I love making foodie gifts for the holidays and the last time was in New York with Simon’s kids making chocolate lollipops for Sophie’s birthday & Halloween. We had great fun, making a bit of mess hand tempering chocolate on Simon’s lovely granite kitchen worktop with Belgium chocolate, pumpkin & ice skate moulds from Lil’s Chocolate Shoppe in Pleasantville, NY. I was inspired by my favourite chocolatier in London Paul.A.Young to make some home made truffles for Easter. I am a fan of his innovative flavour and texture combinations -iconic sea salted caramels, bergamot tea infused, gingerbread & even Marmite. Marmite I hear you say, it might be a love or hate thing, but trust me it tastes fantastic as part of a chocolate truffle with the yeasty salty taste enhancing the dark, rich, smooth chocolate.
I decided to get a bit creative after tasting some artisan Chikali coffee from Malawi, roasted by my friend Carolyn’s son Ben, founder of the Profile Coffee Company, and the World’s youngest professional barista at 15 years old! The coffee taste is smooth, rounded, with a slightly fruity, nutty, mocha taste which I thought would work brilliantly in a chocolate truffle. if you don’t like coffee you can leave it out or experiment with your own flavour combos. The truffles are easy to make, and great to get the kids involved, even if a bit messy, the chocolate even makes your hands soft! Thanks to Paul.A.Young for the basic ganache recipe.
Ingredients (makes 24 small truffles)
Basic Truffle Ganache:
- 60g (2oz)light muscovado sugar
- 170g (6oz) double (heavy) cream
- 170g (6oz) good quality chocolate, broken into small pieces
I used 120g of 60% cocoa solids dark chocolate from Dominican Republic & 50g of 39% cocoa solids milk chocolate. If you prefer just dark or milk chocolate, that’s fine.
For my coffee & spice flavour truffles:
- 3-4 teaspoons of very finely fresh ground medium roast coffee (I used Profile Coffee Company Malawi Chikali)
- large pinch of ground cinnamon
- pinch of ground allspice
Flavours and Decorations:
- 5-6 tablespoons of cocoa powder (I used Green & Blacks)
- freeze dried raspberry pieces
- roasted and chopped hazelnuts (I roasted in oven for 5 mins at 180 C, cooled, then finely chopped)
- Heat the cream and sugar in a saucepan on a medium heat stirring well, until just boiling, add the coffee and spices(if using) and simmer for 2 minutes and continue to stir, ensuring it doesn’t burn
- Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate pieces in a medium heat proof bowl
- Mix well for a few minutes until the mixture is glossy
- Cool at room temperature for about 20 minutes, then cover with cling film and cool in the fridge for about 2 hours until firm
- Take a large piece of parchment paper and sprinkle 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder in the centre
- Using a teaspoon, take a small amount of ganache, coat your hands in a little cocoa powder and roll into a ball
- Place on cocoa powder on parchment paper and roll around to ensure fully coated
- If using chopped roasted hazelnuts, place in a small shallow bowl and coat the truffle instead of the cocoa powder
- If using freeze dried raspberries dunk the top of the truffles in the pieces for a bright pink topping
- Leave the truffles on the parchment paper for 10 minutes to firm up slightly then put in small paper cases and store in the fridge
For a dairy free version you can make a water based ganache substituting the cream.
The truffles will keep for up to 5 days if stored in the fridge, take out 15-20 minutes before serving to warm up to room temperature. In my house, they won’t last that long!
Happy Easter & Happy Chocolate Truffle Making.