I have given these chocolate truffles as gifts to several of my friends, and they have been described as “thebomb.com” and as having healing powers (lol). I mean, when you combine cream and chocolate, and add all sorts of magic spices or liqueurs, it’s bound to be amazing, right? I have made truffles several times and have seen tons of variations. Some recipes include corn syrup (no thank you), some mix bittersweet and semisweet chocolate, some heat the cream in the microwave and add it to the chocolate, some melt the cream and chocolate together in a double boiler, and on and on and on. I truly think I have found that the easiest way to do them is as follows:
10 oz block semisweet chocolate (Callebaut is my favorite. ScharrfenBerger is good too, but I don’t like it’s fruity undertone for this)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
spices (optional. You can use cinnamon, cloves, allspice, whatever you want)
liqueur (optional. Add some Frangelico, Amaretto, Grand Marnier, Brandy, or whatever you like. Max 2 tbsp)
Cocoa powder, nuts, or coconut for rolling
Chop the chocolate up into very small pieces.
If the pieces aren’t uniform, not all of the chocolate will melt, and it will be uneven. Can you use chocolate chips instead of block chocolate? If that’s all you have, then sure. But the first thing I’ll note is chocolate chips will melt more unevenly, so you may not get a smooth texture. The other thing is high quality chocolates usually come in bar form, and it’s important to use a good quality chocolate because the truffles will only be as good as the chocolate you are using. Look at these pictures: The first one is Nestle’s semisweet chocolate, and the other is Callebaut semisweet chocolate.
See the difference? You can tell just by looking at the color. Even though they are both labeled “semisweet,” the cacao content is visibly very different. If you can only get the cheap chocolate, still give it a try (I mean, it will still be good).
Scald the cream on the stovetop in a small saucepan over medium high heat. You should see steam rising and bubbles forming around the sides when it’s at scalding temperature (or you can just use an instant read thermometer to make it easy, 180 degrees F and it’s done). Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate, and let it sit for 60 seconds before you stir. Stir the chocolate and cream until it’s smooth in texture.
Spread the chocolate out in a pyrex plate or glass baking dish, then stick it in the refrigerator. Here’s the tough part. You want to refrigerate the chocolate enough so it’s pliable and you are able to work with it, but if it hardens up too much, you won’t be able to shape it (and if this happens to you, leave your chocolate out at room temperature until you can work with it again). This time depends on the temperature of your refrigerator and how spread out your chocolate is. I would say put your chocolate in the fridge and start checking the consistency after 45 minutes.
Rolling the truffles can be messy, because the heat from your hands melts the chocolate. I think the easiest way to do this is to use a disher to scoop out the chocolate, drop it into the cocoa powder (or nuts or coconut, whatever your rolling garnish is), and then shape it. That way, your hands have direct contact with the nuts, coconut flakes, or cocoa powder and not with the chocolate, so it’s less like to melt and get all over the place.
Once you shape out all your truffles, lay them on some wax or parchment paper on a flat surface, and let them harden up a bit further in the fridge, about one hour.
Eat them at room temperature or cold. Mmmm….
I would love to hear any comments, questions, or suggestions below. Thanks for reading!