Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Tip # 201: Take Merchandising to New Heights with a Truffle Tree

Photos courtesy of Annedore's Fine Chocolates
A tower of truffles or “truffle tree” is a stylish way for your customers to serve truffles to a large group. The Truffle Tree also makes for an eye-catching merchandising display for your retail shop. It is a big ticket item that can add nice revenue to your store’s sales. With a little advance planning, building the tree can be relatively easy to execute.

Here you will find a list of materials needed and step-by-step instructions for creating this showpiece as provided by RCI member, Annedore's Fine Chocolates.
RCI members: Click here to log on to RCI’s member site and view three variations of ganache recipes on page 9 of 2014’s 3rd quarter issue of Kettle Talk.

For ease of construction, un-dipped ganache balls may be stored in the freezer. Simply follow the instructions below for thawing and dipping the ganache balls and you are ready to build a tree on demand.

Materials Needed:

  • Truffles (see recipes below)
  • Silicone mats
  • Plastic wrap
  • Foam block
  • Parchment paper or aluminum foil (optional)
  • Round toothpicks
  • Tempered chocolate
  • Foam cone
  • Wrapping paper or fabric (preferably coordinating with the color of your truffles)
  • Flathead pins
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon or tree topper (optional)
Step-By-Step Instructions

  1. Prepare truffle centers using your own ganache recipe or see recipes below. Pipe ganache onto silicone mats. Cover the mats with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12 hours. Transfer mats to the freezer for 12 hours. Remove mats from the freezer and pop out ganache balls (Note: Balls may be returned to the freezer for future use). Cover balls with plastic wrap and allow them to come to room temperature.
  2. Cover a foam block with parchment paper or aluminum foil, so it can be reused. Glue a toothpick into each ganache ball by, first, dipping one end of the toothpick into tempered chocolate and then inserting that end into the center of the flat side of the ganache ball. Allow toothpick to set up firmly in the ganache ball.

  3. Once the toothpick is firmly set in the ganache ball you are ready to dip each ganache ball in tempered chocolate. Dip each ball carefully and then insert tooth-picked end of the ball into the block of foam. This will allow for perfect-looking, uniform truffles to create your truffle tree. Allow chocolate to set up. Truffles may be decorated while standing in the block of foam.

  4. Before you begin to build your tree, first, wrap the foam cone completely with wrapping paper or fabric – secure with flathead pins, as needed.

  5. Beginning at the bottom of the cone, push the tooth-picked truffles into the cone working your way around the cone to create the first row. On the second row, stagger the truffles by placing them in the open spaces created by the first row. Carefully work your way up the cone row by row until the entire cone is covered in truffles. Toothpicks may need to be cut as you reach the top of the cone.

  6. Crown the top of your tree by inserting a tooth-picked truffle vertically on the top of the cone. Experiment with different tree toppers, such as a large bow or a chocolate initial or number (birthday idea). Use your imagination. 

Stay connected with RCI through Facebook for more tips and inspiration dedicated to the retail candy maker. Not a member? Click here to learn how RCI can help you build your sweet business.

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