Friday, December 24, 2010

Chocolate Christmas Truffles

Chocolate truffles are so delicious and easy to make. And they are something that I've never seen recreated well in a store-bought product. You can flavor them any number of ways, with extracts or liquer, different chocolate types, and different coverings such as tempered chocolate, candy melts, nuts, sugars, and powders. You can get a thousand different types of truffles from just one basic recipe. They're fun to eat, beautiful to give as gifts, and require only a few simple ingredients.

I used all semi-sweet chocolate today because that's what was in my kitchen. And I flavored them with DiSaronno because I had just a little bit left.

Break up your chocolate bar into small pieces. It always makes me a little sad to break such a pretty piece of chocolate--although I do like that nice snap it makes.

Pour your chocolate chips on top. You'll need almost a bag and a half.

Now pour your cream into the bowl.

Top it off with a pat of butter.

Now you'll want to melt everything together. You could put your bowl over a pot of boiling water, or you could gently heat things together in the microwave. I chose the microwave route--30 seconds, stir, 30 seconds, stir, etc., until the chocolate was fully melted. The stirring is important--it keeps your chocolate from burning.

Once your chocolate is melted, you can add in your flavorings. Here's the amaretto liquer.

I also added a little vanilla--there wasn't quite as much amaretto as I thought there was. Otherwise I would have just added the liquer.

Is it weird if I want to take a swim in this?

Now pop your bowl in the fridge or freezer for a while. You want to firm it up so it's hard enough to roll into balls. Keep an eye on it--it gets hard to manage if you let it get too cold.

Here's what it looks like after about an hour. An hour firmed the top half enough to roll, but then I had to put the bowl back in the fridge to cool the bottom half. I'm impatient like that.

To roll out your truffles, just scoop out a small chunk o' chocolate. You don't want them to be too large--they're pretty rich.

Gently roll them between your hands. Don't worry if they're not perfect. They'll just resemble their namesake more closely. And things will only get more messy the longer you try for perfection.

To keep things a little clean, I cover my cookie sheet or plate or whatever I plan on setting the truffles on with some parchment paper. Pop them back in the fridge to cool down again.

I rolled my truffles in cocoa powder, but you could use nuts, sprinkles, powdered sugar, or a chocolate or candy coating instead.
What I like to do with the cocoa powder is push all the powder to one side of the bowl or plate.

I roll the truffle around in the powder, and then give the truffle a couple short drops or taps on the side of the bowl with no powder. This shakes off all the excess. See that ring around the truffle? That just one tap from that one truffle.

Little paper cups gift the truffles somewhere flat to hang out. I store them in a cookie tin with a tightly fitting lid.

Give these truffles as a gift or keep them around the house for a decadent snack. Store them in the freezer and they'll keep for months--that is, if they last that long!

Recipe: Chocolate Christmas Truffles

1 c. heavy cream
4 oz. unsweetened, semi-sweet, bittersweet, or dark chocolate
2 3/4 c. semi-sweet chips
2 tbsp. butter
1 shot liquer
1 tsp. vanilla

coating of your choice

Melt cream, chocolate, chips, and butter together in a bowl. Add liquer and vanilla. Store in the fridge or freezer to let the mixture firm up.

Once mixture has hardened (~2 hours), roll into bite-sized truffles. Place on a cookie sheet or plate. Once all truffles are rolled out, return them to the fridge.

Roll cooled truffles in whatever coating you choose (tempered chocolate or candy melts, nuts, sprinkles, etc.) Store in a cool place.

Posts will resume on Monday, December 27. Have a merry Christmas or an otherwise happy holiday!

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