Snuffling for Truffles
Last year (!) I posted about how I had decided to make presents for the adults in our family this year, as our budget was more stretched than we had been used to since I gave up my teaching salary. In fact, I rather enjoyed it, leaving aside that in an ideal world I would have left myself far more time to complete the process, and so perhaps could have avoided several 4am bedtimes in a rush to get everything done in time. I enjoyed it so much that I’m already pondering what I can do for next Christmas, and this time, I will start much earlier, maybe even in the summer so that I can complete my (rather more elaborate) plans without causing myself too much stress 🙂
One of the things that I made that seemed to go down well was chocolate truffles. I know a lot of people make them, but I have never really got on with the whole “chill the truffle mix and then roll it in cocoa or something suitable” method – perhaps because my hands are too warm maybe – anyway, they always seem to melt and leave me in a dreadful mess, so I banished that idea.
I practiced my plan on some unwitting volunteers – the postman and the site manager at Bean’s school, who both got some of my first efforts as Christmas presents. Now don’t get me wrong, these first efforts were lovely, but they didn’t look as professional as I would have liked, and they were a royal PITA to make, since I was using a cheap chocolate and an ice cube tray. After the initial batches were made, both of these moulds ended up in the bin and I ordered some silicone moulds online. Ahhh, they made life so much easier, although when they arrived, each mould was roughly twice the size I was expecting and so everyone got the most enormous chocolates you’ve ever seen.
Because I was making roughly 150 of these mega-truffles, I got a little system going. I would paint one set of mould with melted chocolate to form a shell and whilst that was setting, I would make the truffle mix. Whilst that was cooling, I would fill another set of moulds with cooled truffle mix, or pour melted chocolate onto set truffles to form the bottom of the shell. It worked quite well and enabled me to get most of the chocolate making done in one very long and stressful day!
After some experimentation, I decided on the following flavours:
- Dark chocolate and rose truffle in a dark chocolate shell
- Dark chocolate and mint truffle in a dark chocolate shell
- Dark chocolate and ginger truffle in a dark chocolate shell
- Dark chocolate and cardamom truffle in a dark chocolate shell
- Dark chocolate and cayenne truffle in a dark chocolate shell
- White chocolate, mango and coconut truffle in a milk chocolate shell
- Milk chocolate and hazelnut truffle in a milk chocolate shell
- White chocolate and raspberry truffle in a white chocolate shell
- Milk chocolate, apricots and almond truffle in a white chocolate shell
The truffle recipe I used was very simple – 75ml of cream to 250g of chocolate and 15g of unsalted butter. Heat the cream until it is almost boiling, remove from the heat, add the broken up chocolate and the butter. Leave to melt and then stir it all together. Add your flavourings and leave to cool.
If you’re going the traditional method, you’ll need to leave the mix to cool and thicken so it can be rolled into balls. With my method, it’s left to cool so that it won’t melt the chocolate casings but is still runny. You simply spoon the mix into the moulds, which are already lined with chocolate (having painted them with melted chocolate and left to set) and then pop in the fridge (or freezer if you’re in a hurry) to set. When they have, top off with more melted chocolate to seal the shell and then leave to set completely before turning out of the mould.
I put them into kilner style jars and finished these off with fancy florists’ ribbon and a menu card on handmade paper. And here they are: