Milk Chocolate Truffles:
4 ounces (120 grams) milk chocolate, finely chopped (I used a milk chocolate with a 34% cacao content)
4 ounces (120 grams) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used a semisweet chocolate with a 54% cacao content)
1/2 cup (120 grams) heavy whipping cream (cream with a 35-40% butterfat content)
1 tablespoon (13 grams) butter, cut into small pieces
Different Coatings for Truffles:
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (regular unsweetened or Dutch-processed)
Melted or Tempered Chocolate
Sugar (Granulated White, Pearl Sugar, or Powdered)
Toasted and finely chopped Nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds, pistachios and/or hazelnuts)
Chocolate or Candy Sprinkles
Milk Chocolate Truffles: Place the finely chopped chocolates in a medium sized heatproof bowl. Set aside. Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for a minute or two. Gently stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until smooth. (If the chocolate doesn't melt completely, place in the microwave for about 10-20 seconds, or over a saucepan of simmering water, just until melted.) Cover and place in the refrigerator until the truffle mixture is firm (this will take several hours or overnight).
Place your coatings for the truffles on a plate. Remove the truffle mixture from the refrigerator. With your hands, a small ice cream scoop, a melon baller, or a small spoon, form the chocolate into rounds or mis-shaped bite-sized balls. Immediately roll the truffle in the coating and place on a parchment lined baking sheet or tray. Cover and place in the refrigerator until firm. Truffles can be refrigerated for a couple of weeks or else frozen for a couple of months. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Makes 30 small truffles.
To Toast Nuts: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and toast the nuts (pecans, walnuts or almonds) about 8 - 10 minutes or until brown and fragrant. For hazelnuts toast about 13-15 minutes or until the skins start to blister. Remove from oven and roll in a clean dish towel. Let the nuts 'steam' for about 5 minutes and then remove the skins. Once the nuts have cooled, chop coarsely.
Chocolate Truffles are a deliciously rich bite-sized petit four made from a creamy mixture of chocolate, cream, and butter. It's fun shaping the truffles and then rolling them in things like unsweetened cocoa powder, confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, finely chopped nuts, tempered chocolate, shredded coconut, sprinkles, or even shaved chocolate. For gift giving use a variety of these toppings. Once made, I like to place the chocolate truffles in small paper cups and wrap them in a box tied with a pretty ribbon.
Now, the taste and quality of the truffle is dependent on the quality of chocolate you start with. For these Milk Chocolate Truffles we're actually using a combination of milk and semi sweet chocolates. A good rule of thumb is to use a milk and a semi sweet chocolate that you enjoy eating on its own.
If you like you can add a tablespoon of alcohol to the truffle mixture. If you decide you want a hazelnut flavored truffle, you could add Frangelico to the chocolate and cream mixture and then roll the truffles in finely chopped hazelnuts. Or if you would like your truffles to have a coffee flavor stir about one tablespoon of espresso powder into the hot cream and then add Kahua or Tia Maria to the truffle mixture. For fruit flavored truffles stir in 1 tablespoon of fruit puree or jam in place of the alcohol. Orange flavored truffles can be made by adding about 1 tablespoon of orange zest to the hot cream. Let the cream steep for about 10 - 15 minutes and then strain out the zest. Then add Grand Marnier to the truffle mixture. As you can see there are endless variations to the basic truffle so experiment and come up with your own recipes.