Now that the truffles are shaped and cold it is time to dip them into more chocolate! What could be better than that! Dipping the truffles is not that difficult, but tempering the chocolate can be. Below is a technical description that I wrote several years ago. This is not the only way to temper chocolate. There are easier methods.
Tempering is the process that causes chocolate to form crystal giving it a shine
and crisp texture. Tempering starts by melting the chocolate to a specific
temperature, letting it cool, then heating it again. It takes time and an
accurate digital thermometer to temper chocolate. For bittersweet chocolate heat
to 118 to 120 degrees. milk chocolate heat to 116 to 118 degrees. When the
chocolate comes up to the proper temperature remove the top of the double boiler
and let the mixture cool to 80 degrees for both types of chocolate. Stirring
will speed up the cool down process. Then replace the pan on top of the double
boiler over simmering water and reheat. For bittersweet chocolate bring the
mixture up to 88 - 91 degrees. For milk chocolate you want 85 to 87 degrees.
During the whole process the chocolate should be watched carefully and stirred
often. After the chocolate is at the correct temperature you must keep it
within the temperature range while dipping the truffles.
For more technical information see my site www.craftersnotes.com
Working now with an understanding of what tempered chocolate is we can cheat!
Cheaters Never temper!
If the chocolate you are dipping with is already in temper gently melting it to the proper temperature for that kind of chocolate is all you need to do. So check your chocolate for these signs of being tempered, crisp when broken, no grey streaks, shiny and not melted. If any of these signs appear either temper the chocolate or use it to make another batch of truffles centers.
If you decide that you don't want to bother with this you can buy candy melts to dip the truffles in. There are different qualities of these on the market so go with the best tasting you can find. These will not leave a crisp chocolate shell when you bite into them but they also won't melt immediately in your hand either. If you want to learn more techniques see my site or do a search for tempering chocolate.
Once the chocolate is melted you need to keep it with in the temperature range for that chocolate type. So it is recommended that you have the truffles at room temperature before dipping. That is the proper way to dip. I don't do that. When I dip truffles I drop the frozen centers into the chocolate. This means that the chocolate can loose its temper and it will need to be warmed up more often. This is one of the things you just need to practise at and at first a thermometer helps. As the chocolate cools it will get thicker which is a great clue to reheat it. Some people use a heating pad under the chocolate to keep the temperature even, Just be sure to cover the pad so you don't ruin it. I just take the whole double boiler to my dipping area, then reheat the bottom portion as necessary.
Drop the truffle center into the chocolate then immediately remove it with a candy dipping tool or fork. Make sure it is completely covered in chocolate and then shake the excess chocolate off. Gently brush the truffle across the pan lip to get rid of the excess chocolate from the bottom of the truffle. Then tip the tool or fork so that the dipped truffle rolls off onto wax paper to dry. If you have a little extra chocolate left on your tool you can add a swirl or repair a damaged truffle. Sometimes the truffle sticks to the tool, that is because he truffle is still to soft or the chocolate is to hot and melting it. Try putting the truffles in the freezer for minutes and try dipping them again. Also check the melted chocolates temperature. This is just a skill that needs to be learned, but if you do you a wide range of candies can be made!