Recipe by Dr Sarah Lantz
‘There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate’. Linda Grayson
There’re only a few days in the year when wolfing down a whole box of chocolates for breakfast is socially acceptable, and Easter is unquestionably one of those times. There is nothing more wonderfully sumptuous and decadent than rich, melt-in-your-mouth Easter chocolate truffles. Nothing. Particularly if you make them at home using quality and ethical ingredients and proudly gift them to your loved ones (or eating them all yourself, remember, it’s completely acceptable at Easter time to do this). There is no greater or more appeasing gift. And, let’s face it “ you get more bang for your buck with home-made chocolates, and you know exactly what’s in them “ and what not “ think, rose cream chocolate that tastes like you are chewing perfume “ you know the ones. Whilst I have it on good authority that this may be someone else’s goldmine, this recipe here gives you creative freedom to craft your own truffles to sincerely satisfy your very own tastebuds. It’s also super easy.
300g preferably premium, organic, fair-trade dark chocolate, with at least 70% cocoa solids
300ml double cream (organic, raw from grass-fed cows preferred or coconut cream)
50g salted butter (or unsalted if you prefer, or coconut oil)
Toppings and flavourings (see method description)
To make the truffle ganache, chop, or break, the chocolate into pieces and place into a large bowl. Put the cream and butter into a saucepan and heat gently until the butter melts and the cream reaches simmering point. Remove from heat, then pour over the chocolate pieces. Stir the chocolate and cream together until you have a smooth and velvety mixture.
Now, this is mixture will be delicious just as-is, guaranteed. However, you can at this point add in any flavourings to the truffle mix or divide the mixture into multiple smaller bowls and mix in liqueurs or other flavourings, a teaspoon at a time, to taste. There are so many to try: Kahlua, Amaretto, Bourbon, Cognac, Port, Sherry Grand Marnier, Vodka, Coconut Rum or the zest and juice of an orange, tangerine, lemon or lime, vanilla extract, peppermint extract, saffron (yes, saffron), wasabi powder (yes, that too), cacao nibs, lemon or lime zest, a swirl of jams or marmalade, a touch of finely grated ginger, or some spices, such as chili, cinnamon, five spice and cardamom powder. Cool and chill for at least four hours or until the mixture is set firm.
To shape the truffles, dip a melon baller (or spoon, how many of us really have melon ballers) in hot water and scoop up balls of the mixture, dropping the truffles onto baking paper. Or lightly coat your hands in flavourless oil (such as coconut) and roll the truffles between your palms. One trick I find useful when rolling an extra sticky batch of truffles perfectly is to scoop the truffle mixture into uneven mounds on baking paper, then refrigerate for another 20 minutes so the mounds feel less sticky to roll (but this may be unnecessary).
Coat your truffles in raw cacao immediately after shaping and chill on baking paper. Viola, ready to devour!
Or, you can layer the flavours with different kinds of toppings or coatings.
Try: crushed, shelled pistachio or hazelnuts, lightly toasted desiccated coconut, dehydrated orange zest, dried rose petals (or any edible flower petals for that matter), raspberry, blueberry, Matcha or beetroot powder, bee pollen, espresso coffee, chunky sea salt with lime zest, salt and pepper, cocoa nibs, cacao and chilli powder, sprinkles and edible glitters, or melted chocolate.
Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to three days, or freeze for up to a month. Defrost in the fridge overnight. To give as presents, place truffles in paper cases inside sumptuous paper lined boxes tied with ribbon, string or a satin bow. Keep in the fridge until you’re ready to give them up. Or eat them all yourself. It is Easter after all!
Dr Sarah Lantz (PhD)
Buchi Brew Co. & Sacred Women’s Way