Chocolate truffles sound fancy and expensive, but like so many treats, they are relatively easy and inexpensive to make at home.
If you have good quality chocolate (Note: I used Trader Joe’s dark chocolate, but a mixture of semisweet and bittersweet, or even some milk chocolate would be good. The key to a good truffle is the quality of the chocolate!), heavy cream, and some time for a few steps of chilling, you are ready to go.
Truffles are fun because you can roll them in the toppings of your choice – I used coconut, chopped toasted almonds, and unsweetened cocoa, because that was what I had on hand. For a non-traditional twist, you could roll truffles in sprinkles or chopped M&Ms.
The unsweetened cocoa topping is the most traditional, but keep in mind some people find it too bitter. I sometimes combine powdered sugar with unsweetened cocoa and roll the truffles in that mixture for my kids.
These are candies for the true chocoholic – the flavor is intense chocolate. And I mean intense! Are you ready? Here’s how to make them:
First, chop up a pound of chocolate and place it in a heatproof bowl. If you use chocolate chips, even better – the chopping is done for you!
Heat a cup of heavy cream just to the boiling point, and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then whisk until completely smooth.
Insider tip: If you didn’t quite chop up your chocolate finely enough and it doesn’t seem to be melting all the way, quickly bring an inch of water to a simmer in a pan and place the bowl over the simmering water (make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water or you will scorch the chocolate) and whisk until smooth. Problem solved!
Whisk in 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and refrigerate for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the mixture is the consistency of soft ice cream. If you take it out and it’s too soft, keep refrigerating. And if it’s too stiff, leave it out at room temperature until it softens.
Using a tablespoon-size scoop or spoon, scoop mounds of the truffle mixture onto a parchment paper-lined pan – you will have about 30 mounds. Place the pan in refrigerator for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the mounds firm up.
Now for the fun part: get your toppings ready.
Take the mounds out of the fridge, and using your fingers, form them into uniform balls. You need to manhandle them! The consistency will be of stiff clay. I use my fingers to squeeze each ball into a somewhat uniform square shape, and then finish them by rolling between my palms into balls.
Be sure to take off your rings, and yes, your hands will get dirty, but it’s worth it! Roll each ball into the topping of your choice. I like to place the finished truffle in a mini cupcake wrapper for a cute presentation.
Store truffles in the refrigerator for up to one month. Needless to say, these make wonderful gifts.
Easy Chocolate Truffles
Makes approximately 30 truffles
1 pound of chopped dark, semisweet, or milk chocolate, or a combination thereof
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Topping options for rolling the truffles: unsweetened cocoa, powdered sugar, chopped nuts, shredded coconut, sprinkles, or whatever else you have on-hand!
1. Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan just to the boiling point and pour the cream over the chocolate. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then whisk the chocolate and cream mixture until smooth. If you still have a few lumps of chocolate, quickly bring an inch of water to a simmer in the saucepan and place the bowl with the chocolate cream mixture over the simmering water (make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water or you will scorch the chocolate) and whisk until completely smooth. Whisk in the vanilla and salt.
2. Refrigerate the mixture for 45 minutes – 1 hour, or until the mixture is the consistency of soft ice cream. If you take it out, and it’s too soft, keep refrigerating. If it’s too stiff, leave out at room temperature until it softens.
3. Using a tablespoon-size scoop or spoon, scoop mounds of the truffle mixture onto a parchment paper-lined pan. You will have about 30 mounds. Place pan in refrigerator for 30-45 minutes, or until the mounds firm up and are the consistency of stiff clay.
4. Assemble the toppings of your choice.
5. Take the mounds out of the fridge and, aggressively using your fingers, form into uniform balls. Finish them by rolling between your palms into balls. You will get chocolate on your hands!
6. Roll each ball into the topping of your choice and place the finished truffle in a mini cupcake wrapper (optional).
7. Store truffles in the refrigerator for up to one month.