Sometimes, there is nothing quite like a little bit of chocolate. Every so often, my mind and body crave that little mouth full of chocolaty goodness. I don’t buy chocolate bars and I don’t like to snack. But in the evenings, especially on days when the weather is bad, I like to curl up on the sofa and have a little nibble of chocolate. But only the dark stuff. I can eat milk chocolate when tempted, but the high cocoa percentage bars are my favourite.
My sister and I like to try different strength bars every so often, and after a big dinner, a little square can round off the meal perfectly. But only if it’s good quality. The way she and I can tell if it’s the good stuff, is if we sneeze after eating a square. Anything around the 70% cocoa mark, if it’s rich, creamy and smooth, will make us sneeze. Around the 80-85% mark, we might even sneeze twice. It’s hard to explain but it works for us.
When going to someones house for dinner, I like to bring a little home-made treat. Usually a cake or box of truffles. Truffles are really simple to make, just three ingredients can bring a smile to anyones face and fill their heart with chocolate warmth. Truffles are fantastic as christmas gifts too. You can flavour truffles in all different ways, some people like a hint of whiskey in theirs, or coffee flavour. The choices are almost endless. The same goes for their coating. I like to keep it simple with cocoa powder or crushed nuts. But you can play around with different flavour and textural combinations to your heart’s content. So I present you with my easy chocolate truffles…
For the truffles:
- 300 g good quality dark chocolate (around 70% cocoa)
- 300 ml double cream
- 50 g butter
For the coating:
- 2 tbsp good quality cocoa powder
- 100 g nuts (I like hazelnuts), finely chopped. I give them a whizz in the blender to make them fine but not like powder. You want them to still have some bite.
- large bowl
- rubber spatula
- melon baller
- mini paper cases
Start by grating or finely chopping the chocolate and place in a large bowl.
Heat the cream and butter together, do not boil but bring to almost boiling point (when there is a lot of steam coming off of it). Pour the hot cream mix into the bowl with the grated chocolate. You can add any desired flavourings at this point. Mix thoroughly until glossy and smooth.
Allow to cool and then place the chocolate mixture into the fridge to set for about 4 hours. Take out of the fridge 20 minutes before wanting to assemble the truffles.
Boil the kettle and pour a cup of hot water. Place the melon baller into the hot water to heat up. This helps the truffle to fall from the melon baller when being shaped.
There are two ways to form the truffle. If you like big truffles, you can scoop a full ball of chocolate and place into the topping of choice. Or if you are like me and don’t like to have too big a mouth full and want to retain some composure while eating them, then I like to roll the chocolate into a ball rather than take a chunk of chocolate, making it lighter and easier to eat. This can take a little practicing.
Roll the truffles in the toppings and place into little paper cases. These will keep in an air tight container for up to a week or you can easily freeze them.
To give as gifts, place in a nice little box and wrap with ribbon.