Inspiration: I’ve made these chocolate truffles every year for Christmas gifts for the last four years, and if you follow my blog, you might remember that I posted about them last year. I always dedicate an entire day to making these right before Christmas, and I enjoy it so much that I wanted to update my post this year with my newer blog format and with better pictures.
What we Loved: These are one of our very favorite desserts, and B insists that I make them every year. Which is fine with me, because I love everything about the process of making them and everything about how they taste. To me, they’re just a part of Christmas! I use a ton of extract flavoring when I make these, because I really love the different flavors to punch you in the face as you bite into them. The flavorings definitely aren’t subtle in my truffles! Combined with plenty of chocolate, these are a very, very rich and decadent dessert. Which is just how we like our desserts to be :)
Helpful Hints: If you make a lot of these, it’s definitely an all-day (or two) process. I made eight different flavors this year, and it took me about ten hours, with only a break for supper. When I first started making these several years ago, though, I needed a few days to get them done. It’s a really slow process that I used to find frustrating at times. Often, the melted chocolate that you use to coat the truffles will harden too quickly, which means that you have to re-temper the chocolate and add even more time onto the process. There’s definitely a lot of waiting and a lot of dishes involved. My biggest advice is to just give yourself plenty of time and to not care if your truffles aren’t as pretty and as perfect as you want them to be. They’ll still taste great, and it’s such a rewarding experience to see your counter covered in the hundreds of truffles that you made!
Source: Adapted from a recipe given to us by a friend of B’s
*This recipe will make approximately 60 truffles. I made four batches, dividing each filling in half before adding the extract. This gave me approximately 30 truffles for each of the eight flavors.
12 oz semisweet chocolate
9 tablespoons whipping cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Extract flavorings of your choice
Additional chocolate (approximately 12 oz per batch, but this will vary quite a bit depending on your technique and how many truffles you make)
Desired toppings (I used almond flour for almond truffles, powdered sugar for coconut truffles, red sprinkles for cherry truffles, white chocolate stripes for banana truffles, cocoa powder for raspberry truffles, semisweet chocolate stripes for strawberry truffles, and no additional topping for orange truffles)
1. Melt the semisweet chocolate in a double boiler. In another small saucepan, heat the whipping cream over medium heat until small bubbles form around the edges of the pan (right before the cream starts boiling).
2. Mix the whipping cream into the chocolate to combine.
3. Add a tablespoon of butter and whisk until smooth. If desired, split the mixture into separate bowls before adding the extract, allowing you to make more flavors. Add the desired amount of extract to the chocolate mixture(s), and whisk until smooth. I use a lot of extract because I like the flavor to be strong (approximately half a bottle per half batch). It’s best to mix in a little extract and then taste the chocolate, adding more extract until you’re happy with the strength of the flavor.
4. Chill the chocolate mixture in the refrigerator until hardened, at least 1 hour.
5. Remove the mixture from the refrigerator. Using a spoon and your hands, form the mixture into truffle-sized balls and place on a wax paper- or foil-lined baking sheet. It helps to wash your hands often with very cold water while you are working, which will leave your hands cold and make it easier to work with the chocolate without melting it. When you’re finished rolling all of the truffles, place the sheet into the freezer to harden.
6. While the filling is hardening, melt about 9 oz of chocolate in a double boiler. Place a candy thermometer in the chocolate and heat it to 113 degrees F. Remove the top of the double boiler from the heat and place it on a pot holder or a towel on the counter. Add another 3 oz of chocolate to the pot, and mix to combine. Place the thermometer back into the chocolate and let it cool to 88 degrees. This process of tempering the chocolate will ensure that the chocolate coating for the truffles will be hard when it cools, instead of melting to the touch.
7. Drop a truffle into the tempered chocolate (one at a time), coating it quickly with a spoon and removing the truffle to a foil-lined sheet to dry. It takes some practice to get the coating on the truffles to look clean and pretty, but I’ve found that the best method is to roll the truffle off of a spoon onto the baking sheet, smoothing as necessary. After placing a chocolate coated truffle on the baking sheet, you will want to add any toppings to the truffle before the chocolate coating hardens. Work quickly, because the chocolate you are using for the coating will cool quickly, and your truffle fillings will begin to warm and melt.
8. When the chocolate you are using for the coating begins to cool to the point where you can’t work with it, heat it again in a double boiler to 113 degrees, and then let it cool back down to 88 degrees. Place your remaining truffle fillings back into the freezer until you’re ready to begin coating again.
9. Repeat Step 8 as necessary until all of the truffles are coated, adding more chocolate to melt as you run out (keeping the ratio at 2/3 melted, 1/3 added cold to the melted chocolate).
9. Refrigerate the coated truffles until hardened (approximately 15 minutes), then place in air-tight containers.