Inspiration: I like to make chocolate truffles every year at Christmas time, and I always like to try new kinds. Brandon loves chocolate covered cherries, so this little variation was for him :)
What we Loved: With rich chocolate and sugary sweet maraschino cherries, what’s not to love? Chocolate and cherry is really just a classic combination that works so well, and I loved the clean taste of this spin on the classic chocolate covered cherries, which generally have a rich and creamy sauce inside. Both are great in my book! And aren’t these so pretty??
Helpful Hints: Make sure to pat your maraschino cherries dry with paper towels after taking them out of the jar. You don’t want all of that extra liquid in your truffles! Also, if you accidentally buy a jar of jumbo cherries like I did, those work fine too if you just cut them into smaller pieces.
12 oz semisweet chocolate
9 tablespoons whipping cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Additional semisweet chocolate for coating (approximately 12 oz, but this will vary quite a bit depending on your technique and how many truffles you make)
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.
4. Chill the chocolate mixture in the refrigerator until hardened, at least 1 hour.
5. Remove the mixture from the refrigerator. If necessary, let the mixture warm a little bit until it is easy to scoop from the bowl with a spoon. Using a spoon and your hands, form a small amount of chocolate around a maraschino cherry. Roll into balls between your hands, and place on a parchment-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 refrigerator or 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 and shiny when it cools, instead of melting to the touch or containing gray spots.
7. Drop a truffle into the tempered chocolate (one at a time), coating it quickly with a spoon and removing the truffle to a parchment-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. 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.