Can someone tell me how to figure out what percent of alcohol by volume is figured out when making a batch of truffles?
Say I am making about 10 truffles using pre-made shells. About 1/2 cup ganache with about 2 - 4 TBLS liquor poured into the shell, then dipped in chocolate.
The usual method of production is to add the alcohol to the ganache and then pipe the flavored ganache into the shells, wait for the ganache to crystallize, and then enrobe.
The right amount to add is to taste and would depend on a number a number of factors including the kind of chocolate in the ganache and the strength (flavor and proof) of the spirit you're using. You'd use a lot less of a huge peaty Scotch like Peat Monster (for example) than other alcohols because it's so strong.
Keep in mind that you subtract the amount of alcohol you're using from the amount of other liquid (milk, cream) you're using for the ganache.
Thanks Clay. I am sorry I didn't make myself very clear. I do add my liquors to the ganache and mix really well to incorporate before filling the shells. I use a nice chocolate for the ganache.
My measurements were just an example for me to understand how to figure out the percentage of alcohol in a truffle by volume, not the fact that the truffle itself would be overpowering by taste. I do add small amounts and taste until I am satisfied by the taste of the ganache. My question is how to determine the percentage of alcohol i.e. > 1% or < 1% by volume?
I use several different liquors such as tequilla, spiced rum, coconut rum, frangelico, sambuca, kahlua, blue raspberry vodka, blackberry liquor, amaretto just to name a few. I have fun making truffles and experimenting with different flavors. I live in a 55+ community and my people here love taste testing.
It's easier if you do everything metric and my recommendation is to weigh everything: get away from volumetric recipes. This relies on the fact that in the metric system, for these purposes, 1cc = 1ml = 1gr (close enough; it's really only precisely accurate for distilled water at 20C/68F (?) at sea level).
If the total weight of the ganache (chocolate, dairy, alcohol, other ingredients) is 1000 grams and you've added 10gr of alcohol, then the alcohol is 1% ABV. Simple. 5gr of alcohol in 350gr of ganache? ~1.4%
However, as I think about this, that's not entirely correct, because you need to consider proof. An 86 proof alcoholic beverage is only 43% alcohol. So if you add 10gr of - say - 86 proof rum to a recipe you're only adding 4.3gr of alcohol. The rest is water and flavorings. The math is still easy. In the case of 10gr of rum in a 1000gr recipe, the alcohol content is ~.43% ABV.
Now as I said, this is not 100% accurate past the first digit. But for hobby work, it should be more than close enough. If you plan to sell commercially interstate, then the labeling laws may require more precise measurement.
PS. Take your existing volume measures across making the recipe 5 or 10 times and weigh them. You'd be shocked to find out how inconsistent volume measuring is. Average the weights and use the average as the weight in your recipe.