Homemade chocolate truffles

homemade chocolate truffles - thrifty gifts and handmade giftsHomemade chocolate truffles make wonderful thrifty gifts for a birthday, Christmas, or as a present to take when invited to dinner with friends or family.  Surprisingly easy to make, they look like you’ve spent hours making them, and the variations are endless so you can choose a favourite flavouring or make a selection to please everyone.  Making your own handmade gifts is a great way to keep the costs down, and everyone appreciates the time and effort that goes into a homemade present – so much more thoughtful than just buying the latest bestseller from an online bookstore.

 

Basic chocolate truffle recipe

These truffles are all based on chocolate, cream and butter, with variations to suit your taste.  For the basic mixture you will need 150 grams of dark chocolate broken into small pieces, 150 ml double cream and a knob of butter.  Put the cream into a small saucepan and bring it almost to the boil, remove it from the heat, and add the butter and chocolate straight away.  Don’t touch it for a few minutes (about 5), then give a gentle stir to mix the melted chocolate and butter into cream to give a smooth mixture. Pour it into a bowl, and when it has cooled, pop it in the fridge overnight to thicken.

The next day, take the thickened mixture from the fridge, and sprinkle some cocoa powder into a bowl for dusting.  Take a melon baller if you have one, or a teaspoon if you don’t, and scoop spoonfuls of the mixture, rolling into balls (quickly so the heat of your hands doesn’t melt the chocolate) and roll them in the cocoa powder to coat them.  If you’re giving them as a gift you can put them into little paper sweet cases (like tiny cake cases).

Chocolate truffle variations

Here are some ideas for variations to try:

  • Roll in toasted chopped nuts instead of cocoa powder (or add these to the mixture before chilling)
  • Roll in finely grated milk or dark chocolate instead of cocoa powder
  • Add finely chopped stem ginger (from a jar) before chilling
  • Add a pinch of chilli powder to the mixture before chilling (take care – add a little and taste it, you can always add more if you like, but you don’t want to overdo it.  It should have just a hint of warmth)
  • Add a couple of tablespoons of brandy, rum or your favourite liqueur to the mixture before chilling
  • Dust with icing sugar for a contrasting effect, or caster sugar for a bit of crunch

 The finishing touches

Take care of the presentation – attractive wrapping will make the gift look really special.  Invest in some inexpensive clear sellophane wrapping or small boxes, finish with some ribbon, and you have a really luxurious gift at very little cost. Thrifty gifts really can be fabulous!

Do let us know your own ideas for unusual variations.

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