I've been making truffles every Christmas for years. I love making different flavours and packaging them up on a bed of pine needles. They make perfect presents. But as I discovered on Saturday, they are also just the thing to bring to a gathering. Make the chocolate mixture in advance (since it needs several hours to chill in the fridge before rolling into balls), and then bring it with you and have everyone roll them out together. The great thing about truffles is that they are dead easy to make AND heavenly to eat. And you get to whip out your creative flair when it comes to dreaming up various flavours. For Saturday's truffles, I divided my chocolate mixture into 3 batches and flavoured each one as follows:
- Rosemary Tangerine (rosemary & grated tangerine rind & a splash of lemon liqueur)
- Raspberry Lavender (dried lavender & raspberry vodka)
- Cardamom, Nutmeg, and Black Pepper (all freshly ground, this was my favorite, it tasted like chai)
Chocolate Truffles from Kitchen Vignettes on Vimeo.
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream (35%)
300 grams / 10.5 oz chocolate (use dark, organic & fair trade whenever possible)
2 tbsp butter (or omit the butter and add 2 extra tbsp cream)
2 Tbsp liqueur of choice (this is optional)
Pinch of salt
2 Tbsp cocoa powder for rolling (or chopped nuts, crushed candy, whatever suits your fancy)
In a small saucepan, heat the cream and butter on medium heat. Remove from heat when the butter is melted and the cream is hot, just before it starts to boil. Chop the chocolate into pieces and add it to the cream and butter mixture. Add a pinch of salt (salt brings out the flavour of chocolate). Stir to melt all the chocolate. If the chocolate doesn't melt completely, you can place it on top of a saucepan filled with boiling water water, just until it melts.
Add your flavours of choice (spices, mint extract, rum, amaretto, espresso, etc...). Mix well and then cover the saucepan and place it in the fridge for about 3 hours or overnight. Remove from fridge and shape into little balls. Roll the balls in cocoa powder, or chopped nuts, or crushed candy cane. (Keep in mind, the balls do not have to be perfect, truffles are after all named after these weird-looking but delicious fungi).
Enjoy, share & be merry!