Captain Kirk: “Wow, I can’t believe it’s not ganache!”
Bones McCoy: “It’s ganache, Jim. But not as you know it”
Well, that’s what I think the exchange would be on the starship Enterprise, had Captain Kirk been presented with one of these chocolately delights. Hot damn, if you’re a star graduate of the Starfleet Academy, you’d be wanting to keep in great shape. But no-one should miss truffles. Who better to appreciate the matter-antimatter complexities inherent in creating a lighter version of the classic truffle, without sacrificing the creamy lushness we all adore? Mixing chocolate with non-fat (aka anti-matter) ingredients?
Interestingly enough, it’s not just a massive KABOOM with only a spray of photons (aka light or cacao powder in this case) to show for our efforts. Like water for chocolate … it’s all in the order in which you do things … which sea of yummy atoms is kept warm, which is kept cool, and which is added to which, in what order, before they fuse in a plasma (ok ganache) of chocolatey creamy mmmmmm …
So I’ve created my own anti-ganache to use for truffles, or as a filling for cakes, tarts, muffins … or to eat with a spoon perchance
It defies the laws of ganache making but the result is a perfect ganache texture but with a flavour that is lighter and more tangy than a traditional ganache. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of making ganache with creme fraiche, you’ll have some idea of what I’m talking about. So maybe you don’t have to stop at just one …
I know what Spock would say: “Fascinating … “ but he’d follow that with “It’s logical“. Yeah, he would.
I’ve given two amounts for the yoghurt in the ingredients list. The lower amount is perfect for making truffles. The higher amount is perfect if you want to use the ganache as a frosting or filling for cakes, cupcakes or desserts. It’s the perfect consistency for piping or spreading and won’t set as much as the truffle mixture. The frosting version is also great to serve as a fast, easy alternative to chocolate mousse. It’s takes all of a few minutes to make and serve.
I used Chobani 0% Greek yoghurt for its fabulous thick creamy texture and flavour. It’s a lot like creme fraiche, without the calories and fat. I’ve also made the truffles and lighter ganache with the Chobani 2% yoghurt. Both are wonderful, the latter has a slightly richer flavour. If you are unable to find Chobani yoghurt, choose the best flavoured plain yoghurt you can find and strain it. You will need roughly double the amount of yoghurt to get the amount in the recipe after it is strained (i.e. 240 – 400 grams or so).
The possibilities are endless in the chocolate universe, are they not?
I’ll be posting some more ganache “alternatives” soon …
Macros are included below for anyone, like me, that needs to know. The plain ganache, without coating or flavourings added has around 2/3 the kCals, two times the protein, and only half the total and saturated fat of conventional truffles. Sobering
Makes about 20 truffles (220 grams of ganache)
100 grams good quality dark chocolate (70% – 100% cacao)
120 – 200 grams thick 0% Greek yoghurt (I used Chobani 0% Plain)
pinch of Fleur de Sel or other sea salt
5 grams unsweetened shredded coconut**
** you can use anything you like to coat the truffles. I would avoid cacao powder as the moisture in the truffles tends to absorb the cacao powder after a while, spoiling the appearance (but not the flavour). Good options are finely chopped nuts, cacao nibs (oh mamma!), even colourful sprinkles if that’s your thing!
Chop the chocolate into small even-sized pieces and place in a heatproof bowl. I find a glass or Pyrex bowl is the absolute best for melting and tempering chocolate. It retains the heat evenly so the chocolate melts evenly and keeps its temper. We don’t need to worry about tempering the chocolate for these truffles this time, of course.
Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure that no steam or condensation gets into the chocolate. Let the chocolate melt and remove the bowl to a bench and stir until smooth. Alternatively, place the bowl into the microwave for 60 seconds. Remove and stir until the chocolate is evenly melted. There should be no lumps in the chocolate.
Now grab yourself a hand-held wire whisk. Don’t own one? What??? *breathes deeply to calm herself* LOL. OK, get one. No kitchen is complete without a whisk.
Have whisk, will travel.
Trust me. You can’t drag your bench top appliances around the globe but you can go anywhere with a whisk. You’ll never be caught out.
So grab that whisk! Add the yoghurt to the chocolate. Don’t panic. There will be no seizures here today. Whisk 120 grams of the yoghurt into the chocolate. Keep whisking until the mixture is smooth. If you have used a higher percentage chocolate, particularly above 90%, you may need to add a little more yoghurt to achieve a thick, smooth ganache. If so, add a little more, as needed. As a guide, I’ve made this with 99% cacao chocolate and I used up to 140 grams of yoghurt in that case.
If you are making the ganache to use as a filling, use the full 200 grams of yoghurt for a lighter texture, perfect for piping or spreading as a frosting on cakes, cupcakes, etc.
At this point you can add any flavourings that you wish. Whisk gently to incorporate them.
Cover and refrigerate for about 20 – 30 minutes. Form into truffles and coat in the coconut. Store in the refrigerator.
These truffles will keep for several days stored in an airtight container in the fridge. I do think, though, that they are at their best if eaten within 24 hours.
If you are making this to eat as a mousse, serve immediately. If you refrigerate it, it will set to some extent.
I’ve provided macros here for anyone for whom they’re important (that includes me!). I’ve used macros for the Chobani 0% plain yoghurt. For the chocolate, I have used values based on the Lindt Excellence 70% and 99% chocolates. I’ve done this for two reasons. Firstly, Lindt Excellence (plain) is a good quality dark chocolate and secondly, it’s both affordable and widely available. It is also fairly indicative of the macro values for chocolates of these intensities.
I’ve also included macros for a standard truffle ganache based on the same quantity of cream (35% fat) substituted for the yoghurt. This shows the difference in protein, fat and calories.