Chocolate truffles have a reputation for being difficult, but they don’t have to be. They also happen to make the perfect Christmas gift for people you’re not sure what to get, or even to just hold in reserve in case of a “gift emergency” (you know you’ve had one). And, let’s face it, it’s just fun to get your hands all chocolatey!*
* Or is that just me?
I’ve had success with “traditional” recipes using some combination of chocolate, heavy cream, and/or butter before, but I found myself needing a little something different a few days ago, and I managed to stumble onto the easiest truffle recipe I’ve ever found. The results were deliciously sinful.
The hubby had helped organize a wine tasting fundraiser for a local non-profit, and they needed some nibbles to complement the wine. I had plentiful chocolate (Scharffen Berger, mmm…) and a can of sweetened condensed milk in the pantry that needed to be used (but no heavy cream). I also scavenged some hazelnuts and a tub of mocha hot chocolate mix that was basically sweetened cocoa with some coffee thrown in, so I was all set for coatings.
I just chopped the hazelnuts and rolled the truffles in them, although next time I think I’d toast them first. The mocha cocoa was the real winner, though. The coffee flavor really deepened the chocolate, as it tends to, and I am a sucker for that.
You can imagine all kinds of coatings for these babies, though — the sky is the limit!
The original recipe called for a lot more butter, but the comments indicated that some people had trouble with the mix firming up. I’m okay with chocolate overload, so I cut way back on the butter. The result was a super-easy truffle recipe that was basically foolproof, and they were a hit!
Easy Chocolate Truffles
Adapted from this recipe
8 oz semi- or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
dash of vanilla, or 6 Tbsp liqueur for flavoring**
Your choice of coating***
Heat the chocolates, butter, and milk in a pan until partially melted. Remove from the heat and stir until completely melted. Whisk in your desired flavoring until creamy-smooth.
Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate for an hour or two.
Remove the mixture from the refrigerator and let it stand at room temperature for a few minutes so it’s easier to scoop out. Mold the chocolate into approximately 1 Tbsp-sized balls, using your (clean) hands to roll them. Place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
Place your desired coating in a shallow bowl. Working one at a time, roll the truffles into the mixture, turning to coat. If you need to, roll the truffles a little more by hand to make sure the coating is nice and secure. Return to wax paper.
These can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 5 days, or frozen up to 1 month. Before serving, let them stand at room temperature to soften slightly.
** Good flavor options are Kahlua, Chambord, or Grand Marnier (with or without a little grated orange zest to complement). I wanted to keep mine simple for the wine tasting, but next time I’ll probably get creative.
*** A few ideas: chopped toasted hazelnuts, cocoa powder, slivered almonds, mini chocolate chips.