For some...a little 'spirit' can be added too.

I just can't imagine the Easter festivities
without this decadence on the sweet table.
Subconsciously, I sadly realize that after this feasting period...
I'll have to control myself a little more than usual.
I don't necessarily want to shop for another sized wardrobe ;0)
Along with some of you...I'll have to revert back to my better
planning from my ' Spring Meals kick off ' list.

For now...let's just keep reveling in our festive mood...
and for some, like myself...
a continual embrace of chocolate hits the spot.

Today, I'll be offering...my very own favourite recipe
for easy to create CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES.
I do realize that this is a treat known to many.
The mere fact that there are already hundreds of truffle recipes...
why would I plug in my two cents worth?
From experience...many still shy away from making chocolate truffles
because they fear that they are too difficult to succeed.
Well, after many complex recipes and having experienced the same insecurities...
I finally resumed it to one very basic easy foolproof method...
for making these decadent melt-in-your-mouth treats.

CHOCOLATE truffles
Foolproof in 3 easy steps
Two chocolate melting methods can be used.

Click HERE for a PRINTER friendly version

Makes between:
20-24 small sized truffles

(American / Metric measures)

Chocolate Ganache interiors:
. 5 oz. (150g) bittersweet (70%) chocolate, coarsely chopped
. 1/2 cup (125ml) whipping Cream 35%
. 1 tbsp. (15ml) unsalted butter
. pinch of sea salt
. 1/4 cup (50ml) Maple syrup OR 1/8 cup (25ml) of Agave Nectar or Honey
. 1 Tbsp. (15ml) choice of liquor (optional)

That's it for the simple 'Ganache' recipe ;o)

Add-ins VARIATIONS: optional
. alcohol infused truffles:  For a more 'spirited' flavour...you can add 1-2 tbsp. (15-30ml) of your favorite 'premium' LIQUOR:  i.e. Amaretto, Bailey's Irish cream, Brandy, Cognac, Cointreau, Grand  Marnier, Kahlua, Rum, Whiskey etc...
. spiced truffles:  If you wish to 'spike' your truffles...you can add a pinch up to 1/8 tsp. (0.5ml) of SPICE:  i.e. Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Cardamon, Ginger etc...

Choose your coating preferences to vary about 3 choices to satisfy variety:
. for crushed coatings...i.e.: cereals, cookies or nuts *...you'll need about 1/2 cup (10g) each
. for shredded product coatings...i.e.: coconut...you'll need about 1/2 cup (35g) each
. for powder type coatings...i.e.: cocoa ** powder or confectioners' sugar ***...you'll need about 1/4 cup (30g) each.
. for candy type coating...i.e.: sprinkles and sparkles...you'll need about 1/4 cup (30g) each.

* Nuts such as Almonds, Hazelnuts, Pecans, Walnuts, Pistachios should be slightly roasted.
** It is best to sift Cocoa powder and do not skimp on quality!
*** Confectioners' sugar (powdered sugar) should be sifted ...note: if wanting to use this ingredient... they are best rolled just before serving because the white powder tends to disappear to a very bland looking dull brown truffle.

Choose methods A or B interchangeably
...through 3 easy steps.
MAKING the chocolate 'Ganache': ...choose either method
Microwave method:
1. In a medium heatproof bowl, place the chocolate and pour the cream over top. 
2. Microwave on high for 30 seconds...take out of heat...let it rest for 30 seconds and then stir. Repeat this process: put it back in the Microwave for another 20 seconds...take out and add the remaining chocolate.  Stir to combine.  Let it rest for another 20 seconds.  Now, mix in the butter and salt.  Stir until all is completely melted. 
3. At this point, add the sweet syrup and/ or also the desired optional liquor.
Traditional method:
1. In a medium heatproof bowl, place the chocolate.  Set aside. 
2. In a small pot, warm up the cream at medium heat until bubbles appear around the edge of the pot.  Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the butter and salt to dissolve. 
3. Immediately pour this warm cream over the chocolate, let it stand for 5 minutes.  Stir until all is completely melted.  
. At this point, add the sweet syrup and/ or also the desired optional liquor.

Note for either method used:
Let the chocolate stand at room temperature
until it is completely cooled...usually about 1 hour.

CHILLING the 'ganache': ...choose either method
. Quick Method:
4. Pour and spread the ganache into a deep shallow edged un-lined pan. Transfer the baking pan (lightly covered with parchment paper touching the chocolate surface) to the freezer. 
5. The chocolate should be malleably hardened within about 20-25 minutes.
. No-Rush or Day Ahead method:
4. Leave the ganache in the same bowl.  Cover it lightly and chill in refrigerator for about four hours.   Note: If leaving for a longer period...before forming the truffles...take the bowl out at room temperature for about 20-30 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, line a baking sheet pan with parchment paper...
and set aside to be used later to hold your truffles.

6. With a teaspoon or (melon ball) #60 scoop, spoon out chocolate 'ganache' from your bowl or pan to form a few roughly irregular small shaped balls.  Once and a while, dip your spoon in cold water in order to prevent the chocolate from sticking. 
7. Transfer the truffles to the parchment-lined pan and refrigerate them for about 10 minutes.  Take the truffles out of the fridge. 
8. Place your desired COATING choices in a few separate small bowls.
9. Roll each irregular truffle in the coating by swirling it within the bowl itself.  There's no need to roll the chocolate in your hands.  Remember...real looking truffles are far from perfectly shaped.
Note: If you're not ready to make the chocolate truffles right away...the ganache mix can  be stored within the bowl or pan along with an airtight seal for about 1 more week.

In an airtight container...the finished truffles can be stored in the refrigerator.  Gently place them between parchment paper level. They'll preserve their quality for up to 10 days or up to 2 months in the freezer.

The following ARTICLES and RECIPES...may ALSO be of INTEREST:
. Feature Story: CHOCOLATE_up or down today?


What is a chocolate truffle:
It is a type of chocolate confectionery, traditionally made with a chocolate ganache center coated in chocolate or cocoa powder, usually in a spherical, conical, or curved shape. Other fillings may replace the ganache: cream, melted chocolate, caramel, nuts, almonds, berries, or other assorted sweet fruits, nougat, fudge, or toffee, mint, chocolate chips, marshmallow, and, popularly, liquor.  They are named for their resemblance to the truffle fungus. --wikipedia
The chocolate truffle was first created by M. Dufour in Chambery, France in December 1895. They reached a wider public with the establishment of the Prestat chocolate shop in London by Antoine Dufour in 1902, which still sells 'Napoleon III' truffles to the original recipe. There are now three main types of chocolate truffles: American, European, and Swiss:
. The "American truffle" is a half-egg shaped chocolate-coated truffle, a mixture of dark or milk chocolates with butterfat and, in some cases, hardened coconut oil. Joseph Schmidt, a San Francisco chocolatier, and founder of Joseph Schmidt Confections, is credited with its creation in the mid-1980s.
. A Canadian variation of the American truffle, known as the Harvey truffle, includes the addition of graham cracker crumbs and peanut butter. Other American companies may shape their truffles similar to that of peanut butter cups.
. The "European truffle" is made with syrup and a base made up of cocoa powder, milk powder, fats, and other such ingredients to create an oil-in-water type emulsion.
The "Swiss truffle" is made by combining melted chocolate into a boiling mixture of dairy cream and butter, which is poured into molds to set before sprinkling with cocoa powder. Unlike the previous two kinds of truffles, these have a very short shelf-life and must be consumed within a few days of making. --wikipedia

Other related CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE Recipes:
My 'Trufflicious' recipe selections are:
[This is a collage which I created from various photos found on each recipes individual websites]

Mentioned below are the links to these selected recipes'...
starting in the center..then from the top left hand corner...clockwise:

* Black Russian truffles *

I truly hope you also get to experience making your...
own chocolate truffles soon...it's very rewarding ;o)
Here's wishing you a trufflicious day,

Comments ... ??? ... or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at: foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com

Go HERE for more SWEET creations.

Please take note on how I bake and cook...
Here’s a 101 of sorts to make sure that there are no disappointments when trying my creations.  
Also...just so you know...feel free to increase the salt and sweet factor since I'm not high on either of them ;o)
. Use DRY cup measurements for...you guessed it...all DRY ingredients.
Anything DRY gets measured by spooning the overfilled ingredient (never shake the cup) and then level off with a flat edged tool.  Exception...Brown sugar should be packed in and leveled.
. Use LIQUID cup measurements for...all LIQUIDS that cannot be leveled like for example butter, yogurt...etc.  Measure the liquids at eye level to avoid overdoing what the recipe truly needs.

OVENS are unfortunately not created equal.  Mine is so old that it has reached many degrees off it's norm.  It's really worth investing a few dollars to test yours with an appropriate oven thermometer.  You'd be surprised how many ovens I've heard about not being where they should have been.  Before you lose any more ingredients and much time preparing a new recipe...run to the store...you'll thank me later.