Make the most of your chocolate splurge by indulging in homemade gourmet truffles. Perfect as gifts or to enjoy any day of the year, these truffles will certainly satisfy your craving.
Gourmet chocolate shops line the streets of most European cities. Display cases are stuffed with the most tempting combinations. Chocolate dipped fruit. Pralines. Truffles. Some look like miniature sculptures.
My favorites are the truffles, and the variations are almost endless. Inspired by these creations, I decided to learn to make my own.
You can use a microwave to melt the chocolate, but I don’t like to. I find that this complicates the process because you need to keep on stopping the microwave to stir it. Besides, there is something soothing about melting chocolate over a low heat. It releases the scent in the air and reminds me of those chocolate shops.
For the slow-melt method, you will need a double burner. I use a saucepan and a metal mixing bowl. The bowl needs to be big enough so that it completely seals the pan. Put the burner on low, so that the water just gently heats. Eventually, the hot steam will warm the pan and melt the chocolate.
Other utensils you will need are a rubber spatula, for scraping the bowl, and a small spoon. I use a metal tablespoon, but I have to remember to take it out of the bowl or else it will be too hot to touch. You can also use a small wooden spoon.
I use heavy cream, unsalted butter (European style if you can find it), and good quality semi-sweet baker’s chocolate. I’ve on occasion used semi-sweet chocolate chips. I like baker’s chocolate better because I find that it melts smoother. I feel that this results in a higher quality chocolate.
This recipe makes one batch. The amount of truffles will vary depending on the size.
Begin by melting 6 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate over the double burner.
In a separate saucepan, add 2 T unsalted butter and ¼ cup heavy cream.
Heat on low until the butter is melted.
Once chocolate has melted, add butter and cream mixture. Stir rapidly until well blended.
Chill in the refrigerator, uncovered until it is cool and firm. This will take about 30 minutes but it may be longer depending on your refrigerator settings.
Remove from fridge when firm. Let melt slightly until you can comfortably work the mixture with a spoon.
Take a small, sturdy teaspoon and scoop some of the truffle cream out. Form with your fingers into small, round shapes.
To make truffles in advance, skip step five. Pour mixture into a freezable plastic container. When ready to continue the process, defrost the truffles until workable. Continue with seven.