I decided to make chocolate truffles for give-aways this past Christmas. There's something about making the gifts that you give to people you love. I feel that it is more personal, and just thinking that somebody took the time (and effort) to make something for me just warms my heart.
Real truffles are actually edible fungi. They are seasonal and hard to obtain (they grow in forests), and as such, are very expensive (I saw an ad selling 1.75 oz of fresh black truffles for a whopping $350). Chocolate truffles are named such because of its resemblance to this fungi - especially if it is rolled in powdered cocoa. I don't know what real truffles taste like, but at $350 for about 2 ounces, I would settle for these yummy (and cheaper) chocolate ones!
What you need:
For the truffles:
1 cup heavy cream
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
8 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
For the chocolate coating:
1 package (11.5 oz) semi-sweet chocolate
1 tablespoon Canola oil
unsweetened cocoa powder
What to do:
In a medium saucepan over low heat, bring the heavy cream to a simmer. Remove from heat. Add the bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolates and stir until it's melted and the mixture is smooth. Pour the mixture in a bowl and let cool for about 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to firm up.
Melt the package of semi-sweet chocolate on a double boiler over medium heat. When melted, lower the heat and add the canola oil. Mix well.
Using a spoon or melon baller, scoop enough hardened chocolate ganache to make a 1-inch ball. Make it a circle by rounding it between your palms, then dipping it in the melted semi-sweet chocolate. Continue doing so until you use up all of your ganache. Refrigerate for another hour.
Roll the truffles in cocoa powder or confectioner's sugar. Or decorate the top with candy sprinkles. Serve at room temperature.
Tips, Tricks and Tweaks:
1. Skipping the semi-sweet chocolate covering is fine, but it might not harden enough for rolling in cocoa powder. The chocolate actually provides an outer shell for the truffle.
2. Lessen the vanilla if it is too strong for you.
3. For flavored truffles, add about 2 tablespoons of orange, coffee, or hazelnut liqueur.
4. Try rolling your truffles in finely chopped peanuts, shredded coconut, or crushed toffee.