Intro

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Tradition tells us to leave Santa a tall glass of milk with a heaping plate of cookies. While there is nothing wrong with cookies I just have to wonder if maybe Santa is bored. I can’t help but think that he rolls his eyes while reluctantly reaching for yet another chocolate chip cookie leaving only a few crumbs so as not to appear ungrateful.

This year I recommend pulling Santa out of his cookie rut. Why not try leaving a plate of homemade chocolate truffles instead? I wouldn’t be surprised if you were to find a little something extra under the tree.

While you are making truffles for the big man go ahead and make extras because they make a wonderful little gift this time of year.

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The key to a perfect homemade truffle is first and foremost to use good chocolate. The research phase for finding the perfect chocolate to transform into truffles can be grueling but I urge you to try as much chocolate as it takes to find the one that you love.

If money was no object I would most always choose 70% Guanaja Feves Valrhona. When I want a great truffle but don’t want to go into debt making them I stand by Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate and if I get them in chip form it saves me the step of chopping up the chocolate. Purists may disagree but these chocolates are the best and only defense I will ever need.

The next key to creating the perfect truffle is the ganache. Ganache is simply chocolate and cream but the taste is anything but simple. When made correctly you have an intensely flavored filling that harnesses all those rich bitter and lightly sweet flavors of the chocolate and turns it into a perfectly smooth mixture that can be used for anything from frosting to hot chocolate base.

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I tend to have a ganache supply in the fridge at all times for those sudden chocolate urges. A tablespoon or two added to hot milk makes a delightful hot chocolate or mocha if espresso is also a factor. Add a touch of warm milk to the ganache and you have a decadent ice cream topping. Whip it up to make a rich frosting or cake filling.

You could take simply roll your balls of ganache into cocoa powder and be done with them but I really recommend the extra step of dipping them in melted chocolate. It gives a nice textural difference as there is a thin shell of firm chocolate to conquer before your teeth sink in to the comfort of an impossibly smooth interior. Plus if you skip that step you’d miss the opportunity to be covered in chocolate.

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Happy candy making!

 

 

 

Chocolate Truffles

Dark Chocolate Truffles

8 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped

½ cup heavy cream

¼ teaspoon salt

optional ingredients – 1 tablespoon liquor, mint leaves, vanilla extract or bean, orange zest, coffee beans, spice such as cinnamon and cayenne.

Place the chopped chocolate in a large bowl.

Bring the cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Watch closely as cream has a nasty habit of boiling over. If you are using fresh herbs, vanilla beans, spices or zest add them to the cream so they have a chance to steep.
Pour simmering cream over the chopped chocolate. Let sit for 1 minute. Stir chocolate and cream together until perfectly smooth. Stir in the salt.

Let sit until cool. When the ganache is the consistency of a frosting you can pipe out the truffles on a parchment lined sheet tray. They should be about the size of Hershey kisses. Then refrigerate until firm. With your hands roll the tear drop shaped mounds into balls then proceed onto dipping.

Or simply chill the ganache then (chocolate and cream mixture) scoop teaspoon size mounds onto a parchment lined tray then roll into balls. Roll quickly as it tends to melt from the heat of your hands. Refrigerate until firm.

White Chocolate Peppermint Ganache

1 pound white chocolate, finely chopped

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 tbl butter, soft

1-2 drops Peppermint extract

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

In a small saucepan bring the cream to a simmer. Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit for one minute. Stir until completely blended. Add the softened butter. Stir in salt and peppermint extract.
Proceed as you would with the dark chocolate ganache.

Finishing the Truffles

In a small bowl carefully melt 8 oz of dark chocolate. To melt chocolate in a microwave heat for 30 seconds then remove and stir. Do this until most of the chocolate is melted. The residiual heat will melt any leftover chocolate pieces and ensure that your chocolate is not to hot.

In another bowl place 1 cup of cocoa powder or whatever else you choose to roll the chocolates in (crushed up candy canes, chopped nuts, sprinkles, etc.)

Carefully dip the ganache balls in the melted chocolate. Let the excess chocolate drip off before rolling around in the cocoa powder.

Set on a parchment lined baking sheet to set up.

When completely cool dust off excess cocoa powder.

Truffles are best consumed the week they are made but can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

39 Responses to “Homemade truffles”

  1. Anna

    Beautiful! I’ve made the ganache kind of truffles before, but not the kind with a chocolate shell. I always assumed it required tempering chocolate and other complicated steps. These look amazing, I’m thinking I’ll get to them for valentines day, but not in time for christmas this year. Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply
  2. Alison

    Oh my gosh!! Those look so delicious and amazing!! I am drooling yet again after reading your blog!! We need to get together to drool over truffles and baby girl clothes asap ;)!!!

    Reply
  3. A Plum By Any Other Name

    Gorgeous looking ganache! Such a great idea and this looks like a fabulous recipe so thanks for sharing it with us. I appreciate the peppermint addition as well; as, I think, will Santa. Also, it’s comforting to know food-loving minds think alike! I recently posted with a similar sentiment about cupcakes instead of Christmas cookies … cheers and happy holidays!

    Reply
  4. Aimee

    These look amazing!!!!! We need to make these together. We have no plans for the weekend…just sayin.’

    Reply
  5. Annie

    These look delicious – and I agree, Santa definitely likes a truffle now and then for a change! Am off to dip my own favourite (at the moment) ganache of walnut and orange liquer.. very nice combination!

    Reply
  6. my little expat kitchen

    I agree. Santa must be taken out of his cookie rut! I adore truffles, I’m a truffle-maniac and like you I keep ganache in the fridge for those urges.
    Thanks for this variety of truffles. They all look Santa worthy!
    Magda

    Reply
  7. Mary Gene

    Mine aren’t nearly as beautiful as yours, but OMG they do taste divine..thanks for sharing…Merry Christmas in chocolate!

    Reply
  8. molly

    A spoonful of ganache + hot milk? Genius!! I am certain to try this before the week’s out. (Multiple times, most likely).

    Have you found a way to keep the peppermint bits crisp in the fridge? We made peppermint truffles a few years back, and while the flavor was fantastic, the candy bits went all soft within the day.

    Have a very merry Christmas, the five of you!

    Reply
  9. Christine

    I made these last night, the dark chocolate ganache is OUTSTANDING. I put a splash of Kahula in the chocolate before chilling it down. These babies do melt fast so work quickly, but the result is beautiful!! Thank you for the recipe, my family will <3 them tomorrow evening!

    Reply
  10. Sara

    We made these along with your Homemade Twix Bars as Christmas gifts for the 89 year old great grandparents. When I am 89, I’ll eat a lot of chocolate!

    Reply
  11. CherylK

    We love truffles…making them, giving them and eating them! I have never, though, added a spoonful to hot milk or espresso and that is a fabulous idea especially here in freezing cold Minnesota! A perfect reason to always have cream and chocolate at the ready!

    Reply
  12. Jess

    Oh my gosh, I think I just died and went to Truffle heaven. Those peppermint truffles look dreamy. Can’t wait to try them! Thanks for sharing,
    Jess : )

    Reply
  13. Jen

    I love this recipe! I’m going to make these this weekend and I can’t wait! Quick question, though… Under white chocolate peppermint truffles, what does “tbl” of butter mean? I don’t want to put in any more or less butter than I need to! And if I would like to just make white chocolate truffles, sans peppermint, could I follow that same recipe and nix the peppermint? Thank you! -Jen

    Reply
  14. lena

    when i was making the white chocolate ganache, i only had 11 oz of chocolate, so i skimped a bit on the cream and butter. melting the chocolate and getting a good consistency was difficult. i had to drain some of the oils and put it back on heat to finally get it to a good consistency

    Reply
  15. Jaki Stewart

    How many does this recipe make? I am making them for an event where I work and need to know how much of the ingredients to buy.

    Reply
  16. Linda

    I thought I would be printing a “printer friendly” version of the recipe when I hit print! Just the recipe, concise. Now I have 15 pages of comments, color images, wasted alot of ink and paper! I sure hope they are REALLY good! Please make a user friendly version if you are having a print option.

    Reply
  17. KitKat

    Of course, this is the right recipe, with the proper ratio of cream to chocolate! The problem is I found this out the hard way-by following famous chefs who recommended the cream and chocolate in equal quantities-disaster!! I had a mixture that was too soft to work with, which stuck in my hands and made a mess of everything…Thanks for sharing this sensible recipe!

    Reply

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