Homemade chocolate truffles; or, eat now or forever hold your piece

I wasn’t a fat child, although my mother always referred to me as an elephant, due to the fact that she is (and still is) the size of Tinkerbell, but as a teenager, I definitely bordered on it. One of the reasons for this is that I loved to read … almost as much as I loved to eat. And combining the two together was a no-brainer.

No longer fat, although ever vigilant, I still have a few of the same unresolved issues. Such as how hard it is to peel an orange without getting the juice all over the pages. Many of my childhood books are still splattered and stained in orange.

One item which is perfect to eat whilst reading, however, is chocolate. As long as you don’t leave it in your hand too long, there isn’t much chance of finding it between the pages 20 years later.

And so, today, I made chocolate truffles. Possibly the easiest confection to make in the existence of sweeties.

Truffles rolled in roasted, crushed  hazelnuts

Chocolate Truffles

The quantities I used here were because it was necessary to keep the numbers down as I don’t want to look like a truffle this time tomorrow. However you can upscale without any problem as the ratio of cream to chocolate is 1:1.

100g dark, best quality you can afford, orange flavoured (optional) chocolate.100ml double cream
Half a vanilla pod (optional)
2-3 tablespoons of liqueur – I used brandy – this is also optional.
A random amount of cocoa powder mixed with brown sugar – the quantities are up to you, I don’t like plain cocoa powder.

Break up the chocolate into tiny pieces and drop into the bottom of a bowl.
Pop the vanilla into the cream and bring it up to boiling BUT DO NOT BOIL.

Pour the cream onto the chocolate (remove the vanilla), and leave for about 5-10 minutes. This softens the chocolate.

Whisk the mixture until it’s thick and glossy. Let it cool for about 30 minutes. Pour in the brandy (or whatever) and whisk again until it’s incorporated.

Bung it in the fridge. After a few hours it’ll be too hard to make truffles out of, so you’ll need to leave it at room temperature for a few hours. I left mine overnight, covered with clingfilm and out of reach of the dog’s worryingly long neck.

Once at room temperature, if you’re really clever, you’ll have a melon baller, and be able to make perfect balls. If you’re me, then two teaspoons and the ability to make quenelles will do the trick just fine.

Drop each one into a small bowl with the cocoa powder mix, and ensure they’re coated.

Eat. And read. To get you started on the books, there are a couple in the right hand side panel of this page which I can guarantee are excellent reads!