This week, I have been in chocolate heaven. I have been thinking about chocolate, melting chocolate, eating chocolate, dreaming about chocolate.
After writing my post about hiding crickets in chocolates for a family reunion just over a week ago, I started craving chocolate. Pregnancy tends to do that to you! I decided to make truffles and gave myself a challenge: I wanted Jumpy (1 year 5 months) to be able to have some, but she is allergic to dairy so I had to find an alternative to cream for her. I also thought they would make a lovely end of term gift for the children’s teachers and with that perspective in mind; Beanie (3 years 6 months) and I started making two batches together on Wednesday morning. Beanie enjoyed being in charge of all the whisking and stirring.
If you have never made chocolate truffles and imagine the process to be too complicated or too much fuss, do not switch off now! It is pretty straightforward and requires virtually no skill. All you need is good-quality dark chocolate, double cream, golden syrup and whatever you fancy to roll the truffles in.
As I said above, my priority was to attempt making a batch of dairy free truffles so Jumpy, who is allergic to cow’s milk protein, could have them. I followed my usual recipe and used Plamil dairy free chocolate and Oatly organic oat alternative to cream. Half of those ‘free from’, vegan truffles were then rolled in dairy free cocoa powder and the other half in desiccated coconut.
I was incredibly pleased with the results as we honestly could not tell which ones were the regular ones, and which ones were ‘free from’! To make sure it was not just me being biased and my family trying to compliment my ‘free from’ achievement, I took a box to work on Thursday and offered them to colleagues. No one could tell the difference between the two types of truffles and I was confident I could post this.
I have to admit they were not such a hit with Jumpy who licked one on Wednesday and very quickly threw it on the floor with disdain. Today, she warmed up to them after dinner. I ate half of one to show her I liked them and handed her the other half. She tentatively took a bite, and realising it was rather nice, she finished it and ate a second one after that. Success!
As for the regular truffles, I normally just coat them in cocoa powder but this time, I decided to go a little bit further and make them colourful to create really tempting little boxes of treats for Crevette and Beanie’s teachers for the end of term. Beanie attempted rolling the truffles but as she was keeping them for too long in her hands, they were melting and she resorted to licking her fingers before she washed her hands. I then started rolling them myself and passing them to Crevette (5 years 8 months), who loved coating them. He also tried a few along the way, just to make sure they tasted good.
I honestly think chocolate truffles are delicious and they make a lovely homemade present when presented nicely. Some tissue paper and pretty ribbon can go such a long way!
These are all the coatings we used this week: dairy free cocoa powder, desiccated coconut, sesame seeds, chopped hazelnuts, almonds, cashew and pecan nuts, crushed Spéculoos biscuits, Biscuits Roses de Reims (Fossier) powder. You could use any crushed biscuits or chopped pistachios, or even use whole hazelnuts in the centre of your truffles.
- 1 ¾ cup good-quality dark chocolate 300g
- 1 cup double cream or dairy free alternative 230 ml
- 1 tablespoon golden syrup 20g
- Cocoa powder or any other coating of your choice
- Place the cream and the golden syrup in a saucepan over a medium heat and bring to a simmer.
- In the meantime, grate your chocolate or give it a minute in the mixer to make sure it is chopped as finely as possible and reserve in a large bowl.
- Pour the hot creamy mixture over the chocolate, ensuring it is submerged and put aside for 20 seconds.
- Whisk all the ingredients together, starting at the centre of the bowl and gradually stirring it all together until blended.
- Let it cool at room temperature for fifteen minutes before transferring to the fridge until firm (a couple of hours).
- Scoop out portions of the mixture with a teaspoon and roll into balls with your hands.
- Roll in coatings of your choice. Enjoy!
- You can keep the truffles in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.
For ‘free from’ truffles, make sure your dark chocolate and cocoa powder are dairy and nut free. You can also use a cream alternative (‘Oatly Organic’ works well).
Coating ideas: cocoa powder, desiccated coconut, sesame seeds, chopped hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios, cashew or pecan nuts. You could also crush biscuits of your choice, roll the truffles in tempered chocolate or even use whole hazelnuts in the centre of your truffles.
For truffles with a twist or to liven up a dinner party, you could have a go at my insect ones.
If you are looking for a more conventional twist, why not try chilli truffles? Just add ¼ teaspoon hot chilli powder to the cream.
For salted chocolate truffles, add ½ teaspoon sel de Guérande or crushed Maldon sea salt flakes to the mixture and mix well before leaving it to cool.
You could flavour your truffles with two tablespoons of rum or brandy. Just add the alcohol to the mixture before and stir well before leaving to cool.