Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pop Rocks Truffles

Though these white chocolate truffles sparkle like gems, they act more like firecrackers. One bite into the smooth, delicate white chocolate ganache and you are quickly surprised with the familiar snap, crackle, and pop of Pop Rocks candy. Like bubbles of champagne, this sweet indulgence is fit for a celebration, which works perfectly because it just so happens to be my birthday this weekend.

They are a bit of a contradiction; truffles are supposed to be fancy and classy and here I am rolling them in loud, obnoxious Pop Rocks. When I think of truffles I see French chefs with tall chef hats mixing chocolate very intently. Then I think of Pop Rocks and see myself as a kid with a sugar high licking the candy off my hand and laughing with my mouth open as it sizzles on my tongue. It’s kind of an unintentional reflection of my personality and a metaphor/reminder to not take myself too seriously—especially as I turn another year older.

“Ganache” sounds pretty extravagant but it’s really just a mixture of chocolate and boiled heavy cream. Depending on the ratio of chocolate to heavy cream you can make everything from glazes, to sauces, to cake fillings with ganache. If you make ganache stiffer and heavier it can be refrigerated and rolled into balls to make truffles. I used white chocolate because I wanted the colors of the Pop Rocks to stand out, but you can use this exact recipe (minus the vanilla bean) to make any kind of chocolate truffle that you want.

Truffles can be rolled in a variety of coatings from cocoa powder to toasted coconut, and can even be dipped into more melted chocolate. I, of course, went the Pop Rock route. I was lucky to find the candies in several different flavors/colors at a cute little ice cream shop in my town. The mosaic of colors is really pretty and the truffles themselves are a perfect balance of sophistication and childhood fun. I said that Pop Rocks reminded me of being a kid but who am I kidding? I bought an extra bag for myself and was popping and rocking by the handful.

Pop Rocks Truffles
Yield:  12-15 truffles
- 8 ounces white chocolate, chopped fine
- 4 ounces heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 vanilla bean
- 6 packets assorted colors/flavors Pop Rocks candy
1) To make the ganache: Place the white chocolate in a stainless steel bowl.  In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the heavy cream and butter. Scrape the vanilla bean into the heavy cream mixture and bring to a boil. Pour over the white chocolate and stir until the chocolate is fully melted and smooth. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
2) Using a melon baller, scoop out portions of the ganache onto a parchment-lined sheet tray. Refrigerate for another 30 minutes.
3) Pour the Pop Rocks into a bowl. Quickly roll the portions of ganache into balls, then roll in the pop rocks to fully coat. Keep truffles refrigerated until serving.  

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