There’s nothing simple about the bean-to-bar chocolate operation taking place at any given time inside Hillcrest’s Izard Chocolate. Canvas bags of cacao beans are arriving from exotic locales—Belize, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica. Roasters are roasting. Grinders are grinding. Temperers are … you see where we’re going here. It’s a complex process, to say the least. But chocolate truffles? Head chocolatier Nathaniel Izard says there’s nothing simpler—mere truffle, one might say. “It’s just chocolate and heavy cream,” he says with a shrug. Here, he offers his basic ganache recipe with tips for experimentation. “Just be sure to use really high-quality ingredients,” he says. “After that? Easy.”
205 grams dark chocolate, finely chopped
100 grams heavy cream
30 grams corn syrup
20 grams cognac or other liqueur
5 grams room-temperature butter, cubed
Cocoa powder for dusting
Heat heavy cream and corn syrup over low heat. Once boiling, pour cream over chopped chocolate in a bowl; allow mixture to sit for 1 minute to melt chocolate. Using a whisk, emulsify until smooth. Stir in butter, and then stream in cognac. Pour onto parchment paper, cover in plastic wrap, and let cool until ganache reaches a plasticky consistency, 30 minutes to an hour. Roll into balls and coat in cocoa powder.
Izard likes to use a single-origin chocolate in his basic ganache, allowing the chocolate’s subtleties to stand on their own. For instance, Izard’s Dominican Republic bars have notes of tart raspberry; the Belize bars offer up hints of cherry.
Double the amount of booze, and ease up on the heavy cream—so 80 grams of heavy cream, 40 grams of whiskey. Izard uses Rock Town Distillery’s bourbon whiskey.
Add a bag of chai tea (or the loose-leaf tea equivalent—Izard likes Bollywood Chai from The Reluctant Trading Experiment) to 120 grams of heavy cream. Once boiling, remove tea bag (or use a strainer if using loose tea) and pour cream over chocolate. Forego the cognac, and increase the butter by 5 grams.
This one’s simple—just add a handful of mint leaves to 120 grams of heavy cream (you’re not going to use cognac in this one). Once boiling, strain over chocolate.