Delectable Chocolate Truffles

Chow on 01.02.13
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Photo: Katherine Martinko

For Valentine's Day last year, my sister dropped off a box of homemade chocolate truffles. She'd recently taken a truffle-making class and excitedly discovered that truffles are very easy to make, not to mention impressive. I didn't attempt to make them until recently, but when I did they turned out wonderfully. Although we hardly need the extra sugar at this late point in the Christmas holidays, I urge you to whip up a batch and see how fun and yummy these chocolate truffles really are. Trust me; you'll be hooked.

Chocolate Truffles

Base Mixture (Ganache)
100 grams / 3.5 oz. good-quality chocolate (I used Lindt 60% cocoa)
100 grams / 3.5 oz./1/3 cup heavy cream
Pinch of salt

Cut chocolate into small, equal-sized pieces. Place in bowl and set aside.

Slowly heat cream in a small saucepan until small bubbles form around the edges, but do not boil. Add a small amount of cream to the chocolate to start melting it, then add the rest of the cream and stir until the chocolate is fully melted. Add pinch of salt.

Note: You do not want to add the two ingredients together too quickly or have the cream too hot, otherwise the difference in temperature will cause the chocolate to seize and the mixture will separate and become grainy. If there continue to be pieces of unmelted chocolate, place bowl over a bowl of boiling water in order to raise the temperature gently and continue to stir until fully melted. 

Place bowl in fridge to set for 2-3 hours. When set, use melon baller or spoon to mold the truffles into balls. If using hands, wet with cold water to prevent sticking.

Roll truffles in your choice of coating. If enrobing truffles in melted chocolate, make sure to chill truffles after initial shaping so it does not melt when dipped.

Always bring chocolate to room temperature before eating. 

Options for Flavourings

Add any of the following flavourings to the chocolate before refrigerating (approx. 2 tbsp for above recipe):
- Brandy
- Frangelico
- Grand Marnier
- Espresso coffee

Infuse warm cream with the following and allow to sit for half an hour or even overnight. Strain if required.
- Earl Grey Tea
- Chai Tea
- Cardamom
- Chili
- Orange rind
- Ginger

Roll finished chocolate in any of the following:
- Dutch cocoa
- Crushed nuts
- Coconut
- Grated/shaved chocolate
- Melted chocolate

Be adventurous!
- Rosemary
- Chili
- Aged balsamic vinegar
- Black pepper

Tips: Combinations of flavours work best when complementary, i.e. Frangelico liquor + crushed hazelnut coating or Grand Marnier + orange rind infusion

Recipe courtesy of Sarah Jane Gibbs

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