Read this recipe through before attempting, and prep your kitchen and refrigerator to make space, and prep your platters/baking sheets, etc before starting. So long as the ratio of chocolate to cream is respected, this will work, and you MUST use whipping cream (35% butterfat or milkfat or higher) — table cream will NOT work.
Ideas for flavourings:
Kirsh, Irish Cream, Kaluha, Triple Sec or Cointreau, Amaretto, etc.
Freshly squeezed orange juice, orange zest
Skor bar bits (available commercially), peanut brittle bits (do not add these to a too-warm mixture, as they will melt and make your mixture too soft to handle)
Toasted nuts, coconut
Cherries (fresh or dried)
Ive never used artifical flavourings for trufflesI just dont think its right.
If youre a little afraid of merkens (and I dont blame you), you can roll your truffle balls in a little melted semi-sweet chocolate chips with a touch of white shortening melted in, and then coat with some sort of dry treat like fine coconut or ground nuts or candy sprinkles. Some people roll their truffles in cocoa powder, but I find this very bitter and unpleasant.
Final note: these make excellent fundraising treats or gifts.
Aunt-Judy’s Popular Chocolate Truffles
You will need:
Good eating chocolate and whipping cream (35% BF) at a ratio of at least 2:1 (use more chocolate whenever possible as this will give you an easier to manage mixture). If using milk chocolate, decrease the cream by 1/3. I like to use 500g (about 17 ounce) bars of chocolate to 250ml whipping cream (and I usually increase the chocolate just a bit).
If using liquid flavouring (like juice or liquers) you must reduce the cream amount by the fluid amount of the flavouring, or add chocolate by that weight amount (so, if adding 1/3 cup of Irish cream or orange juice, you will need to add approx 90 grams or 3 ounces of chocolate).
Coating chocolate (merkens), which are available in bulk food stores in button form. Get at least a good portion of dark (at least half a kilo or about 18 ounces) and some white for decoration. Merkens can vary in their meltability and tendency to seize up.
A non-porous bowl (metal or glass) for the chocolate mixture and a non-plastic (glass or glazed earthenware) bowl suitable for microwaving.
A disher, or two spoons, or a melonballer and a spoon. Do not use wooden spoons or porous bowls or plates with chocolate.
Plastic wrap, wax paper, a fork and a spoon or dipping tool, and cooking sheets/pizza pans/plates or trays that can fit in your fridge.
How to do it:
Break up the chocolate into the metal or glass bowl.
Boil the cream on the stovetop. The cream should just boil, without over-boiling (this can happen very quickly so watch it.) Immediately pour the cream over the chocolate and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let sit a couple of minutes, remove wrap, and stir with spoon. If chocolate does not melt completely, you can microwave for a minute at a time at 50% power (if in a glass bowl) and stir till melted, or if in a metal bowl, you can use a potholder and carefully heat the bowl on the stovetop on very low heat, stirring constantly until chocolate pieces are completely melted. At this time, add your flavourings, stirring to combine. If adding toffee pieces or fruits or nuts, allow the mixture to cool to room temperature before these additions. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate till mixture is firm enough to scoop (it should not be hard). Try not to freeze this mixture or allow it to sit in the fridge too long; you want to avoid condensation forming, which will cause your coating to seize up.
Line your trays with wax paper and, using disher or spoons, scoop out portions onto the trays. Refrigerate till firm enough to pick up. Form the lumps gently into balls by rolling between your hands. You may need to clean your hands (with JUST cold water and a cloth) and dry them frequently, especially if your hands are warm. Remember: water, in all its forms (liquid, steam, condensation from the fridge) is the enemy of chocolate. Return the rolled balls to the fridge, and chill till firm.
Have another wax paper-lined tray or two ready. Place a handful or two of the coating in your microwavable container (shallow glass bowl/soup plate is ideal), and heat at 50% power for about 2.5 minutes. Stir the coating to completely melt the buttons (you may need to microwave them more; do so in 15 second intervals at 50% power). Remove the balls from the fridge and one by one, coat them:
Place ball in coating. Spoon coating over ball. Pick up ball from underneath with a fork or chocolate-dipping spoon. Lift, and gently shake and tap the fork using the edge of the bowl. Place the truffle on the clean wax paper-lined tray upside down. Lift the fork off the top of the truffle (at this point you may have to dab the truffle top, perhaps adding a little extra melted coating, to seal the top. Practice will tell you how much youll need and youll get a feel for the dabbing.) The coating should set in a minute or two at room temperature. After you have coated all the truffles, you can take some of the melted coating, or some melted coating of another colour (like white) and pipe or drizzle a design on the top. This will help cover up any messy tops or any cracks which may occur. If you want to stick candies or nuts on the outside, have a little bowl of whatever you want to stick ready, and dip a little bit of the truffle in the melted coating, and then gentle press the truffle INTO the bowl of stuff (it will stick and cover cleanly this way) When all the coating is dry, place the truffles in miniature baking cups, or a few in a regular size baking cup, or in some other container or just arranged alluringly on a plate (a doiley or other such decoration is nice). They also make great decorations for the top of a cake (affix them with a little icing).
Don’t kid yourself — this is chocolate and cream — enjoy these in healthy, mindful, indulgent moderation.