Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Chocolate Truffles - dark, rich, decadent & delicious

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.


Base 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.

Coating/Dusting :
As you choose, mixes of : cocoa; grated chocolate; chopped or ground nuts; sprinkles and edible glitters.


  1. 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)
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the cacao until the mixture is smooth and shiny and the cacao has completely melted and combined.
  3. 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.
  4. Pour the mixture into an air-tight container and allow to cool before placing in the fridge to fully set.
  5. 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. 
  6. Place back in the fridge to chill. Store in the fridge.

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  1. I've never used pure cacao before Kate - very intriguing. The truffles look delicious. Thanks for entering them into Treat Petite!

    1. Thanks Stuart. If you like your chocolate dark and pure, this is the way to go...... It is a serious chocolate hit though!


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