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Watch Party

Cognac Chocolate Truffles

Written by Caroline SchiffPhotos by Andrew Bezek

EDITOR'S NOTE: What's better than watching a riveting drama with great food and drink, right? Here are some scrumptious recipes crafted by Chef Caroline Schiff for your next French binge watch!

Cognac Chocolate Truffles

Notes from the Chef:

Chocolate is the most satisfying, sweet bite and one or two at the end of an evening go a long way. Also, if you tell your friends you made chocolates by hand, they’ll be forever impressed. Truffles are easier to make than their appearance suggests and even better, they’re supposed to have an uneven, craggy appearance to mimic the prized black truffle tubers, famously foraged in France. Hence the name! The process for these isn’t difficult but it does need a lot of chilling time, so make them ahead and don’t worry about them on the day of! I’ve made these a week in advance and they’re always excellent.

french party truffle 3 1027x1540

Makes about 50 truffles
Active time: 2 hours
Chilling time: Up to two days
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9oz good quality milk chocolate, such as Valrhona or Guittard
3 ½ oz heavy cream
1 tbs corn syrup
2 tbs soft butter
½ tsp sea salt
1 tbs cognac
12 oz good quality dark chocolate, at least 60%
2 cups good quality Dutch-processed cocoa powder


  1. Place the milk chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set aside. Bring the cream to a boil in a small pot.
  1. Pour the hot cream over the milk chocolate and allow it to sit for two minutes, then stir vigorously with a spatula to combine.
  1. Mix in the corn syrup, butter, salt and cognac until smooth and uniform. You just made ganache! Cool to room temp.
  1. Transfer the ganache to a pastry bag or a zip lock baggy. Seal it and transfer to the fridge, letting it chill and thicken overnight.
  1. Snip a ½” opening in the bag. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper, “glueing” it down with a little bit of the filling. Then proceed to pipe little drops of the filling, about 1 ½ tsp worth. If the chocolate starts to get too soft, just put it back in the fridge for a bit to firm up. The ideal consistency to pipe at is something like creamy Skippy peanut butter, just as a reference point.
  1. Chill the centers on the tray overnight, then roll each one into a ball, pinching them a bit if needed to get a round shape. They don’t need to be perfect spheres and handling them too much will cause them to melt, so move quickly don’t worry about being perfect here. Transfer the balls to the freezer on the tray for at least an hour or overnight.
  1. In a small pot bring 3” of water to a simmer. Place the dark chocolate in a heat proof bowl and place it over the simmering water to melt, stirring occasionally.
  1. Place the cocoa powder in a shallow tray or baking pan and spread it out into an even layer.
  1. Once the chocolate has melted, remove it from the heat and stir it continuously for two minutes.
  1. Using two forks, quickly dip and roll each chilled center into the dark chocolate and then directly into the cocoa powder, letting it sit for 30 seconds in the powder before rolling it around to coat. I like to sake the pan of cocoa powder with my hands to circulate the truffle. It creates a great texture on the outside and keeps my hands a bit cleaner. Repeat with all the centers. Rolling them all around together in the cocoa. If at any point the centers start to feel a bit soft, return them to the freezer. Store the finished truffles in a container in the fridge until guests arrive. The dark chocolate shell is sturdy enough to pile them on top of each other, and they’re delicious both chilled and room temperature.

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French Watch Party Recipes

About the Chef
Caroline Schiff is a chef based in Brooklyn, NY with a decade of experience in restaurants and bakeries. In May 2018 she launched her culinary consulting firm ParadigmSchiff, offering recipe and product development, menu consultations, concept development and corporate events. In winter 2019 Caroline will take on the role of Pastry Chef at the re-opening of Gage & Tollner, the legendary Brooklyn restaurant. She has been featured on Vice: Munchies, Food Network’s Beat Bobby FlayGenius Kitchen,, Hulu’s Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi and stars in the documentary series, Her Name Is Chef. Follow Caroline here: @pastryschiff.