Delia

Home-made Chocolate Truffles

This is a subject that experts get awfully fussed about and there are all kinds of rules and regulations about handling chocolate. Therefore what I have on offer here are the easiest home-made truffles in the world. 


They will make an extra-special gift for someone who is happy to consume them within three days and they make an equally special ending to any special meal – served with liqueurs and coffee.


Makes about 36

This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Christmas and The Delia Collection: Chocolate

Home-made Chocolate Truffles
Ingredients
Basic truffle mixture:
 5 oz (150 g) very best quality dark chocolate (at least 75 per cent cocoa solids)
 5 fl oz (150 ml) thick double cream
 1 oz (25 g) unsalted butter
 2 tablespoons rum or brandy
 1 tablespoon Greek yoghurt
For the plain truffles:
 1 level dessertspoon cocoa powder
For the ginger truffles:
 ¾ oz (20 g) preserved ginger, very finely chopped, plus some extra cut into small pieces
For the toasted almond truffles:
 1 oz (25 g) flaked almonds, very finely chopped and well toasted
For the chocolate-coated truffles:
 2 oz (50 g) dark chocolate (at least 75 per cent cocoa solids)
 ½ teaspoon groundnut oil
 a little cocoa for dusting
Equipment
You will also need some paper sweet cases and, for the chocolate-coated truffles, a sheet of silicone paper (baking parchment).

Method

For the basic truffle mixture, break the chocolate into squares and place it in the bowl of a food processor. Switch on and grind the chocolate until it looks granular, like sugar. Now place the cream, butter and rum or brandy in a small saucepan and bring these to simmering point.

Then, with the motor switched on, pour the mixture through the feeder tube of the processor and continue to blend until you have a smooth, blended mixture. Now add the yoghurt and blend again for a few seconds. Next transfer the mixture, which will be very liquid at this stage, into a bowl, allow it to get quite cold, then cover it with clingfilm and refrigerate overnight. Don't worry: it will thicken up after several hours.

Next day divide the mixture equally among four small bowls, and keep each one in the fridge until you need it. Then proceed with the following to make four different varieties. Make sure you have all the little paper cases opened out ready before your hands get all chocolatey!

Plain Truffles
For these, you simply sift 1 level dessertspoon of cocoa powder on to a flat plate, then take heaped half teaspoons of the first batch of truffle mixture and either dust each one straight away all over, which gives the truffle a rough, rock-like appearance, or dust your hands in cocoa and roll each piece into a ball and then roll it in the cocoa powder if you like a smoother look. Place it immediately into a paper case. Obviously the less handling the better as the warmth of your hands melts the chocolate.

Ginger truffles
Mix the finely chopped ginger into the second batch of truffle mixture using a fork, then proceed as above, taking small pieces, rolling or not (as you wish), and dusting with cocoa powder before transferring each one to a paper case.

Toasted almond truffles
Sprinkle the very finely chopped toasted almond flakes on a flat plate, take half a teaspoonful of the third batch of truffle mixture and roll it round in the nuts, pressing them to form an outer coating.

Chocolate-coated truffles
For these you need to set the chocolate and oil in a bowl over some hot but not boiling water and allow it to melt until it becomes liquid, then remove the pan from the heat. Now spread some silicone paper on a flat surface and, dusting your hands with cocoa, roll each truffle into a little ball. Using two flat skewers, one to spike the truffle and one to manoeuvre it, dip each truffle in the chocolate so that it gets a thin coating and then quickly transfer it to the paper. If the chocolate begins to thicken replace the pan on the heat so that it will liquefy again. Leave the coated truffles to set completely then, using a palette knife, quickly transfer them into their waiting paper cases.

Now arrange all the truffles in a box or boxes and cover. Keep them refrigerated and eat within three days. Alternatively, truffles are ideal for freezing.

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