If the genuine truffle is the sheer essence of the earthy fungus, then a chocolate truffle must be the absolute peak of all that is chocolatey. Even the simplest of all chocolate truffles, cream, butter and melted chocolate tossed in the darkest, smokiest cocoa powder, is a treat to behold. The velvety touch of the powder as it mingles with your heat of your fingers, the seductive crack of the chocolate coating yielding to the soft inner truffle. Decadence that Oscar Wilde would truly have approved of.
In my ongoing quest to find the perfect chocolate recipe, I have been avidly scouring a book called Making Fine Chocolates by master chocolatier, Andrew Garrison Shotts. His book is modestly written and you warm easily to author. His recipes produce (theoretically at least) stunning chocolates that would proudly grace any high quality confectionary. Whilst my truffles are not as perfectly spherical as illustrated in the book, they tasted truly wicked yet, because of their infinite richness, you don’t want more than one (oh go on then, just one more) so they have a virtuous side to them too.
They are also fun to make and make you feel, if only temporarily, that with time, practise and money, you too could be one of those chocolatiers on the Lindt adverts, stiring huge copper pans filled with molten chocolate.
This recipe is incredibly simple to make but you will wow your friends if you pass out cellophane bags, filled with your truffles and tied cutely with ribbon, as gifts. And, to ring the changes, you could dip them in white chocolate, milk chocolate and then toss them in toasted coconut, chopped hazelnuts, flaked chocolate. Let your imagination run riot!
Classic Dark 72 Percent Truffles – makes approx.30
119g 72% (or thereabouts, some some brands are 70 or 75%) chocolate, chopped
112g Heavy Cream
2 teaspoons corn (or golden) syrup
14 Salted Butter, cubed, soft
To coat Truffles:
250g Chocolate, melted gently over double boiler
To make the truffles:
Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl and leave to one side.
Gently heat the cream and syrup in a pan until it reaches a rolling boil.
Pour over the chopped chocolate and leave to stand for 2 minutes. Stir slowly, then add butter.
If the mixture does not appear to be melting completely, flash off in the microwave for 5-10 seconds.
Stir well and leave to cool and thicken into a glossy, rich ganache for 45 minutes.
You can now either pipe the truffles onto greaseproof paper or spoon them out. Leave them to dry in the open air overnight.
To coat the truffles:
To prepare the coating, melt the chocolate in a double boiler into glossy and flowing. Leave to cool until for a minute or two.
In a dish, thickly sprinkle some cocoa powder.
Using a small fork (I used a cocktail fork) or cocktail stick, plunge the truffles into the rich, melted chocolate, one at a time, until completely enrobed. Gently place the dipped truffles into the cocoa powder, sprinkling more powder over the top so that they are completely covered. Leave in the cocoa powder to set the chocolate.
If you prefer, place the dipped chocolates straight onto a sheet of greaseproof paper to set.
Finally, finally you can eat them!
Recipe adapted from Andrew Garrison Shotts Making Fine Chocolates