The Art of Darkness

Skull Truffles

April 14th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Skull TruffleValerie Confections offers something they call the Mori ex Cacao Collection: Bittersweet chocolate skulls with a truffle center. For $25 apiece. Whuf. Unless these things weigh 11 pounds each, I’m thinking they’re a tad overpriced.*

Fortunately, truffles are ridiculously simple to make and snuggling them into a skull-shaped candy shell isn’t much harder. With a bit of time and patience you can turn out this unique edible for a fraction of the cost.

You’ll need to start with a 3D skull candy mold, such as this one. A mold used for Mexican sugar skulls might also work, although they tend to be a bit larger than what you might want for a chocolate item.

Select a good-quality chocolate, and temper it. Tempering is important, because otherwise the finished chocolate may “bloom” and develop white streaks.

Pour the chocolate into each half of the mold, filling it to the top. Hold the mold on either side and slap it squarely against the work surface a few times. This will eliminate air bubbles and make sure that the chocolate gets into any small cavities.

Let the mold sit until the chocolate just starts to thicken slightly, then invert it onto a wire cake rack set over a bowl or piece of waxed paper. This will let the excess chocolate drip out, leaving a thin shell with a cavity in the middle. Turn right-side up when the chocolate begins to harden and scrape the edges clean with an offset spatula. Refrigerate to set thoroughly, at least an hour or overnight.

Note: If the skull mold you’re using has front and back halves (instead of two identical sides), you’ll probably want to mold the front half solid and just make a shell from the back half. Also make sure that the shell is thick enough to support the truffle filling without cracking.

Now to make the ganache (truffle) filling. Instructables has a nice tutorial for making truffles, along with lots of flavor ideas. There’s also Alton Brown’s recipe here, which is nice and foolproof. For something a little more autumnal, check out Evil Mad Scientist’s pumpkin spice truffle filling. Note that in all of these cases, you’re just making the squooshy part; ignore the instructions for coating and finishing them.

Carefully unmold your chocolate skull, and fill the cavity with ganache. If you’re feeling puckish, stick a dried cherry “brain” right in the middle. (Maraschino cherries or other wet preserves will have too much liquid and ruin your truffle.) Smooth off the filling so that it’s level with the top of the shell, then use a little melted chocolate to glue the two halves of the skull together.

Decorate further if desired. The commercial truffles are described as being hand-painted with “colored cocoa butter,” which sounds a little outrĂ© to me but that’s probably why I’m not a famous purveyor of chocolate truffles. You can also get colored candy melts at cake and candy suppliers.

Make sure to package it up pretty. Decorate a round box with black velvet ribbon, or get a commercial black box such as these. Nestle the skull in some black tissue paper and add a sprig of black silk baby’s breath to the top.

Present proudly to the one you love, or anyone who would appreciate being handed a chocolate skull.

These would also be nice wedding favors, assuming that your guest list was small enough that you didn’t drive yourself crazy making chocolate skulls. They should freeze well if kept airtight, so you could make them in advance.


*They’re mum about dimensions and weight on the site, but I found a review which describes them as being “the size of a hefty plum.” So I’m thinking somewhere in the 1/4-pound range.

Posted in Doom It Yourself, Paint It Black, Terror in the Aisle | 1 Comment »

One Response

  1. Samuels Says:

    Darkness itself has an art deep inside of it.

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