Fresh Goat Cheese Truffles Recipe

Truffes de Chèvre Frais

[Fresh Goat Cheese Truffles]

On Saturday night, we threw a little dinner party at home. A “little” dinner party for eight dear friends : Joseph (originally from Nashville but living in France, whom I met two years ago at an IT recruiting show — we were struck by a sense of recognition, being equally bored to tears) and his wife Séverine, our almost neighbors Olivier and Anne, whom we had met at Joseph and Séverine’s wedding last May, as well as Ulrich and Carine, whom we had met at Olivier and Anne’s housewarming party, Ulrich being the friend who works with Pierre Hermé. Pictured here from left to right are Maxence, Carine, Ulrich, Séverine, Joseph, Olivier and Anne (Thanks for lightening up the pic, John! :).

We had the most lovely evening, and it actually wasn’t as much work as it may sound : Maxence took care of the main course, and one of our friends (I’ll let you guess who that was and wait patiently for the post about it) had kindly offered to bring the dessert.

This felt very unusual, since I’m usually more than happy to take on the whole caboodle, but I’ll admit it’s really nice that way too, once in a while! So my mission that night was to take care of the pre-dinner nibbles and the first course, and this is what I made to eat with the apéritif : mini balls of fresh goat cheese, rolled in various coatings.

As always in this kind of recipe, the limit is the sky on what coatings to use : rummage through your pantry, check your vegetable drawer or your herb garden, browse through your spice rack, and come up with your own personal selection of nuts, spices, chopped herbs, dried herbs and various seasonings. I used paprika, breadcrumbs and garlic powder, bicolor toasted sesame seeds, and herbes de Provence.

Anything more or less dry and more or less powdered will work. Just keep in mind that it should have enough flavor to shine through the goat cheese and compliment it, but not so much flavor that a full coating of it will choke your guests (unless of course this is your intention). For instance, if you want to use cumin or ginger or red pepper flakes, which is an excellent idea, do mix these with something milder, like dry breadcrumbs or a chopped herb or crumbled plain crackers.

Make sure the marbles are equal in size , choose coatings of different colors, and you will create the prettiest plate of amuse-bouches.

Truffes de Chèvre Frais

- 150 g fresh goat cheese
+ An assortment of coatings : depending on how powdered (paprika) or chunky (chopped nuts) the coating is, you will need anywhere from 1 tsp to 2 Tbsp of it to coat 10 truffles. Start small if in doubt.
- chopped fresh chives/basil/tarragon/mint/cilantro/dill…
- paprika
- herbes de Provence or other dried herbs
- toasted sesame seeds (black and white)
- dry bread crumbs and garlic powder/onion flakes/red pepper flakes/cumin/ground ginger…
- finely crumbled crackers or oatcakes
- chopped walnuts/hazelnuts/pecans/pinenuts…
- chopped slivered almonds
- <insert-your-own-brilliant-idea-here>

(Makes about 60 truffles.)

Prepare two large plates : one that will be used as the serving dish, the other to hold the truffles while they’re being made. Prepare your coatings (chop/toast/pour) and reserve them in shallow ramequins or small plates.

The cheese is easier to work with when cold, so my advice is to work in three batches : cut out a third of the cheese, and reserve the remaining two thirds in the refrigerator.

Take a small spoonful of goat cheese, about the size of a hazelnut, and shape it into a marble by rolling it between the palms of your hands. Place it on the preparation plate. Repeat with the rest of the first batch of goat cheese. This should yield about twenty truffles. Wash and dry your hands, as they will be sticky with goat cheese.

Roll each truffle in the coating of your choice, making sure it is covered all around, and place it on the serving plate. You can group the truffles with the same coating together, or mingle them for a nice mosaic effect.

Repeat with the reserved goat cheese, in two batches. Cover the plate of truffles loosely with plastic wrap, and store in the refrigerator until ready to eat.

Serve along with toothpicks, either in a (preferably cute) mini-jar on the side, or planted in each truffle. You could even make little skewers, planting the toothpick in a truffle then in a cherry tomato, a slice of carrot or cucumber, a piece of diced ham, a small piece of bread…

  • http://www.americandemeter.motime.org Karen

    Oh, thank you for writing about your dinner party! I adore dinner parties, but I haven’t given one in a long time. I adore the setup, the anticipation, selecting the guests and menu, the theatricality of it all…

  • http://55 Vivien

    Dessert by Ulrich right?
    What is it??

  • becky

    I love this blog!
    2 questions: I converted 150 grams on the online converter and got ~ 5.3 ounces. Is that about right? Also, I have trouble printing your recipes. When I try to copy (for pasting into Notepad for printing) I get the entire directory it seems. I can’t just pick up the one recipe. Any ideas?
    Thanks Clotilde!

  • http://radio.weblogs.com/0129838/ Donna in Harrisburg

    These look fabulous! For my sister-in-law, who loves goat cheese, I take a grape, form the goat cheese truffle around the grape and then roll in chopped pistachios! I think I’ll surprise her next time with this new assortment of truffles.

  • Hande

    Clotilde, this looks so good! Just as Donna, I made them for our silvester party with grapes inside, some coated with hazelnuts and some with herbs (mint, rosmary etc…)

  • Hande

    and oh, it must have been Ulrich. Macarons?

  • http://www.cookingwithamy.com Amy

    We must be on the same wave length, I just posted all my favorite things to do with goat cheese on Saturday!

    Check it out:

    http://www.cookingwithamy.com

  • Maman

    C’est joli ces petites choses ! Mais qu’appelles-tu du chèvre frais ? c’est du chèvre pas sec ? sous quelle forme ? en buche, pyramide, crottin, que sais-je ?
    Love, Maman

  • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

    Karen – Yes, I love the Christmas-eve-like anticipation too! :)

    Vivien and Hande – Aha, patience, my friends, patience is key… :)

    Becky – The translation sounds exactly right. As for the selection thing, it is a known IE bug (imagine that!), but your remark gave me the idea of having every post link to a printer-friendly version, so I’m working on that!

    Donna – The grape and pistachio idea sounds great! I hope you SIL likes these too!

    Amy – Synchronicity indeed!

    Maman – Par chèvre frais j’entends le fromage de chèvre jeune et très humide, presque fromage blanc égoutté. En supermarché, c’est le type Petit Billy ou des petites buches “prédécoupées” vendues par deux. Tu vois le genre?

  • http://gastroblog.com Jackie D

    At the risk of being totally unoriginal…YUM! Clotilde, what a fantastic idea. And I love your mother’s suggestion about making a pyramid of them (if I read that correctly!). Here, you can buy these packets of powders to make various dips (you mix the poweders with sour creme or fromage frais or whatever), and it sounds like this would be good here — curry powder, garam masala, fresh thyme, french fried onions, chives…

    Can’t wait to make these!

  • http://www.thefoodsection.com Josh

    Fantastic idea. I thought of a couple more variations:
    -orange or lemon zest mixed with toasted breadcrumbs or nuts.
    -mushrooms duxelle (maybe too moist), finely chopped mushrooms sauteed until they lose their water.
    -porcini “dust”–I’ve read about pulverizing dried porcini mushrooms into a powder and using this as a coating for meats. This might be good for your truffles, but perhaps better mixed with breadcrumbs as well.

  • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

    Jackie – My mom was actually asking about what kind of fresh goat cheese I was using (the logs, the pyramid-shaped ones…) but the pyramid presentation idea is indeed excellent!! And you’re right, the seasoning packets would work great for this.

    Josh – Love your suggestions! I’ll have to remember the porcini powder thing, it sounds great — not to mention I enjoy saying “pulverizing” very much.

  • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

    Becky – The printer-friendly pages are up! You’ll find a “print me!” link at the bottom of every post, and that opens a new window with a simple layout for you to print.

  • http://gastroblog.com Jackie

    Merci for the printer-friendly option; in the past I’ve had to just go into the code of the individual entry and paste that into Notepad and print it out. It’ll be nice to have your recipes free of HTML tags!

  • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

    Jackie – Oh I’m glad you find it useful too! I hadn’t really realized readers would want to print the recipes : when I make a recipe off the web, I just read the instructions and copy the ingredients on a small paper, and go back to my laptop for a better look at the instructions if I need to… Hence the sad state of said laptop, covered in grease, flour and chocolate! :)

  • http://parkerink.ca kate Parker

    You had me at “Chevre”!!
    These are beautiful!!
    It makes me want to throw a dinner party just so I can serve these.
    Another “amuse” I like to serve is GF cornbread squares with a scmear of black olive tapenade and a wee chunk of chevre or feta…yum
    Thank you Clotilde!

  • Bill Fragaszy

    A great way to save recipes is to use Instapaper. It will take out all the ads and just leave the text. You can also read them offline. My wife and I are looking forward to making this recipe.

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