Chocolate truffles and real truffles are both thought of as romantic and luxurious. Although real black and white truffles are quite expensive and rare, chocolate truffles are very easy to make and are sure to impress your special Valentine. Be sure to purchase the finest chocolate you can find – chocolate chips or baking chocolate will not do! Brands to seek out include Valrhona, Scharffen-Berger and Callebaut.
1 1/2 cups cream
1/4 cup honey
1 pound bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons brandy or rum
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup each cocoa powder, shredded unsweetened coconut, chopped hazelnuts (or pistachio nuts)
Place the cream and honey in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat, add the chocolate, and stir until the chocolate is melted. Whisk in the butter, one tablespoon at a time. Stir in the brandy and vanilla and allow to cool for 45 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Use a small scoop and your hands to form 1” diameter balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. They will actually more like real truffles if they are not perfectly round. Refrigerate for 15 minutes, and then roll some of the truffles in the cocoa powder, some in the nuts and some in the shredded coconut. The truffles will keep for a couple of weeks if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or the freezer.
Yield – approximately 36 truffles.