As Christmas approaches, you might be looking for a way to create handmade gifts that will have your family talking until the next holiday season. One of the best ways to do just that is by making homemade gourmet chocolates such as chocolate truffles. Many people shy away from the idea of making homemade truffles because they are certain that something so indulgent must be exceptionally difficult to make. The truth is, truffles are much easier than you'd think, though they do take a bit of time. Set aside an afternoon and dive in to give your loved ones gift boxes they will never forget this year.
Chocolate Truffle Ingredients
To make homemade truffles, you'll want to gather everything you need before you start. That way, you don't risk overcooking anything while you look for the next ingredient.
- 3/4 lb (12 ounces) of bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 3 1/2 tablespoons of butter
- 1/2 cup of heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon of light corn syrup
Chocolate Truffle Instructions
- Prepare the Chocolate - Put the chopped chocolate into a medium glass bowl and add the butter. Microwave the bowl for a brief spurt, such as 30 seconds, then stir the mixture. Heat it for an additional 30 seconds and stir it again. The chocolate and butter should soften or start to melt. Set the bowl aside while you heat the cream.
- Heat the Cream - Pour the heavy cream into a small sauce pan, and add the corn syrup. Heat it over medium heat until it starts to simmer, which means small bubbles appear consistently across the top, but it isn't actually boiling. Don't boil the cream because you might scorch it.
- Make the Ganache - Drizzle the cream over the chocolate and butter in the glass bowl. Leave it alone for two to three minutes to let the heat from the cream melt the chocolate.
After a few minutes, stir the mixture with a rubber spatula. You'll want to be gentle so you don't splash the cream. Start in the middle of the bowl, stirring in small circles. Gradually work your way out in the same circles until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is creamy and smooth.
Pour the chocolate ganache mixture into an 8-inch square glass baking dish. Refrigerate it for an hour or two to let the chocolate set up and become dense enough to scoop.
- Form the Truffles - Once the ganache is set up, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a small cookie scoop or other round ball tool, like a melon baller, to scoop out balls of chocolate onto the sheet. Don't worry if they aren't perfectly round yet – you just want the basic scoops.
Once you've finished scooping, put the tray in the refrigerator for about an hour or so to let the chocolate set up more. After the second refrigeration, you'll probably want to wear a pair of latex gloves. Forming the balls can get kind of messy, because the ganache will melt over your hands a little bit. Remove the truffle tray from the refrigerator, then roll each scooped truffle between the palms of your hands to make it round.
- Coat the Truffles – Put your favorite truffle coatings into shallow dishes. You might want things like cocoa powder, chopped nuts, toasted coconut, crushed mint candies or grated chocolate.
Before you can coat them in these things, though, you'll need to dip the truffles in melted chocolate first.
Melt 8 ounces of chopped bittersweet chocolate in a small bowl with about a tablespoon of coconut oil or butter. For an even, consistent melt, put it in a glass bowl with a shallow bottom.
Put the bowl on a heating pad that's set on medium or high. You'll want to stir the chocolate periodically and test it with a thermometer until it reaches about 90 degrees. Don't let it get more than a degree or two warmer than that, because you want to preserve the snap of the hardened chocolate. If it gets too hot, you'll destabilize the sugar crystals in the chocolate and you'll get an ugly, snap-less finish.
Turn down the heat on the heating pad once you've hit the right temperature; that way you just maintain the temperature instead of continuing to warm the chocolate. Dip the truffles either by hand or with candy tweezers to coat them, then put them into the cocoa powder, coconut or other coating while the chocolate is still wet.
Roll them around in the other coating a couple of times before you move them back to the parchment-lined pan. Once everything is coated, put them in a cool, dry place for an hour or two so the coating sets, then you can box them with tissue paper.
If you don't feel you have the time or resources to do something like this on your own, check out a company like Abdallah Candies And Gifts.