Chocolate truffles are sophisticated, rich, and very simple to make. They’re delicious as gifts or just as a treat for yourself. Why not?
FANCY THEM UP, PAIR THEM WITH WINE
The secret lies in matching strong chocolates with full-bodied wines and matching lighter chocolates with lighter-bodied wines. But don’t be afraid to try something new beyond the classic grapes—the red and white blends are trending super hot this year, they are truly not to be missed!
MOVE INTO THE LIGHT…
Now, to give you an example of how to pair chocolate with wine…a bittersweet chocolate pairs pretty well with either a Zinfandel or Cabernet Sauvignon. Just like wines, the darker the chocolate the more tannins it’ll display. So when you pair a dark chocolate with strong tannins, the chocolate notes will eclipse the tannins in the wine allowing more fruit and flavours to come out. And remember, it works just like any other wine tasting; always move from lighter to darker notes.
Read Related: The Sweet Life: Chocolate-Coffee Cupcake!
So now that we have covered some basics, let’s make some sensual, rich, and luscious chocolate truffles. I’ll give you a few options to choose from including ganache covered truffles, and triple chocolate truffles.
HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES
10 oz semisweet chocolate, in pieces
5 oz almond or cashew butter, preferably raw and organic
¾ cup heavy cream
3 TBSP unsalted butter, European quality
organic raw cacao nibs or espresso nibs, optional
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
9 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped, to make ganache (see second variation Triple Chocolate Truffles below.)
Optional: unsweetened coconut flakes; white chocolate bites, caramel or toffee crunch, nuts (pistachios, walnuts or almonds) in pieces, as needed
- Using a double broiler, or heavy pot, melt chocolate with almond or cashew butter over low heat; stirring constantly.
- Add cream and butter. Once all is melted, set aside, let it cool.
- Add the cacao or espresso nibs, if you are using.
- Combine well and place in the fridge until firm, an hour or so.
- Meanwhile, prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- When the chocolate mixture is set and using a melon scooper, form truffles and place them on the sheet.
- Continue to do so until you have used the entire batch.
- Once they are ready, dust them with cocoa powder, and/or if you are using, roll them through nuts or coconut flakes.
Ganache Truffles • Melt the 9 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, add some cream or butter for extra shiny if desired, and use it to cover your truffles. After that, either let them cool, or dust them with cocoa powder, sprinkle with nuts of your choice, white chocolate pieces, caramel or toffee crunch.
Triple Chocolate Truffles • Skip the nut butter. Use bittersweet chocolate instead or any other chocolate you might like. (I like my truffles rich, intense, and dark). Cover with the ganache if you want even more richness. And for garnish, sprinkle with a touch of pink Himalayan sea salt, Fleur de Sel, or edible gold dust.
Other Ideas • Dare to use spices, textures, exotic flavors and heat like saffron, orange, rose essence, cinnamon, sea salt, bacon, chipotle, red chili or cayenne, any seeds—sunflower, chia, and yes, even quinoa.
And whatever you do this Valentine’s Day, just love thyself—you don’t need a partner for that, just your lovely self.