Slideshow: Behind the Sweets: Katherine Duncan Hand Dips Molé Truffles at Katherine Anne Confections

Molé Truffles
Molé Truffles
Katherine's Molé truffle contains roasted nuts, seeds, and several spices including three different chili powders that give the chocolate treat a definite kick. Like the real thing, the spice takes its time before making its presence known, but when it finally pipes up in the back of your throat, it's there just long enough to pique your interest and persuade you to take another bite.
Chocolate Stock
Chocolate Stock
Just a couple pounds of chocolate on the shelves of Katherine Anne Confections. Katherine tried a whole host of different brands of chocolate when she first opened and settled on E. Guittard for its taste, quality ingredients, and for the company's commitment to sustainability. She uses the 58% dark chocolate, which she has nicknamed "the crowd pleaser" since it's enjoyed by both milk chocolate lovers and dark chocolate lovers.
Making Ganache
Making Ganache
To make the center of the truffle, Katherine weighs out the chocolate with sesame seeds, ground almonds, and ground pumpkin seeds, all of which are roasted first.
Melted Ganache
Melted Ganache
After everything has warmed up over the double boiler, Katherine checks the consistency periodically. When it feels similar in thickness to cake batter, she pulls it and mixes everything into a smooth ganache. The ganache is put into the cooler for a few minutes to harden slightly until it becomes a more paste-like consistency.
Piping Ganache
Piping Ganache
Once the ganache has cooled enough to hold its shape, Katherine pipes out exact portions which are then allowed to rest and cool more before being hand-rolled into little spheres.
Tempering Chocolate
Tempering Chocolate
While the ganache is cooling, Katherine tempers a batch of chocolate that will coat the ganache. Tempering makes the chocolate shiny and sturdy; it's what gives a chocolate bar its characteristic snap. Katherine uses the seeding method of tempering, which means she melts down an initial batch of chocolate, then adds more palettes of unmelted chocolate (the "seeds"), and stirs it until most of the unmelted chocolate has melted. She then pulls out the few remaining bits of unmelted chocolate with a fork.
Dipping Ganache
Dipping Ganache
Once the tempered chocolate is ready, Katherine uses a special swirled tool to dip each truffle. Cracks in the coating of a truffle are the enemy of every chocolatier. Since Katherine controls for temperature (making sure the room is draft-free, the overall temperature of the room, the temperature of the ganache), for her cracks happen most often when the tool used to dip the ganache leaves too thin of a coating when its pulled away. It's easier to leave less of an indent with this swirled tool than with a dipping fork. When she sets the truffle down, she makes a circular motion with the tool to spread the chocolate evenly as she pulls it off the ganache.
Finished Truffles
Finished Truffles
After a sprinkle of chili powder, these truffles are allowed to dry and are then ready for consumption.
Hot Chocolate Ganache
Hot Chocolate Ganache
If you aren't necessarily crazy about hot chocolate, maybe this vat of ganache used in the hot chocolate will change your mind. This is one of seven different flavors of ganache that is melted and mixed with milk and cream.
Marshmallow Selection
Marshmallow Selection
All hot chocolates also come with your choice of marshmallow.