These truffles were inspired by Goat Lady Dairy, which I encountered at the farmers market in Greensboro, North Carolina last winter. Her chevre truffles were a blended ganache, about 60% chocolate to 40% chevre, with a bit of vanilla and salt as well – and they were fantastic! Of course, I had to come back home to NYC eventually, so I had to figure out how to make my own replacement instead of just relying on Goat Lady Dairy for my fix.
The Greensboro farmers market was just amazing. It turns out that Goat Lady Dairy does an occasional restaurant sort of like ours (sigh), excepts theirs takes place in their barn. I also met Ross Flynn of Cane Creek Farm, who chatted with me about tasty cow hearts, Ossabaw pigs (apparently more like historical Iberico than the Iberico available today!), and other meaty topics along those lines.
After getting home and going through some experimentation, I came to the conclusion that I liked simple salted chocolate-dipped chevre even better than blended chevre truffles. They look nicer to me, and I love the texture contrast as you bite through the chocolate shell and and the cold, creamy chevre bursts out into your mouth.
I’m a bit fussy, and I only like very mild cheeses. I always buy my chevre at the Union Square or Grand Army Plaza greenmarkets from Lynnhaven Farm, which has the mildest, sweetest, creamiest chevre around. It has just the right level of tanginess for my taste, and it works perfectly in these truffles.
I’ve also included cheat to get you out of having to temper the chocolate. It turns out that if you melt a bit of neutral oil in with your chocolate, it will help stabilize the crystal structure and keep your chocolate from blooming or otherwise appearing to be out of temper. It’s a great trick for dipping things in chocolate when you just don’t have the time or inclination to go through the whole process of actually tempering the chocolate properly. Seems too easy to work, but it does.
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4 oz chevre
4 oz bittersweet chocolate
2 tsp safflower (or other neutral) oil
Maldon (or other crunchy) sea salt
Roll the chevre into small spheres and spread them out on a parchment paper covered baking sheet. Put them in the freezer and allow them to freeze.
The oil lets you cheat on tempering the chocolate. It helps stabilize the crystal structure, and keeps the chocolate from blooming even when it hasn’t been tempered.
Gently melt the chocolate with the oil, stirring it until all lumps are gone. Let it cool a bit.
Dip the chevre spheres into the chocolate and put them back onto the parchment paper to set. Sprinkle a bit of crunchy salt on top of each one after it is dipped – act fast, though, because the chocolate will set very quickly!
Store in the fridge. Serve cold but not frozen.