(Mass Appeal) – Truffles make a great gift. They are easy to make and customize to your flavor preference. Mary Reilly from Westfield State University shows us how to make this surprisingly easy treat.
Use dark chocolate in these, not chocolate chips meant for baking. Those chips usually contain more fat and can result in a slightly greasy filling.
The truffle-making process is simple and can be spread out over a few days: make the ganache, chill it before forming the centers, then coat with chocolate and garnish. The coating process can be messy, so I recommend wearing disposable gloves for that part of the process.
Makes about 3 dozen
2 cups heavy cream
1 pound chocolate, chopped (I prefer dark chocolate)
Flavoring of your choice, optional (see below)
1 pound chocolate, chopped
For garnish: 2 cups cocoa powder, crushed candies, citrus zest, whatever pairs well with the flavors you’ve chosen
Place the cream in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Watch out, cream boils over quickly! This is the time to steep flavors into the cream if that’s what you’re doing. (see below)
Remove the hot cream from the heat and add the chopped chocolate, salt, and any extracts, if using.
Let the chocolate sit in the cream for a minute or so, then gently whisk the cream and chocolate together. You’ll form a rich chocolate sauce. This is called ganache.
Scrape the ganache into a bowl and let cool until stiff. Store in the refrigerator until ready to form the truffles. This step can be done a day ahead.
Form the cooled ganache into small balls, about 1½ tablespoons. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
Melt the remaining chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave.
Set up your finishing station: The balls of ganache, melted chocolate, and a dish of cocoa powder.
Put a little melted chocolate on your fingers and roll one ball of ganache in your hand to coat it in melted chocolate. Drop the truffle into cocoa powder to coat. Garnish with zest or candies if desired. Repeat with remaining balls of ganache. Let the chocolate shell harden before packaging the truffles.
There is nothing wrong with keeping your chocolate truffles chocolatey. But if you want to make an assortment of flavors, try:
Extracts like vanilla, almond, orange or peppermint
Rum, brandy, other flavored liqueurs
Flavor the cream with tea, berries or herbs: Heat the cream and toss in your flavorings. Let them steep in the cream for about an hour. Strain and reheat the cream and proceed with the recipe.