I found this recipe for chocolate truffles in one of the recent food magazines, and it looked like something I had to make! So I tweaked it a bit, and voila! The discovery coincided with my reading Peter Mayle's Toujours Provence, and the obsession with real truffles... I loved forming these chocolate truffles because they needn't be perfectly round, and they reminded me so much of the real thing.
Makes between 40 and 45 truffles
Difficulty – very easy
Preparation time – 40 minutes in total (plus overnight in the fridge for setting)
230 g 70%-cocoa chocolate (I used Lindt)
250 ml whipping cream
30 ml (2 T) unsalted butter
30 ml (2 T) liqueur of your choice (optional) such as Cognac, brandy, kirsch, rum, bourbon, Kahlua, or even something South African like Amarula. If you like your truffles a little more ‘boozy tasting’, you might want to use up to 40 ml... I used an orange-flavoured Armagnac.
200 g (2 cups) cocoa powder
1. Chop the chocolate up into shaving size bits using a sharp knife, and place the chocolate in a saucepan.
2. Heat 200 ml of the cream in a small saucepan over a medium heat until it begins to boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate in the saucepan.
3. If you choose to use liqueur, add it at this stage, don’t stir the mixture – leave it to stand for 5 minutes.
4. Combine the remaining cream and the butter together. I placed it in the microwave for an instant or two on the defrost setting – it helped soften the butter enough so that I could combine the two.)
5. Now stir the chocolate mixture until smooth (the chocolate should now have melted as a result of the hot cream – if your pieces weren’t cut small enough to start with, this will not be the case. If not, place the saucepan on a very low heat and continue stirring while heating very gently for a few minutes.)
6. Gently whisk the butter mixture into the chocolate mixture.
7. When the mixture is smooth and well combined, allow to cool, then cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. The truffle mixture should be firm enough to mould into balls the following day – if not, leave it in the refrigerator a little longer.
8. Remove the truffle mixture from the refrigerator the next day, and sprinkle enough cocoa powder on a plate. Dust your hands with cocoa powder before rolling each truffle (much less messy.)
9. Mould the truffle mixture, using your hands, into bite-sized balls. The nice thing about these is that they don’t have to be perfectly round. As soon as the ball has been shaped, roll in more cocoa powder until it is well coated, and set aside.
10. Place the truffles in small cookie cups of about 30 mm in diameter, or on parchment paper. Cover and refrigerate until firm – about 2 hours.
Truffles can be refrigerated for a couple of weeks in an airtight container, or even frozen for a couple of months. If frozen, bring to room temperature before serving.
If you are going to make these, you should buy really good quality 70% chocolate - it would be a waste not to!
My darling husband and best critic, gave these a wild thumbs up!