Dark chocolate truffles
Chocolate truffles are a decadent treat and always have a sense of luxuriousness about them. Although there are a few important things to know when working with chocolate, these truffles are not too difficult to make. The trick is to make sure that the chocolate is never allowed to overheat and the better the quality of chocolate, the better the end-result. Always melt chocolate over a low heat and never in a microwave. Overheated chocolate will ‘bloom’ once cooled down, leaving unappetising white spots on the surface of the chocolate. It may also ‘cease’ which means that your chocolate will form lumps and not become smooth again.
Carefully measure the other ingredients for the truffles, so that the ratio between the various elements are indeed correct. When rolling the truffles, it works best at cooler temperatures and those with colder hands find the rolling process just so much easier. Look at the tips below to see how else the mixture can be shaped and for more ideas to flavour the truffles.
I prefer to use both dark and milk chocolate with a small amount of cocoa to achieve an indulgent and well-balanced dark chocolate flavour, without being bitter. This truffle recipe was originally developed as part of a food and wine pairing event many years ago. Since then it has been shared numerous times as dessert, treats with coffee and even as gifts to family and friends.
Finding a match
Not all chocolate pairs equally well with red wine, but if you find the perfect match, it’s a unique and really special combination. Do try the rich, creamy taste of these dark chocolate truffles with the full-bodied flavour of some proudly South African wines like Neethlingshof Owl Post Pinotage or Beyerskloof Pinotage Reserve. When a combination like this works, the two elements really present a taste synergy of a different dimension – the chocolate complements the wine and visa versa.
100 g milk chocolate, broken into pieces
15 ml (1 tbsp) boiling water
15 ml (1 tbsp) good quality cocoa
65 ml fresh cream
10 ml (2 tsp) cold butter
1. Place chocolate in a glass bowl over a saucepan with gently simmering water. Make sure that the bowl does not touch the water, as this can easily overheat the chocolate.
2. Stir the chocolate over a low heat until melted. Lift the bowl every now and then to release the steam if necessary, but take care not to burn. Turn heat off, but leave the bowl over the hot water.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk water into cocoa until it forms a smooth paste with no dry lumps. Stir this mixture into the melted chocolate. Don’t be alarmed if it forms lumps, it will smooth out once the cream is added.
4. Add cream and butter to the chocolate and keep stirring until a smooth mixture forms.
5. Pour the chocolate mixture in an even layer into a shallow container with a lid. Cover and allow to cool down to room temperature, then refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. This allows the chocolate to set and makes rolling easier.
6. Carefully roll 12-15 small balls between the palms of your hands. Place each truffle in a small truffle paper cup or see tips for decorating ideas. Refrigerate in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks.
7. Serve with coffee or a glass of red wine, as part of a dessert and cheese platter.
1. Melt small amounts of milk chocolate (about 20 g) in a bowl, over a saucepan of gently simmering water, as described in the recipe above. Pipe or drizzle over the set Dark chocolate truffles to decorate.
2. Roll truffles in ingredients or your choice, like cocoa, toasted coconut, toasted sesame seeds, cacao nibs, toasted and chopped flaked almonds or macadamia nuts and even grated white chocolate.
3. Any of these flavours in tip 2, can also be stirred into the melted chocolate with the cream and butter. Don’t add more than 100-125 ml of your choice of ingredient to the chocolate.
4. If you struggle to roll the truffles, cut the set mixture into small squares or triangles and serve as above.