With the pint-sized costumes and hours of trick-or-treating that all but define Halloween, it can seem as though this spooky-sweet holiday is just for kids. But youngsters aren’t the only ones who can enjoy Halloween and especially the buckets of candy that come with it. Sure, store-bought miniature candy bars may be the treat of choice handed out to Batman, clowns and princess look-alikes on Wednesday night, but you don’t have to settle for individually wrapped peanut butter cups when feeding adults. For grown-up Halloween goodies, try making your own chocolate truffles with help from dessert extraordinaire Chef Duff Goldman, owner of Charm City Cakes bakeries in Maryland and California and the star of Food Network’s Ace of Cakes and Sugar High.
In partnership with Godiva, Duff recently launched Cake Truffles, a line of candy truffles inspired by classic desserts, and we caught up with him to get the secret to candy making for beginners and to find out his favorite truffle from the decadent collection.
When it comes to using chocolate, Duff says, one of the most important things “is just really understanding how chocolate works.” Since chocolate is made of miniscule crystals, it needs to be tempered, which is merely a fancy melting process, so those crystals can disintegrate, then partially reform. Duff recommends learning the basics of tempering so you can be sure your chocolate melts into a deliciously glossy pool instead of a flimsy, lackluster puddle. “A well-tempered chocolate is shiny, it snaps,” Duff tells us. “Learning how to do that just takes some practice.”
This weekend, put Duff’s suggestion to work. Follow Food Network Magazine’s easy how-to guide to tempering chocolate and roll out some top-rated Chocolate Truffles from Food Network Kitchens to pass around at your grown-up Halloween soiree.
The Godiva collection that Duff helped inspire boasts four flavors: Cookie Dough, Butterscotch Walnut, Birthday Cake and Pineapple Hummingbird Cake. While there’s not any actual cake inside these truffles, they’re rich, full-flavored bites that most surely resemble their namesake desserts. Of the four flavors, Duff says the Butterscotch Walnut (pictured left) is his go-to favorite. “It’s so complex,” Duff dishes on these maple-filled beauties. “Texture wise, there’s so much going on. Flavor wise, there’s so much going on.”
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