Winter’s here, and Christmas is right around the corner. If you’re a do-it-yourself type like me, you might prefer to make your gifts instead of purchasing them. And if that’s the case, why not whip up some chocolate truffles this year — they’re not all that hard to make, and everyone loves chocolate!
Here’s a foolproof recipe for the holidays:
Yields 60 Truffles
8 oz. wt. Dark chocolate, chopped – choose something between 60 and 70% cocoa content, and high quality. I wouldn’t recommend using chocolate chips or Baker’s Chocolate.
½ cup Heavy cream
2 tbsp Honey
1 tbsp Unsalted butter, softened
1/8-1/4 tsp Peppermint oil (optional)
Tempered dark chocolate – for coating
Unsweetened cocoa powder – for coating
1. Combine heavy cream and honey in small saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. Once the cream just begins to boil, pour over the dark chocolate and let sit about 1 minute to melt.
3. Stir the mixture in a circular motion with a spatula until it completely comes together.
4. Add butter and stir until incorporated.
5. Add the peppermint oil to taste (if desired) and stir.
6. Pour ganache into a 13×9 inch pan to let cool until the ganache has reached a plastic, malleable consistency (not solid). This will take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour.
7. Stir the ganache gently, moving it back and forth in the pan until firm enough to pipe from a bag but not solid.
8. Using a pastry bag, pipe into ½-inch to 1-inch size balls. Alternatively, you can scoop the same size truffles with a melon baller or spoon.
9. Allow those pieces to set up until firm enough to pick up. This should take about 20 minutes.
10. Roll the pieces into balls with your hands.
11. Pre-coat truffles in dark tempered chocolate by putting a small pool of tempered chocolate in your non-dominant hand and rolling the truffles around in it with your dominant hand.
12. Once all truffles have been pre-coated, give them another coat by hand and drop them into cocoa powder after that second coat. Roll them around to get an even coat of cocoa powder onto the truffles.
13. Allow to sit out overnight to let the chocolate fully set.
TIP: If truffles do not firm up at room temperature, put them in the refrigerator briefly.
And that’s all there is to making your own handmade chocolate truffles! Now all you need to do is decide who the recipients are, and divvy up your batch however you see fit:
• 10 truffles each for six lucky people?
• Half for you, and the other 30 for your favorite uncle?
• “Did I say gifts? I haven’t told anyone, so they’ll never know…”
If you find yourself in the last camp above, and your little chocolate gems seem to have vanished into thin air — rest assured there are some excellent options out there on the web, including our very own Christmas chocolate truffles.
And if you take them out of the box, who’s to say you didn’t make them?
Lauren Deitsch is the Research & Development Specialist / Chocolatier at Lake Champlain Chocolates in Burlington, VT, where she works to develop new chocolate recipes every day. She’s a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. In addition to a love for all things chocolate, she enjoys connecting with friends, reading, traveling, hiking, running, and cooking.