DIY Truffles

Truffles are the easiest candy to make at home, they are basically composed of only two ingredients and you can flavor them in a million different ways…which makes them the best Christmas gift EVER!

IMG_7710

I carved a large stamp for the truffle boxes (click the image for the video tutorial), stamped one in red on white paper, scanned it and printed a bunch on sticker paper. They still look hand stamped but they are all perfect and low maintenance.

Since truffles are mostly just heavy cream and chocolate, you can either pre-infuse the cream with flavors by using a steeping method (whole ingredients left in hot cream for 30 minutes and then strained out) or you can add flavorings or liqueurs to the melted mix.

The basic ratio for the simplest truffle is 1 cup of heavy cream to 1 pound of chocolate (a mix of bittersweet and semisweet).    The basic method is this:  heat the cream to boiling, remove it from the heat for 30 seconds and then pour it over the chopped chocolate and whisk until smooth.  Add a tablespoon of dark brewed coffee and a little vanilla to heighten the chocolate flavor.  Let sit at room temperature until firm, scoop and form into balls and roll in cocoa powder or powdered sugar.

IMG_7713

SUCCESS! Left to Right: Holiday Spice, Peanut Butter and Pretzel.

I decided to make 3 “truffles” this year as my Christmas gift using the steeping method…although one is really just a classic peanut butter ball!    After successfully making a delicious Cinnamon Toast Ice Cream this summer by steeping the cream with buttered cinnamon toast croutons, I thought, “why not try this same technique with pretzels?”  The resulting “Pretzel Truffle” is subtle, but delicious, while the other “Holiday Spice Truffle” is punchy and perfect with every one of my favorite flavors this season.   How you can make your own truffles and my recipes from this year after the jump!

Holiday Spice Truffles

makes about 40 truffles

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 lb. good bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/2 lb. good semisweet chocolate
  • 1 tbsp. dark brewed coffee
  • 1/2 tsp. real vanilla extract
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. whole cloves
  • Dutch process cocoa powder for dipping (this must be good cocoa powder, not Hershey’s!  I used a King Arthur cocoa powder called “black cocoa” that is beyond decadent)

Heat cream and all the spices in a small saucepan over medium heat until steaming, not boiling.  Cover, remove from heat and let sit for at least 30 minutes.   Chop your chocolates (if not using bits) and put into a medium-sized mixing bowl.  Reheat the cream until boiling, remove from heat for 30 seconds and then strain into the chocolate using a fine mesh strainer lined with cheese cloth.   Whisk the mixture until the chocolate is melted and smooth.  Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let sit until firm, about 1 to 2 hours.   Pour cocoa powder into a shallow dish and cover 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Using a small scoop or a teaspoon and your hands, form the chocolate mixture into small balls, roll in cocoa powder and place on parchment.   These will keep a couple of weeks in the refrigerator but serve them at room temperature.

IMG_7688

Holiday spices steeping in hot cream.

IMG_7696

Whisk the hot cream and chocolate until smooth and melted.

IMG_7703

Rolling the truffles in cocoa can get pretty messy!

Pretzel Truffles

makes about 40 truffles

  • 1 cup heavy cream (you may need a little more after the soaking process to make 1 cup total)
  • 1/2 lb. good bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/2 lb. good semisweet chocolate
  • 1 tbsp. dark brewed coffee
  • 1/2 tsp. real vanilla extract
  • 1 cup roughly crushed pretzel rods, plus more for decorating
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • Dutch process cocoa powder for dipping (this must be good cocoa powder, not Hershey’s!  I used a King Arthur cocoa powder called “double dutch”.)

Heat cream  in a small saucepan over medium heat until steaming, not boiling.  Pour over the crushed pretzels in a bowl, cover and let sit for at least 30 minutes.   Chop your chocolates (if not using bits) and put into a medium-sized mixing bowl.  Strain the pretzel flavored cream back into the saucepan using a cheesecloth-lined fine mesh strainer and pressing the pretzels down to get as much cream out of them as possible.  Add more cream to the pot if needed to make 1 full cup and add salt.  Reheat until boiling, remove from heat for 30 seconds and then strain again into the chocolate using a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth.   Whisk the mixture until the chocolate is melted and smooth.  Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let sit until firm, about 1 to 2 hours.   Pour cocoa powder into a shallow dish and cover 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Using a small scoop or a teaspoon and your hands, form the chocolate mixture into small balls, roll in cocoa powder and place on parchment.   Top each with a pretzel bit.  These will keep a couple of weeks in the refrigerator but serve them at room temperature.

IMG_7689

Think of all of the delicious things you could steep in hot cream to infuse flavor!

My Mom’s Peanut Butter Balls

makes about 45 peanut butter balls

  • 18 oz. peanut butter
  • 6 tbsp. butter at room temperature
  • 3 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar
  • 12 oz. semisweet chocolate bits
  • 2 oz. food grade paraffin wax (thins the chocolate a bit for easy dipping and adds a little shine- this is optional but recommended.  If you don’t use it, plan on needing double the chocolate bits.)
  • Dry roasted peanuts for decorating

Mix peanut butter, butter, cream cheese and powdered sugar in a bowl until combined.  Form mixture into 1 inch balls with your hands and set aside on plates or cookie sheets.   Melt chocolate and paraffin in a metal bowl set over a small pot of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water.  Stir until smooth and remove from heat.  Use a fork to dip and cover a peanut butter ball in the chocolate,  gently shake off the excess coating and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Top with a peanut.  Continue until each ball is covered in chocolate and topped with a peanut, reheating the chocolate half way through if necessary.   Store in the fridge but serve at room temperature.

IMG_7697

The peanut butter mixture is similar to Play-Doh in consistency, but much tastier.

IMG_7699

A small scoop with a release is the easiest way to evenly divide dough or batter for muffins or cookies.

IMG_7701

Keeping the chocolate throughout dipping is the best way to keep the coating thin and manageable.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

One response to “DIY Truffles

  1. Wow , what a great gift idea! They look beautiful.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s