Chocolate Truffles...................... dark, rich, smooth, intense.................... the height of chocolate decadence. A serious chocolate hit, and not for the faint-hearted, these particular truffles are as close as I can get to a chocolate injection.
You may recall a couple of years back, there was a TV series on Channel 4 about a guy called Willie Harcourt-Cooze, called 'Willie's Wonky Chocolate Factory'. He had sold up everything and bought a cacao farm in the Venezuelan mountains and was on a mission to produce his own 100% cacao bars. He succeeded of course (otherwise there wouldn't be a story or a TV series!), expanded his business and his cacao bars are now sold across the UK. They have wonderfully exotic names reflecting their origins and drug-like qualities - Venezuelan, Indonesian, Cuban and Madagascan 'Black', all packaged to reflect their potent simplicity.
I had bought cacao in the past on trips to the Caribbean, but had not managed to find it easily here in the UK. A self-confessed chocolate addict, I was desperate to get hold of the stuff as soon as it arrived in English shops and it has been used in a whole manner of recipes since, both sweet and savoury. The book which inevitably comes with any food-related TV series these days ('Willies Chocolate Factory Cookbook') was definitely worth the money. Not only does it tell the story of this 'eccentric entrepreneur' but it also contains a wonderful set of recipes which educate you into the use and versatility of cacao.
The truffle recipe that I have adapted here is one of my favourites. A seriously deep, dark chocolate hit, each bite of truffle melts across the tongue, slightly bitter, slightly sweet, intensely chocolatey........... sending a chocolate 'high' through the body which lasts for hours. These are seriously good!
I slightly changed the version contained in the book to add a fraction more sugar and for balance, a tad more cream, mainly because I found this gave the recipe a slightly better equilibrium for my taste buds and just tempered away from an over-bitterness.
They are incredibly simple to make too. I can knock the basic truffle mix up in less than 10 minutes, leave it in the fridge to harden and then roll them in a spare moment. They can be flavoured as you wish with either liqueurs or fruit/nut oils and dusted or coated with nuts, cocoa, chocolate or sprinkles. I made two batches this time round.......... One plain, and coated with finely chopped milk chocolate, the other flavoured with a teaspoon of orange oil and coated with a mixture of ground hazelnuts and chopped milk chocolate. Both are delicious.
I am offering them as my contribution for this month's Treat Petite challenge, organised by Stuart at Cakeyboi and Kat at The Baking Explorer. February's theme is 'loved ones' and as I am making these truffles for my lovely husband (although I am sure he will be left with no option but to share them with me and our daughter), they are a perfect entry. Most definitely 'individually portioned', these truffles go a very long way..............
Chocolate Truffles (slightly adapted from Willie's Chocolate Factory Cookbook - Willie Harcourt-Cooze) - makes about 20 truffles
The base recipe can be adapted any way you choose to make a whole range of truffles. Add fruit and nut oils, liqueurs, dried fruit or chopped nuts either in the main truffle mix or to coat the finished truffle.
IngredientsBase recipe :
140 ml double cream
90g caster sugar
90g cacao - finely chopped or grated
Optional : Liqueur of your choice, nut or fruit oils etc - added a little at a time to taste.
As you choose, mixes of : cocoa; grated chocolate; chopped or ground nuts; sprinkles and edible glitters.
- Heat the cream and sugar together in a small saucepan over a low heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is not quite simmering (do NOT allow to boil)
- Remove from the heat and stir in the cacao until the mixture is smooth and shiny and the cacao has completely melted and combined.
- If you are adding any oils, liqueurs or other additions, add them at this point a little at a time to taste, being careful not to add too much liquid or the mixture will not set properly. 1 to 2 tablespoons of liqueur is fine.
- Pour the mixture into an air-tight container and allow to cool before placing in the fridge to fully set.
- Once the mixture is firm (best left 3 to 4 hours or overnight), scoop small spoons of the mixture into the palm of your hands and roll into balls. Coat/dust each truffle as you wish and place on a tray with baking paper.
- Place back in the fridge to chill. Store in the fridge.
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