Ever since I first saw the recipes for the lavender truffles and the lemon-thyme truffles, I was eager to make them both. I made the lavender truffles a couple of weeks ago Time for Truffles but only just got around to making the lemon-thyme truffles. The original recipe called for dark chocolate, but that combination just did not seem to appealing to me. So instead of using dark chocolate, I chose to make them with white chocolate. I think white chocolate is a better choice for the lemon-thyme flavor combination.
When white chocolate was actually invented is still a mystery, however it is readily accepted that it was created in Switzerland, by the Nestle Chocolate Company in the 1930’s, probably around the same time milk chocolate was invented. Their ingredients are almost identical, with the exception of cocoa beans and the chocolate liquor (the chocolate tabs used to make chocolate). Because there is no chocolate liquor or cocoa solids used when making white chocolate, there is very little caffeine or theobromine found in white chocolate. But don’t be fooled into thinking white chocolate is healthier for you. It contains a lot of sugar and fat. In 2004, The U.S. government regulations required that white chocolate contain at least 20% cocoa butter, 14% total milk solids, 3.5% milk fat, and no more than 55% sugar or sweeteners. The European standards are very similar, although they do not have the regulations on the sugars or sweeteners. It is believed that both milk chocolate and white chocolate were created as a way to use the excess coca butter that was extracted when making cocoa powder. Europeans do not consider white chocolate as a real chocolate, although here in the United States, we do. The difference between dark chocolate and white chocolate is in the process of how it is made. Dark and milk chocolates are made from cocoa beans, whereas white chocolate is not. Cocoa beans are composed of 54% cocoa butter, and that is a naturally occurring fat that is produced as a by-product when making cocoa powder.
White Chocolate Lemon-Thyme Truffles
1 cup heavy whipping cream + more as needed to make the white chocolate ganache coating
4-5 fresh thyme sprigs
12 oz white chocolate
3 TBSP lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
The procedure for making these is the same as it was for making the lavender truffles. Time for Truffles Combine the heavy whipping cream and the thyme and bring to a simmer, then let steep for 15 minutes. Then strain the whipping cream and discard the thyme sprigs.
Add the lemon juice and lemon zest to the cream, and bring back up to a simmer once again, and add 1/2 the chocolate. Cook until all the chocolate is melted and everything is well incorporated together. Then pour the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and evenly spread it out. Chill for at least 3 hours.
Once the chocolate has set, use a spoon and spoon up roughly 1/2 tsp of the chocolate and roll into a ball with your hands. Wear gloves when rolling the chocolate so the heat of your hands does not melt the chocolate.
Once all the chocolate has been rolled into balls about 1/2 ” in diameter, place them back in the refrigerator to chill and set again. You can also place them in the freezer too. I found the white chocolate was much softer than the dark chocolate, so I had a harder time getting it to set. I placed them in the freezer for about 1 hour and it was much easier to work with.
Melt the remainder of the chocolate, adding cream as needed to make a smoother consistency. The cream also will make for a shinier coating, which makes for a much nicer presentation. Right before dipping them into the white chocolate ganache, I rolled them again to make them more round and evenly shaped. With a toothpick, pick up the truffle centers and roll into the melted chocolate until completely covered and set onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet once again. I added colored sprinkles again, and this is the time to add them. Put the truffles back into the refrigerator to set once more.
Once the truffles have set again, they are ready to gently remove from the parchment paper and place in mini paper holders. I love the combination of the white chocolate and lemon-thyme. It is so refreshing. Keep these chilled until ready to serve or eat. They are very soft and melt very quickly. Then savor the flavors.