With Easter coming up it seems we all have chocolate on the brain! Well at least I do; it’s the one day a year I can indulge my chocoholic tendencies without judgement or guilt.
While giving friends and family gifts of Easter eggs is the norm as we celebrate this holiday, I think it’s a nice touch to make some homemade chocolate truffles instead of a shop bought egg. Despite these truffles looking the bee’s knees (if I do humbly say so myself), they are stupidly easy to make. This is a great recipe to add to your repertoire as a box of these bad boys always makes a thoughtful gift.
Best of all it only requires a few simple ingredients and you can use your imagination for the toppings. So put your apron on, get into the kitchen and channel your inner Juliette Binoche!
Ingredients (Makes Approx 24):
400g 70% dark chocolate
Cocoa powder & Cinnamon (equal amounts of each)
Crushed Roasted Hazelnuts
Break up all your chocolate into little pieces and place into a large bowl.
Heat your cream in a saucepan and just before it comes to the boil take it off and pour it over the chocolate pieces. Stir the chocolate and cream together continuously until it combines.
Add a splash of whiskey (I’ll let you use your judgement on this! Even if you’re not a whiskey fan I still advise adding a shot as it just adds a great depth of flavour rather than a strong whiskey taste. Don’t add more than 2 shots of whiskey though as the mix needs to be thick enough to set). Keep stirring until totally combined.
Leave the mix in the fridge overnight or for a minimum of 4 hours until it sets. When set, take it out and take a spoon at a time and roll between your hands until they form into ball shapes, do this quickly or they will melt from the heat of your hand. Don’t worry about them being perfectly circular. I advise wearing rubber gloves for this or your nails may go black!
Set up bowls containing the toppings and roll the truffles in each until they’re well coating in either your coconut, hazelnut or cocoa cinnamon topping.
Put into a lined box or tupperware and make sure to keep in the fridge until ready to eat. They will keep for up to a week, but my experience is that they all get gobbled up within a day or two!
I have many vices, but they all seem to come in the form of either cake or chocolate. Carrot cake, banana walnut bread and orange chocolate brownies, I am powerless before. Similarly, put me in front of a box of Leonidas and I won’t stop eating until I have a pain in my tummy.
However, despite being such a chocolate lover, I’ve never really bothered making my own, despite regularly satisfying my cake cravings by baking pretty little cakes. I decided to try my hand over Christmas at making my own little chocolates, and after a few variations, I think I have cracked the ultimate after dinner or tea time chocolate. This has so many complementing flavours going on, the spicy cinnamon, zesty orange, roast honeyed hazelnuts and dark chocolate make the perfect, most indulgent treat.
Make this once and you’ll never look back, they’re unbelievably easy to make. Just take my word for it when I say that they won’t last long!
200g 70% Dark Chocolate
100g Hazelnuts, whole
100g Candied Orange Peel, chopped
First things first. Place the hazelnuts on a piece of tin foil within a baking tray. Drizzle with a tablespoon or two of honey and then generously dust with cinnamon. Pop into an oven preheated to 150C and roast for 5 to 7 minutes. Check regularly, you don’t want to burn the nuts or they taste awful. When they’re done, take them out and let them cool. They’ll probably stick together when they cool, that’s okay- just crack them apart again.
You can use a bain marie to melt your chocolate, but I never bother. If your pot is heavy bottomed enough and the heat is low enough, you should be fine to heat it directly in a pot over a low flame. That’s what I always do (mainly because I love cutting corners). Stir the chocolate continuously until it’s all just melted, then take it off the heat.
Lay out a grease proof piece of paper on a large, flat and even chopping board or surface. Drop about a tablespoon of melted chocolate at a time onto the sheet, leaving plenty of space in between each chocolate disc.
Then place a few nuts and about a teaspoon of candied orange on each chocolate disc. Make sure that each topping is touching the melted chocolate or it won’t stick when the chocolate hardens. Finally, sprinkle all the chocolates with some more cinnamon.
Leave to cool for an hour or two and then when they’re hard, peel them off the greaseproof paper and store in an airtight container in the fridge.