Chocolate Truffles with Orange Olive Oil

This past fall, the Aptos Farmers Market had the honor of hosting Fran Gage, a noted author, baker and olive oil aficionado, as a guest speaker that included a book signing of her newest book, The New American Olive Oil. We learned how to choose olive oil, tasted olive oil (two excellent oils from our own farmers market!) and had the pleasure of trying one of her signature recipes: chocolate truffles made with orange olive oil. Who would have thought–olive oil and chocolate? (A healthy guilty pleasure?) This outstanding cookbook is informative, full of stunning photos, a joy to read, and full of exceptional recipes and ideas about how to substitute butter with heart-healthy olive oil with excellent results.

INGREDIENTS:

8 ounces 64% dark chocolate coarsely chopped*
2/3 cup (5 1/4 ounces) heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup (1 ounce) powdered cane sugar
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) orange or blood orange olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

Put the chocolate in a 1-quart vessel, preferably a clear one designed for use with an immersion blender.

Put the cream and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking to dissolve the sugar.

Immediately pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let sit 1 minute. Blend the two together with an immersion blender using a stirring motion, going to the bottom of the vessel, until the ganache becomes less shiny and thickens to a pudding-like consistency, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the orange olive oil in a steady stream, blending constantly. Pour the ganache into a bowl and let it cool to room temperature. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap without touching the ganache. Keep the ganache in a cool room for at least 4 hours or overnight.

To roll the truffles, place a piece of parchment paper on a baking pan. Use a 1-inch ice cream ice cream scoop to make balls of ganache. Put them on the baking sheet.

Put about 1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Dust your palms with some of the cocoa powder. Briefly roll the truffles between your palms to smooth them, then drop them into the bowl of cocoa powder.  After you have made 6 truffles, shake the bowl to completely cover them with cocoa. Transfer the truffles to a plate with your cocoa powder-dusted fingers.

If not serving the truffles immediately, refrigerate them in a bowl with some cocoa powder so they won’t stick together. Before serving, put them on a plate and let them come to room temperature. They will keep for at least a week in the refrigerator.

•Fran suggested using a very high quality dark chocolate, such as Valrhona’s Manjari for the ganache.

YIELD: Makes approximately 36 truffles.

SOURCE: Recipe from The New American Olive Oil: Profiles of Artisan Producers and 75 Recipes by Fran Gage