I know these days there’s been quite a serious Valentine’s barrage all over the net. I have never given too much thought to it; actually, I don’t even remember whether I bought a Valentine’s present or wrote a Valentine’s card ever. However, this time I’ve found myself pondering over the whole thing while making these chocolate truffles. Anyway…
Alright, so who is still thinking about Christmas these days? Exactly. It seems like the idea in this consumer world is to constantly celebrate, whatever the occasion may be. And the many winter holiday are now something from the distant past, long time forgotten. So, it was about time to think on the next excuse to set up in business for a new special day.
Many of you (or I should say us) might likely think that all this Valentine’s business is nothing but a huge advertising set-up so that we all keep on consuming, no matter what. That could be. But even then, are you going to sit over there, gazing at these beauties without even trying to make them? Well, if you have never tried to make truffles yourself, you may like to know that it is unlikely to find something easier to make that can turn out so irresistible. It is my first time here rounding off these cuties too and I can assure you that from now on, there will be no more store-bought truffles at home any more. Had I known earlier…
The base recipe is made of a delicious dark chocolate ganache, which, in case you’ve never made it before, it may sound a bit like a super sophisticated French kind of thing, almost intimidating. But if you follow to the letter these simple guidelines, I can guarantee you, your truffles will be a sure hit. In this case, the ratio of chocolate to cream is higher than that in other uses of this marvelous filling, as truffles need a thicker consistency to help hold their shape. And that is it: basically, chocolate and cream (and quite a dose of love 😉 ). Are you convinced by now? Well, you are still on time, these truffles are ready in less than you think.
So, long live love! (and chocolate…)
- 10 ½ oz (300 g) good quality, dark chocolate (either semisweet or bittersweet chocolate), finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons (30 g) unsalted butter
- ¾ cup (180 ml) whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons (25 g) vanilla sugar*
- 2 tablespoons expreso coffee and/or liqueur: rum, brandy, Grand Marnier, Baileys or any liqueur of choice (optional)
- ¼ cup (25 g) powdered cocoa, for coating
- Place chopped chocolate and butter in a medium size, heat-proof mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Combine whipping cream and sugar in a medium size saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk until sugar dissolves completely.
- Bring to a boil and immediately pour the sugared cream over the chopped chocolate and the butter. Let sit undisturbed for a couple of minutes.
- After that, gently stir the cream and chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula until the ganache is smooth and glossy. If adding coffee and/or liqueur, now it is the time to do it. Try not to incorporate any air bubbles or they will remain inside the mixture after the ganache settles, and we don't want a spongy ganache.
- Let cool on a cooling rack at room temperature for 2-3 hours (you can speed up this process if you place the mixture, well wrapped up in plastic wrap, in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes once cooled). You will know the ganache is ready when it is neither too hard nor too soft; just hard enough to shape into balls easily.
- Take a spoonful of ganache at a time (you can use a measuring tablespoon) and shape it into a ball with your hands, as round as possible, until no more ganache is left (you can alternatively dust your hands slightly with some icing or confectioner's sugar to prevent it from sticking to your hands).
- Place the truffles into a large platter or serving dish, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- In a separate deep plate, sift the cocoa and set aside.
- Remove the truffles from the fridge and gently roll them on the sifted cocoa until the whole surface is totally coated. I prefer to do this one by one, but you can also place them all together into the plate and toss them gently until they all get perfectly coated with the cocoa.
- Finally, use a pastry brush to remove any cocoa powder excess. And there you are, your truffles are ready to enjoy a perfect evening.
In the unlikely case that there are any truffles left after the party, store in an airtight container for 2-3 days (up to four if refrigerated).
- In the event that any chocolate chunk had not melted completely after adding the hot cream, place the mixture in the microwave at 50% power (no more than for 10 seconds) and try again. You can also place the heat-proof bowl with the your ganache over a pan of simmering water, stirring constantly with a whisk until smooth.
- You can also coat your truffles instead with chocolate shavings, shredded coconut, chopped nuts, candy sprinkles, or anything else you might like to finish them.