This recipe will make you look like an experienced chocolatier, even if you don’t know what you’re doing. That’s because Soma’s expert palate works double-time for you here, combining figs and balsamic vinegar with deep chocolatey flavor to create an interesting juxtaposition. They recommend using open-mouth figs from Iran, but any good-quality dried figs will work. They also recommend using their 70 percent chocolate from Camino Verde, Ecuador. However, any good-quality craft chocolate that isn’t too fruity or acidic will do the trick as well. Last but not least, keep a quick reading thermometer handy. “Making chocolates,” says Cynthia, “is all about the right temperature.”
Makes approximately 4 dozen truffles
3 ounces dried figs
5 ounces 35% cream
16 ounces dark 70% chocolate, finely chopped into small pieces
4 teaspoons honey
1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
1.5 ounces aged balsamic vinegar
1 cup cocoa powder
1. Keep butter out at room temperature for approximately 1 hour to soften.
2. Soak dried figs in warm water for 30 minutes until soft, drain off water.
3. Puree the figs or chop as finely as you can. Set aside.
4. In a stainless steel bowl combine the cream, 5 ounces of the dark chocolate, and the honey.
5. Heat a pot of water to a gentle boil and set the stainless steel bowl with the ingredients on top of the pot.
6. Whisk ingredients together until they come together as a shiny and emulsified ganache. When the temperature of the mixture is at 104°F take it off the heat.
7. Cool slightly to 95°F and whisk in soft unsalted butter and fig balsamic vinegar. Taste-test the ganache and add more vinegar if needed.
8. Stir in all the fig paste from step 3.
9. Cool at room temperature for a few hours until slightly stiff and pipeable (like cake icing.)
10. Use a piping bag and a star-shaped piping tip to make little fig-shaped portions. If you do not have a piping bag, you can instead spoon little mounds into cloud-like shapes or form into small balls (approximately 2 teaspoons each).
11. Chill in the refrigerator for an hour.
1. Put 1 cup of cocoa powder in a bowl.
2. Gently melt the remainder of dark chocolate (11 ounces) in a stainless steel bowl on top of a pot of gently boiling water. The chocolate should be melted to 105°F. Once it reaches that temperature, take the bowl off the heat.
3. Take an ice cream scoop or deep spoon and coat it in the chocolate, then turn it upside down to remove excess chocolate. Place truffles one at a time in the center of the scoop, rolling them around to make sure they are completely coated in the chocolate. Then immediately place into the cocoa powder. Shake and move the bowl to ensure the truffle is entirely coated. (You can use disposable gloves for this part or a dipping fork.)
4. Remove the truffles and place in a sieve to remove the excess cocoa powder. Do not shake the sieve, or the truffles will fall apart.
5. Plate for serving. These are best served within a couple days, but they will last in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Take them out of the fridge an hour or so before serving to ensure that they’re room temperature when eaten.