Friday, 6 March 2015

Mother's Day Chocolate Truffles

Chocolate Truffles
Well, Mother's Day is fast approaching, 15th March, and this year I've decided to make my lovely mum some confectionary in the form of chocolate truffles!

What better way to show your mum how much you love her than with something made by yourself.  And of course you don't just have to give them to your mum; you could use the idea as a "thank you" gift, as we did for our vet a few months ago.

Chocolate Truffles
Home made chocolate truffles
The truffles are really easy to make, don't take a vast amount of time, and don't require any fancy gadgets!

A few facts for you now:  the truffles will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container kept in the fridge; they are freezable (use within 3 months) and are great to have as standby for an impromptu dinner party; this quantity makes about 40 truffles ; and they cost about £3.10 to make - that's just over 7.5p each!! Bargain!!

I made 3 flavoured truffles: Almond biscuit rolled in icing sugar, stem ginger coated in cocoa powder, and rum rolled in toasted desiccated coconut.  Of course, there's an enormous range of flavours you could try, such as; orange, freeze dried berries, vanilla, coffee, or elderflower.  Other coatings you could try are; chopped nuts such as almond or pistachio, and tempered chocolate.  The world's your lobster, or should that be oyster!

Chocolate Truffles:

So here's what you'll need for the truffles base:
150g double cream (don't be tempted to use single cream, it won't work)
25g unsalted butter
200g milk chocolate (I used a chocolate with just 33% cocoa solids rather than the usual recommendation of 70%.  We don't care for the taste of the stronger chocolates - unsophisticated taste buds you know! These tasted gorgeous though.)

For the flavourings you'll need:
40g mini amaretti biscuits (crushed to powder)
1/2 stem ginger ball, chopped very finely
1 tsp stem ginger syrup, from the jar
1 tsp rum
2 digestive biscuits (crushed to powder)

For the truffle coating:
6 desert spoons of desiccated coconut, toasted
1 tsp cocoa powder, sifted
1 tsp icing sugar, sifted

Chocolate Truffles
Home Made Chocolate Truffles

Here's how (it' really easy)!
1. Get your chosen fillings ready.

2. Pop the butter & cream into a medium size pan and gently heat until the butter has melted and the cream has warmed (but not boiling). Whilst this is happening break the chocolate up into small pieces.

3. Remove the pan from the heat and tip the chocolate into the cream and melted butter. Stir with a wooden spoon.  Keep stirring.  The chocolate will look as though it has split, but it is fine and will soon fully combine as you continue mixing.  This is chocolate ganache.  It will look luxuriously shiny!

4. Pour your chocolate ganache into 3 bowls (or the chosen number of  flavourings you are using)

5. Add your flavourings to the separate bowls and mix.   I added crushed amarettit biscuits to my first bowl.  This provides a lovely almond flavour and texture.  To my second bowl I added the chopped stem ginger with the syrup. The final flavour was rum.  I only added a small amount of alcohol because I honestly found this sufficient without blowing my head off!  If you add to much liquid you could run the risk of the gnache not setting fully.  To counteract this I added crushed digestive biscuits. 

6.  Leave the bowls of chocolate to firm up in a cool room or fridge for at least 2 hours.

7. Prepare your coatings by popping the ingredients into separate bowls.  To toast the desiccated coconut, just pop it into a pan over a gentle heat on the hob.  Don't leave it alone else it will soon burn.  Move the coconut around a little every 30 seconds or so.  You'll soon smell and hear it 'toasting'.  Be aware at this point that it can easily brown too much.  Pour into a bowl when it's ready.

Mini cupcake cases

8.  Have some mini cupcake case lined up ready for the shaped truffles.  These particular cases were bought for £1.49 for 100 and have a gorgeous floral design around the outside. There are loads of outlets for them, it appears Dunelm Mill have them on offer at just 34p for 100 (here)!   If you decide not to use these, have a sheet of grease proof paper ready.

9.  Now's the messy part!  If you naturally have cold hands, you could shape the truffles in the palm of your hand.  Alternatively, use a melon baller or teaspoons.  Take half a teaspoon of mixer and gently roll in your hands to form a ball, handling as little as possible.  Pop the truffle into the bowl of your chosen topping and gently roll it about to cover.  Place the truffle in a mini cup cake case (or on the sheet of greaseproof paper).

Now that the truffles are made (and I hope you have sampled one or two - I did - chef's perks!), pop them into an airtight container until you are ready to give them to your mum.

She'll love 'em, though not as much as you for making them for her!!

Do stay tuned to find out how I'm going to present my handmade chocolate truffles to my mum!


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