Every year for Christmas, we undoubtedly get a box of dark chocolate truffles as a neighbor or friend gift. And every year, it is undoubtedly one of the treats that I look forward to the most.
There’s the bitter chocolate coating, which can be a little bit of a shock because you’re expecting something sweet. But oh my–then the filling starts to melt in your mouth. Like the creamiest, most luxurious thing you’ve ever had. It’s almost like butter! But instead, it’s smooth, creamy, dark chocolate.
Did you know that truffles came about by a mistake from a pastry chef? Rumor has it, instead of making pastry cream, he dumped the warm cream on chocolate instead. After he realized that he made a dreamy ganache, he shaped it into rough circles and thought that it looked like a truffle–you know, the kind that pigs dig up out of the dirt. So thus, they were discovered and named. And you know what? Hats off to that guy. Because there aren’t, and will never be, enough chocolate treats in the world. Especially ones this luxurious.
What’s even better is that you can totally make these at home. And maybe for Christmas, you want to try making these for your neighbors instead of buying them from a store. Let’s see how easy they are, shall we? I hope you love this recipe.
Classic Chocolate Truffles
Skip the chocolate shop and easily make these tasty little devils at home.
- 12 ounces (2 cups) bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces and softened to room temp
For the coating:
- 1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa, plus more for rolling
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts of your choice (almonds, pistachios, peanuts, or hazelnuts), optional
To make the ganache:
Start by lightly coating an 8x8 baking dish with non-stick vegetable spray. With two pieces of parchment paper, make a sling by folding the parchment so they are the width of the baking pan. Lay the sheets in the pan so they are perpendicular to each other, and press into the edges to smooth it out. The excess paper will hang over the edges of the pan, and that's fine.
Place the chocolate in a medium-sized bowl and microwave the chocolate on 50% power. Stir occasionally until it is mostly melted and a few small pieces remain, about 2-3 minutes. Microwave cream in a measuring cup until warm to the touch, this may take up to 30 seconds. Mix in corn syrup, vanilla, and salt into the cream and pour this mixture over the melted chocolate. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to set for three minutes, then stir to combine. Stir in the butter, one piece at a time until butter is fully incorporated.
Pour ganache into prepared pan, scraping bowl with spatula to get all the remaining chocolate. Let sit at room temperature for two hours. Then cover pan with plastic wrap and allow to chill in fridge for at least two hours and up to two days.
For the coating:
Stir cocoa powder and powdered sugar together in a bowl, then sift together over a bowl to remove any lumps and to fully incorporate. Set aside. If using chopped nuts, place them in a bowl.
Remove parchment sling from pan and cut ganache into 64 squares (8 rows by 8 rows, 1 inch each). If your ganache starts to crack during the cutting process, let sit at room temp for 5-10 minutes to soften. If ganache is sticking to your knife, run it under hot water, wipe the blade clean with a paper towel, and repeat as necessary.
Coat your hands with the additional cocoa powder to prevent the chocolate from sticking, and grab one square and roll into a ball in the palm of your hands. If the chocolate isn't cooperating and is hard to roll, allow to sit at room temperature for another 5-10 minutes to soften. Make sure to roll quickly so as not to melt. I found it easy to quickly tuck in the corners of the square then roll very fast to prevent the chocolate from sticking. Apply more cocoa to your palms as necessary. After you roll each truffle, roll it in your coating of choice and set aside.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for at least two hours and up to one week. Let truffles sit at room temp for 5-10 minutes before serving.
recipe modified from this one from America’s Test Kitchen.