September 20, 2009 § 2 Comments
A very good friend of mine makes chocolate truffles on a regular basis, and tells me about the different variations of truffles he’s made over the last year or so. As this was my first attempt at making truffles it most likely doesn’t match up, but I reckon the outcome was quite nice indeed. Chocolate’s a wonderful thing to have at hand. It’s there for you when you’re happy, sad, hungry or bored and most of all it’s a brilliantly versatile ingredient. You can use chocolate in cakes, puddings, even chilli con carne! However, this time I used it to make chocolate truffles.
I’m a huge fan of dark chocolate, even though the rest of my family aren’t (hence why I’m eating all the remaining truffles). The little nuances in flavour that you get with dark chocolate are so much more interesting than milk chocolate, and I’ll be honest, I don’t really like white chocolate but that’s only because I’m not too fond of extremely sweet flavours.
The intense flavour of dark chocolate, at least in my honest opinion, is best coupled with delicate flavours that don’t overpower the main flavour of the chocolate. So I opted to make some plain truffles, some flavoured with rose petals, some with chopped slivered almonds and some with lavender sugar (with dried lavender buds!). After a bit of chopping and snipping I was ready to get started.
For the chocolate truffles you’ll need:
- about 400g of dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa solids (I used 72% Belgian dark chocolate) chopped into small, even pieces
- 200ml heavy double cream, or whipping cream
- cocoa powder to roll them in
- a handful of chopped slivered almonds
- a few fresh rose petals, snipped into thin strips (from red or pink roses with a strong scent that haven’t been treated with pesticides)
- a spoonful of lavender sugar
First, you need to chop the chocolate up. The best way to do this is by using a sharp knife and making cuts 5mm apart so that the chocolate fragments as you cut through the bar. You also get fairly small, even pieces using this method. Once the chocolate has been chopped up, heat the cream just until boiling point and then pour over the chocolate. Leave for a few minutes to allow the hot cream to melt the chocolate pieces, then stir. The ganache should be smooth at this point, with no chocolate pieces left unmelted.
You can add whatever additional ingredients you want at this point, so for example, add the chopped slivered almonds to the ganache mixture and stir, or a spoonful of lavender sugar, or the snipped rose petals. Then transfer the mixture to a bowl and refrigerate for approximately an hour.
Now, when you take the ganache out of the fridge it should be quite set but not too hard. Have a plate or baking tray lined with wax paper or greaseproof paper at hand and then using a melon-baller or two spoons, scoop out the mixture to form roughly shaped balls of ganache. Place each sphere onto the baking paper, as the chocolate will melt as you handle it. Once you have made as many balls as possible, put the tray or plate in the fridge for another 15 minutes.
After the 15 minutes are up, roll the balls in good quality cocoa powder (mixed with a little caster sugar if you prefer it a bit sweeter) and set aside. For the rose chocolate truffles I added any leftover rose petal snippings to the cocoa powder. They didn’t stick incredibly well, but they’re a nice touch.
You can present them as they are, or in a box or little cases to give as a gift, and they keep in the refridgerator for a little while too if you want to keep them all to yourself!