I love chocolate truffles for two reasons:
- You have an excuse to grab the best chocolate in your pantry.
- Truffles freeze really well. This gives you a chance to make lots of them and simply freeze them. Just pull them out whenever you feel the sudden compulsive need to satiate your chocolate craving. Like right now, at 2 am on a quiet Friday morning.
I could lengthen this list, but you don’t really need any convincing to make chocolate truffles, do you?
Now some of you might think that truffle-making is a fancy art, one that only a pro-chocolatier is adept at. Wrong. With three simple ingredients (chocolate, cream and your choice of coating) and a basic understanding of the process, you will be on your way to rolling out the most stunning chocolate creations.
And with V-day just around the corner, you can make truffles as presents for your loved one… even if you don’t know how to cook! (Thank you, whoever you are. I’m going to assume you’re hanging around here for the photography and writing (maybe?), so I’m flattered.)
I’m always looking at trying out different newer varieties for my truffles, so I’ve listed a whole bunch of variations that might be worth a try. This list is nowhere close to being exhaustive. I hope to update this with newer ideas and flavour combinations, so do share what you have on your mind in the discussion below. You can get creative and make a flavour that suits you best. But please don’t make a truffle with rice crispies or citrus peel, dust it with matcha, and then come back and tell me that your girlfriend almost choked on it. However, if you work at Patrick Roger’s
and think this could be your next signature truffle (and maybe looking to hire someone), then Comment ça va
Truffle Flavour variations:
To stir into cream:
- Alcohol – raspberry, kirsch, kahlua, baileys, Cointreau, grand marnier, Amaratto
- Pistachio paste
Or for steeping in cream (bring the cream to a boil with any of the following, and let it sit for at least 20 minutes. Bring it to a boil again to pour over chocolate):
- Espresso powder or any other flavouring powder you may want to include
- Citrus peel
- Fresh fragrant flowers like rose petals (I’m so excited to try this!)
- Hot Spices: ginger, chilli powder, black pepper
- Sweet Spices: vanilla beans, cinnamon, cardamom
- Herbs: lemongrass, mint, rosemary, lemon balm leaves, kefir lime leaves, thyme
And/or stir into chocolate ganache:
- Roasted, chopped nuts
- Rice crispies
- Chopped white chocolate
And finally the coatings:
- The ubiquitous cocoa powder
- Roasted, chopped nuts: walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pecans
- Shredded coconut
- Candied fruits and flowers
- Tempered chocolate
The garnish (optional or when tempered chocolate is used as a coating):
- Vanilla bean seeds mixed into white chocolate and spooned over each truffle
- Matcha powder
- Sea salt
Given my love for hazelnut, it’s no surprise that I made truffles with roasted hazelnuts. I crushed them into really, really tiny morsels (this allows you to just feel the subtle crunch and flavour that comes through, without biting into a chunk of it.) And to maintain the distinctness of textures of chocolate and hazelnut, I sifted the crushed hazelnuts and let go of the hazelnut fairy dust. I’m not a very bitter-chocolatey person, so I used 50% milk chocolate that orangefoodie got me from Paris (the Paris post is next, I promise!)
To make these truffles I consulted none other than Alice Medrich’s Bittersweet
. This book of hers is one that every chocolate lover must own. Although I’ve probably said it many times before
, I don’t think I can praise this book enough. This is the only one you’ll need to refer to for anything to do with chocolate. Quite like how Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours
is for baking.
Makes: 50 truffles
8 oz. / 225g. bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used 4 oz bittersweet and 4 oz. milk)
1 cup/ 200g. heavy cream
2 oz. / 60g. hazelnuts, toasted, then chopped up and sifted
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- To make the ganache: Place the chocolate in a medium bowl and set aside. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil over a low heat. Pour it over the chocolate and let it stand for 2 minutes, then stir gently, until the chocolate has completed melted. Let it cool a bit, after which you can stir in the chopped hazelnuts. Next, get a shallow container and line it with parchment paper. Pour the ganache on it and spread evenly. Refrigerate this for 4 hours or overnight.
- To form truffles: Once the ganache has firmed up, score lines on the sheet of ganache inn the box to give you 50 squares. This way, you can achieve even sized truffles. Now pluck each square from the parchment and roll it into a 1 inch ball. Depending on how warm your environment is, you might need to refrigerate the rolled truffles for another hour before you can coat them.
- Coat the truffles: Once rolled into balls, toss them in a plate of sifted cocoa and coat them evenly.