Alcohol as a truffle “preservative”
Posted: 16 December 2012 06:13 PM   [ Ignore ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3149
Joined  2010-04-25

Hi, all!

I have read that both invert sugar and alcohol help extend the shelf life of truffles.

I’m using 1-3/4 lbs of chocolate (4 oz unsweetened, 8 oz 60%, 8 oz 52%, 8 oz 31% milk), and going to add 1T of Lyles to it, but I was also going to add about 3T of alcohol (which is, officially, about 1/2 as much as most truffles-with-alcohol use).

However, I only have 1 small bottle (i.e., the little tiny kind) on hand—about 2T—of Khaluah.  I do have some nice Penzy’s vanilla, though, and I was wondering if a tablespoon or two of that would also have a preservative effect.  I didn’t know if only certain types of alcohol work—for example, liquors, but not whatever they make vanilla in.

Do you think that would give a too-strong vanilla flavor?  The chocolate is (mostly) callebut—the 100% is ghiradelli—and none have vanilla.

If it doesn’t seem like it would work well, I can always stop by the ABC and pick up some Frangelico and use it instead of the khalua and vanilla.

Thoughts, oh, those of you wise in the ways of booze?

Thanks!!

—ak

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 December 2012 08:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4783
Joined  2008-04-16
Anne in NC - 16 December 2012 10:13 PM

I have read that both invert sugar and alcohol help extend the shelf life of truffles.

Alcohol, yes, invert sugar, probably, if the concentrations are right.  Sugar works as a preservative by attracting water and raising osmotic pressure, but the concentration has to be in a certain range for it to work as a preservative.  And any sugar will work, the act of boiling it in solution normally creates invert sugars.

The main focus should be on preserving the cream- so be sure to either bring it to a boil twice or to simmer very gently for a couple of minutes, and use cream that is as far from its use-by date as possible.  I’m not sure of the exact concentrations of alcohol and sugar that are needed to act as preservatives, but you can refrigerate or freeze truffles, just be gradual about temp changes, and avoid any warm temps that might cause the chocolate to lose its temper.

I do have some nice Penzy’s vanilla, though, and I was wondering if a tablespoon or two of that would also have a preservative effect.

  Extract has a similar alcohol content to hard liquor (i.e., vodka, rum, brandy, etc.) and a higher alcohol content than liqueurs like Kahlua or Frangelico, so yes, it will have the same effect.

Do you think that would give a too-strong vanilla flavor?

Hard to know without tasting it.  In general vanilla goes best with milk chocolate or with ganache with a higher proportion of cream, or with nut-chocolate or caramel-chocolate mixtures.  If you plan on refrigerating or freezing the truffles, then you can add ingredients to taste, rather than to meet a certain threshold for preservation.  If that’s not possible then you might want to pick up some vodka or white rum to fulfill the alcohol requirement.  Frangelico sounds great, too if mixing with Kahlua and vanilla.

 Signature 

B&T Blog:  Cultured Butter Recipe

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 December 2012 10:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3149
Joined  2010-04-25

Thank you, Julie! 

It’s good to know that the Lyle’s won’t be necessary—don’t really want to sweeten it anyway, as my chocolate combo is hovering around 55%.

It didn’t occur to me to mix the Kahlua and Frangelico!  I knew the flavors would go, but was worried that the alcohol bases wouldn’t “mix”!  Maybe I’ll use, then, about 2T each of those, and 1T vanilla.

Hopfully, the people I give them to will scarf them up and shelf life won’t be a concern, and I will let them know they can be refrigerated or frozen, but I’d hate for someone to bite in to something nasty!!!!!

I’m not using cream in this case—I’m using canned coconut milk (Thai kitchen, not “lite”).  I’m refrigerating the cans and will take the thicker part off the top.  The coconut milk itself has about 52g fat for 240 g coconut milk, which is about 22% fat, so I’m thinking that by taking the “top part,” I’ll get closer to the 35% fat of cream.  Maybe coconut milk keeps better than cream?  I’ll still simmer it lightly, though, since I’ll use it to melt the chocolate.

Thank you again!  Your broad knowledge always amazes me.

—ak

Profile
 
 
   
  Back to top