joined Mar 6, 2001
You can play and whip your ganche until it's firm at room temp. If you whip your ganche it becomes firm.....granted that totally changes the texture... BUT it's sort of fun/different.

If your just playing around with left overs, you could try warming them over a water bath, then whipping until almost firm. Then pipe quickly into balls.
 
49
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Joined Mar 12, 2001
here is a rather easy solution. before you even make your ganach which sounds a little high in cocoa butter. I rarely use chocolate that is higher than 50 % for the filling and I use 64 % for dipping or for injected molds. so anyway before you make your ganach take a little tempered couverture and spread it out very thin onto a peice of parchment paper. just before it sets take a small round cutter and cut out small discs. when you are finished with that take your ganach and pipe it onto your couverture discs. let them sit for about 12 hrs.room temp of copurse and they should develope a thin crust. now they are ready to be hand dipped.
Good luckl
Danno
 
415
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Joined Jan 15, 2001
Yes danno, that is a great idea!
I just went to a truffle class held by William Leahman, pastry chef of Essential Baking Co. in Seattle and he said the same thing about ganache fillings and cocoa mass. He lets his truffles set overnight before sealing or dipping.
 
1,839
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Joined May 29, 1999
I just made an 81.5% filling with 64% enrobing chocolate. They were dry and no cracks. The raspberry white chocolate and tanquery white chocolate enrobed in 64% cracked, they were very soft ganaches.
I will try the disk, we used to do them with a "kiss" shaped ganach and dipped in white then in dark chocolate so it looked like a snow capped mountain.
 
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