If you can melt chocolate and have a modicum of patience then you can make chocolate truffles at home. There are some rules that you need to abide by, but for the most part it is just a little fussy rather than difficult. If you take your time, you will end up with a rather large amount of truffles for a fraction of the price you would pay at a chocolatier. True, these aren’t tempered chocolates but nobody will care. The two most important tips to remember is to melt the chocolate slowly and get the right whipping cream to chocolate ratio right before adding additional flavourings to the filling. If you don’t follow these rules you will have an expensive, disgusting bowl of chocolate that has separated into a chunky, greasy mess. I added too much bourbon to one batch because I got cocky and wasted quite a bit of dark chocolate. This screw-up with the chocolate was not as expensive as the $45 mixed nut burning incident of ’07 where I burnt a whole tray of cashews, pecans, almonds, and walnuts that I was toasting for spiced nuts. I added to the stupidity of burning the nuts by pouring the smoking hot nuts into the plastic garbage can because I was so pissed off. You can just guess how imaginative the string of expletives I was muttering were as I tried to keep the melting plastic and scorched nuts from falling all over the floor of the kitchen. Both of these stories illustrate the importance of patience. Take your time and it will work out perfectly. The truffles in the picture are some of the ones that I made as Christmas gifts for the adults in the family. Not to brag too much, but they got rave reviews. I may have to do it every year now. Somehow I doubt that my family will mind. Making these is much easier than a lot of desserts which makes these a great idea as an alternative for dinner party dessert. They can be made well ahead of time and this recipe makes a rather large amount which will look quite impressive to your guests. Note: The chocolate that I used for these was Callebaut Dark Semisweet 53.8% – Callets (Chips) ordered through The Vanilla Food Company. They have very reasonable flat shipping rates to Canada and the United States. I have also seen chocolate callets at the bulk food store, The Bulk Barn, so that is another option.
Tips for making Chocolate Truffles:
- Take your time
- When coating the truffles only put one truffle in the melted chocolate at a time
- Keep the temperatures low; just warm enough to melt the chocolate
- Chill the chocolate well between each stage
- Do not be tempted to put too much booze in the filling. It is for flavouring, not a shot.
- I strongly recommend using a good digital scale
- When the chocolate is nearly melted, that is when you need to turn the heat off
- Use darker chocolate for the coating
- Milk chocolate will give you a softer filling
- White chocolate gives a very soft filling and is delicious with Bailey’s
- If adding a alcohol such as Bourbon or Scotch use less than you would with Bailey’s.
- Don’t make a huge batch. Stick with a smaller scale like in the recipe.
- Don’t wear white while making chocolates. You will regret it.
- When shaping the truffles into balls, wash your hands often and run them under very cold water. The colder your hands are the better for shaping the truffles.
- Keep back about 5-10% of the chocolate you are melting for the coating. When the chocolate is just melted, remove it from the heat and add the reserved chocolate. This is a way to sort of temper the chocolate.
Homemade chocolate truffles that are easy to make with a little time, patience and cold hands.
- 250 g dark chocolate callets** (at least 50% cocoa content)
- 125 g whipping cream (35% cream)
- 25 g Bailey's Irish Cream
- 200 g dark chocolate callets 50-75%
- 25 g white chocolate (for decoration)
- Over a double boiler*, preferably using a glass bowl over top of the pot as it heats more slowly, add the dark chocolate and cream for the filling.
- Slowly melt the chocolate and stir it together with the cream and Bailey's until it is glossy and and a homogenous mixture.
- Remove from the heat and cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place the bowl in the fridge to chill for 2-3 hours.
- When the truffle filling is completely chilled, remove from the fridge and spoon out approximately 1 1/2 tsp - 2 tsp sized pieces and place them on a parchment paper or wax paper lined cookie tray.
- Run you hands under very cold water. Shape each little hunk of chocolate truffle into a ball by rolling it gently between your palms. Don't worry about making perfect spheres. Whenever your hands get a build up of chocolate, wash your hands and chill them down again with very cold water.
- When all the truffles have been shaped into balls, place the tray in the freezer for 10 or 15 minutes while you prepare the coating.
- Get another cookie tray out and line with parchment or wax paper. You will want to space the chocolates out more once they are coated and it is unlikely that they will all fit on one tray.
- Over a double boiler using a glass bowl (or stainless steel) gently melt the dark chocolate but hold back roughly 5% of the dark chocolate. When there is only a couple pieces of chocolate left to melt then remove the bowl from simmering water and add the reserved 5% of dark chocolate callets and stir it in to melt.
- When all the chocolate has melted, take the tray of truffles out of the freezer. Take one truffle at a time and drop it into the melted chocolate and very quickly using two forks, roll it in the chocolate.
- Once it is coated, pick it up out of the chocolate with the forks and hold it over the melted bowl of chocolate for a few seconds to all the excess to drip off.
- Place the coated truffle onto the tray.
- Work with one truffle at at time and repeat the previous two steps until all the truffles are coated.
- Place the tray, or trays if you needed both for space, into the fridge for about a half hour before decorating.
- When the chocolate has set take out the tray(s), and melt the small amount of white chocolate in the microwave until it is just about fully melted. Stir the white chocolate to melt the rest of the bits that hadn't melted yet.
- Pour the white chocolate into a Ziploc style sandwich bag and push it down to one corner of the bag. You don't need to seal it.
- Snip off a very small part of the bottom corner (about 1mm) of the Ziploc bag. Drizzle a little bit of the white chocolate over each of the truffles in a zigzag pattern or whatever pattern you like.
- Place decorated truffles back in the fridge for an hour. When the white chocolate has set then you can put each truffle into little paper cups and then into a large airtight container.
- Keep them refrigerated and they will keep for a week or longer.
- Makes approximately 30 truffles.
*A double boiler is a pot with a couple inches of gently simmering water with a large bowl set over top that is large enough so that it does not come close to touching the simmering water. **Callets are a fancy term for chips but are more pure. Chocolate chips have emulsifiers in. Some bulk food stores carry callets as do some grocery stores. They can be ordered online.