Ok, maybe not every day. That’d be…well, wonderful, but fattening.
Of course, we’re talking about chocolate truffles, the kind that are so easy you could make them every day as long as you’re ok with the clean-up (which really isn’t that bad, to be honest). They make wonderful treats for yourself, a nice little dessert with coffee for guests after a dinner party, or a treat to wrap in some cute packaging as a gift.
I followed this recipe from Real Simple, pretty much to the letter. I didn’t add the coffee liqueur because these were going to co-workers and I wasn’t sure people would eat them if they were all boozy. However, if you’re making them for a holiday party, I say go for it. The rest of the ingredients: chocolate, cream, espresso powder, vanilla, and cocoa powder, you can pick up in the regular grocery store. The trickiest thing to find might be the espresso powder. I found this kind, hidden behind one of those giant cardboard displays for some other kind of coffee. This was under $5 for a jar, and trust me, it’ll last you awhile, especially if all you ever plan on using it for is to flavour desserts.
These chocolate truffles start out as ganache, a mixture of chocolate and cream. You’ll just warm the cream, add the espresso powder and make sure it’s dissolved well, then add your chocolate. Stir the chocolate until you get a thick, glossy ganache, letting the warm cream do the work of melting it, then add your vanilla and liqueur.
Pour the ganache into a shallow bowl (as recommended in the recipe) or even a brownie pan will work. I used one of those disposable aluminum 13 x 9 pans from the grocery store and it worked just fine. The ganache will need to firm up in the fridge for at least four hours or overnight.
Don’t feel like you have to get fancy with the chocolate. I used semi-sweet chocolate chips and Lindt brand 70% cacao that was on sale (2 large bars for $5) at King Soopers. I’m sure chocolate connoisseurs would tell you it makes a difference, and they’re probably right, but unless you plan on giving these truffles to some friend who is a Giant Chocolate Snob, these will still be considered by most to be pretty effing delicioius.
Once your ganache has firmed up, you can scoop it out with a spoon, one of those tiny ice cream scoops, a melon baller, or whatever you have handy. I tried a little experiment of cutting the ganache into fairly even sized squares and then rolling it between my hands to get it into a ball. That was actually a lot more trouble because the ganache was pretty firm and I had to manhandle it a bit to get it to give up being a square.
I ultimately went with my scoop. It was a lot easier to roll the truffles when they were already in a basic ball shape. Duh, right? Anyhoots, you’ll just keep rolling your little truffle balls, and then tossing them in the cocoa powder until all the ganache is used up. If you keep them all fairly uniform in size, this recipe will yield 48 truffles.
If you’re not serving them right away, pop them in the fridge for awhile to firm back up. After that, they should be good to sit out for awhile, if they need to. Mine were out at room temperature for about 8 hours and they were fine.
If you wanted to infuse some other flavour into these, you can just replace the coffee liqueur with something different. I think if you’re going to be a little snobby about an ingredient, it would be the flavour infusion you use. Don’t use those cheap flavourings from the baking aisle at the grocery store. If you’re going to use another booze, use good booze. I have some apricot brandy that I brought back from Glasgow that I might try next time.
You can also play around with the cocoa powder, if you want. I just used the regular Hershey’s baking cocoa for this batch, but I have some Mayan cocoa powder that has cinnamon in it that I think would play off of the apricot brandy quite nicely.
Have fun with this one, folks! Instead of bringing cookies or pie to a holiday party, whip up a batch of these and watch them fly off the plate.
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