“All you need is love.
But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
~ Charles M. Schulz
A Fabulous Gift to Give and Receive
High quality chocolate truffles are a chocolate lover’s dream come true. Made from only a few simple but perfect ingredients—good chocolate, heavy cream and a bit of butter—truffles impart their pure chocolatey goodness in one perfect, creamy, heavenly bite. The other great thing about truffles, that you may not know, is that they are fun and easy to make—albeit somewhat of a sweet chocolatey mess (which, of course, is the kind of problem one wishes to encounter more of in life). If you can bear to give any away, these Dark Chocolate Truffles make a lovely gift.
“There are four basic food groups:
milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, and chocolate truffles.”
Homemade Chocolate Truffles
Chocolate truffles are essentially chocolate ganache which has set and then been scooped out into rough looking, somewhat misshapen rounds (which resemble real truffles, hence the name). The hand-rolled truffles are then tossed in various coatings, such as Dutch process cocoa powder, chopped toasted nuts (pecans, almonds or walnuts are classic choices), toasted shredded coconut, shaved chocolate, or any other coating of your choice. They can also be dipped in melted chocolate. The taste of your truffles depends entirely on the quality of your chocolate, so make sure to use a high quality chocolate that you enjoy savouring on its own.
Dark Chocolate Truffles Recipe:
Adapted from Stephanie Jaworski, Joy of Baking
- 8 ounces (227 grams) high quality semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces (I use Bernard Callebaut semi-sweet chocolate drops)
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream (double cream; 35-40% butterfat)
- 2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, diced into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons alcohol or liqueur of your choice (optional)
(I like to use Amaretto)
- Truffle coatings of your choice—Dutch process cocoa powder, chopped toasted almonds, pecans or walnuts, shaved chocolate, toasted shredded coconut, or whatever else you’d like to roll your truffles in.
Making the Ganache
Place the chopped chocolate in a medium-sized heat-resistant glass bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the cream and butter over medium heat until it just comes to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate bits. Place a lid or plate over the bowl and allow to stand for a couple of minutes, then gently stir with a spatula or whisk (do not vigorously mix), starting at the centre and continuing in ever-widening circles until the chocolate has fully melted, the cream is integrated and the ganache is smooth. If the chocolate doesn’t melt completely, heat it in the microwave for about 10-20 seconds.
If you would like to make more than one flavour of truffle, divide the ganache into two smaller bowls. If you are using liqueur, add it now (if using two different flavours add one tablespoon of liqueur per bowl). Stir well, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until the truffle mixture sets and becomes firm. This may take several hours or overnight. I usually make my ganache the night before and shape my truffles the following day.
Making the Truffles
Prepare all your truffle coatings in advance and place each one in its own shallow, flat bowl. You want enough coating in the bowl to be able to easily coat your truffles.
Remove the truffle mixture from the refrigerator and allow it to stand at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes to allow it to become more malleable. Scoop some of the ganache mixture with a small spoon and use your hands to form the ganache into round or misshapen, bite-sized rounds (don’t worry about making perfectly round balls—they are supposed to be a bit misshapen). Your hands will get very chocolatey at this point, as the ganache will melt quickly in the palm of your hands—this is the deliciously messy part. Immediately roll the truffle in your coating of choice and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet or tray. Cover and place in the refrigerator until firm. Truffles can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple weeks or frozen for a couple months.
Makes about 30 small truffles.
To Toast Nuts: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and bake nuts (pecans, walnuts or almonds) about 8 – 10 minutes or until brown and fragrant. Once the nuts have cooled, chop coarsely.
Add a little orange liqueur into the ganache before chilling (about 1 tablespoon for half of the ganache recipe). Allow the ganache to set and form the truffles according to directions above. Chill truffles in refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes. Once chilled, dip the truffle in tempered dark chocolate. I dip the truffle into the melted chocolate using a small spoon, making sure the entire truffle is coated. Using a small cocktail fork or a fondue fork, gently lift the truffle and allow excess chocolate to drip off. Carefully place the dipped truffle on a parchment-lined baking sheet or tray (do not place dipped truffles on a cooling rack, as they will stick). Place a small piece of candied orange peel on top before the chocolate sets. See my previous post, Apricot Brandy White Fruitcake, for my homemade candied orange peel recipe. If you’ve never tempered chocolate, see my previous post, Chocolate Lollipops, for easy instructions on how to temper chocolate.
Dark & White Chocolate Truffles
Dip the dark truffles in tempered dark chocolate (or white chocolate), then drizzle the truffles with melted white chocolate (or dark chocolate). You can use a spoon to drizzle, but it tends to blob somewhat so if you want a uniform look use a fine piping tip to pipe the chocolate drizzle quickly over the truffle in a thin stream.
What To Do With Your Leftover Melted Chocolate:
You can spoon any leftover melted dark chocolate into rounds on parchment paper and set in the refrigerator. Once set, you can drizzle any leftover white chocolate over the chocolate rounds in a fun haphazard fashion. I like to call these my “Jackson Pollock” Chocolate Discs.
For another easy and delicious gift idea, see Chocolate-Covered Marzipan Balls.
All photos by madlyinlovewithlife; © 2011 and 2014 madlyinlovewithlife