Sunday, December 10, 2006

Chocolate Truffles

Our family makes these all the time for holidays, parties or wedding receptions. They're easy and taste more fabulous than this poor blog can describe.

If you're feeling particularly ambitious you can make a Truffle Tree (sounds like Dr. Seuss I know, but bear with me here) where you take about 70 small truffles, put them on toothpicks and use them to cover a Styrofoam cone. Insert a dowl into the bottom of the cone and "plant" it in a decorated terra cotta pot. I've lifted this picture from Reader's Digest where they've used a Styrofoam ball instead, but it looks similar to what I've made and you get the idea.

The thing to remember is to cover the Styrofoam with aluminum foil first and tightly pack the chocolates. I insert gold or silver leaves, pink rose buds, whatever coordinates with my theme, with straight pins in between the chocolates to hide the silver underneath. The benefit to using a cone over a ball too is that in warm weather the chocolates won't get soft and drop off the bottom of your tree like it's harvest time.

½ c heavy whipping cream
1/3 c granulated sugar
6 T butter (no substitutes)
1 c semi sweet chips
1 t pure vanilla extract
fine quality milk chocolate for dipping

Melt the cream, sugar, butter and chips over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until smooth and bubbly, being very careful not to burn. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Chill in refrigerator over night. Form truffle centers by taking 1 T chocolate ganache mixture and rolling between your hands into a ball (you'll get very messy, just plan on it). Try not to overwork the centers and place them on a wax-paper covered cookie sheet. Chill overnight. Dip centers in melted milk chocolate with a fork. It'll be tricky and take some practice to do it so that you cover the ball completely but keep at it. It always takes me a few "throw-aways" to get the hang of it again. Bummer.

Note: if your centers are unusually soft, try freezing them overnight instead of chilling. Also, cut back a little on the butter if you're still having trouble. You can add a 1/4 t mint extract for variety, just stir it in with the vanilla at the end. You can dip in dark chocolate or white chocolate as well, though white chocolate can get messy because the hot melted white chocolate will begin to melt the dark frozen center and become marbled the farther along you go in the dipping process.

Cover finished truffles with finely chopped nuts, thin lines of a contrasting color chocolate, or sprinkles.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi! Thanks for stopping in at my blog! I love chocolate truffles, or anything chocolate really. I made these for my first wedding back in 94. It ws fun, but not quick.

Bec of the Ladies Lounge said...

These sound wonderful. Am drooling from afar.

I just read a brilliant 'cheat' over at Emma's hearth at home (I should have dug up the link but she's on my blogroll) for very very cute little Christmas puddings. You might like it too?

I love the idea of a Truffle tree - and yes, which Dr Suess is that? The one with the factory that burns all the Truffula trees and has an ahead-of-its-time environmental theme?

Anonymous said...

My mother-in-law makes this recipe, and it is simply fabulous!

Anonymous said...

You are making me salivate just imaging the possibilities....

Anonymous said...

That looks and sounds wonderful. :) Thanks for dropping by my blog the other day!

Anonymous said...

Oh, these sound really good. Thanks for sharing that recipe! I just wanted to point out that when I am working with chocolate, there are NO throw aways....maybe some 'eat me first' mistakes...but never throw aways...HAHA.

Anonymous said...

Oh. My. Gawd! I love you!

Anonymous said...

Oh. My. Gawd! I love you!

scribbit said...

The great thing about these things too (besides the obvious chocolate factor) is they're totally easy and make you look like Queen of the Kitchen when you show up with a plate of them.

Damselfly said...

Once again, you are so lucky for living where you do. My truffles don't turn out because the ganache can never be done right. I live in too humid an area (most of the year) for truffles to take.

SeaBird said...

Hello!

I love the truffle sculpture idea -what a great Christmas tradition! I'm going to link to it from my blog tomorrow.


SeaBird

stef said...

ooooh, what a lovely idea!!! I'll have to file that away for next year. thanks for sharing.

chocolate strawberries said...

Here's how to make delicious chocolate covered strawberries. First of all ensure that the strawberries you are intending to use are dry, then allow them to be room temperature warm prior to making them. After the strawberries have been covered in chocolate, put them in your refrigerator to cool, but do not store them in the fridge. Consume within 1-2 days.

Allison Smith said...

So I'm hosting a Valentine's party this weekend and I love to cook. I made these tonight for the party and I've died and gone to heaven. Thank you! I'm glad I found your site. Look forward to more finds from your site.

Anniemoomoo said...

I made these with my best friend the other day! Our mum's loved them! Love you blog!