Perfect chocolate truffles
Rich Harris shows you how to make these deceptively simple chocolate truffles. They're rich, delicious and the perfect Valentine's Day gift.
Recipe - Makes: 45–65 truffles
225g plain chocolate, broken into small pieces
175ml double or whipping cream
Cocoa powder, icing sugar or finely chopped nuts for rolling and dusting
1. Tightly cover a large, heavy chopping board or a baking tray with clingfilm or baking parchment to place the truffles on to set. Place the chocolate in a large mixing bowl, at least 1.75 litres in capacity.
2. In a small pan, bring the cream to a rolling boil and immediately pour onto the broken chocolate. Blend thoroughly with a wooden spoon until smooth and all the chocolate has melted.
3. Allow the mixture, called a ganache, to cool completely, uncovered, for 1–1½ hours at room temperature until set. (You can speed up the process by placing the bowl in a sink filled with cold water - but don't allow any water to come into contact with the ganache.)
4. When the ganache has set, use a teaspoon to scoop out bite-sized pieces. Dust your hands lightly with cocoa powder or icing sugar to prevent them sticking and roll the pieces into balls in the palms of your hands.
5. Immediately roll the truffles in sifted cocoa powder, icing sugar or finely chopped nuts, then place on the board or tray and chill in the fridge until set.
For milk or white chocolate truffles, simply replace the plain chocolate with milk or white chocolate.
For alcoholic truffles, add 75ml rum, brandy, Calvados or any other alcohol you like to the ganache before allowing to cool and set.
If you feel confident working with chocolate, you can very gently melt about 175g chocolate and dip the truffles in it before rolling in the cocoa powder or other coatings. This helps the coating stick and gives the truffles a contrasting 'crunch' as you bite into them. A chocolate coating will also help them to keep longer.