Do you still have some gifts to give out in the New Year? Or, are you looking for a simple, yet elegant, treat to make for yourself and your family after all the hectic holidays? I know for me, this was a CRAZY holiday season… too much work, organizing, and stuff to get done in such a short period of time! These chocolate ganache truffles are really simple to make, but are an unexpected indulgent treat in the winding down of the holiday season…. either for yourself, or as a gift to friends or family.
My favorite thing about this recipe is that it is so adaptable to your individual preferences – and you can use whatever flavorings/ingredients you have lying around in your pantry. The other thing that I like about this recipe is that you can divide it to make three different flavors all at the same time.
To make truffles, you can use any kind of chocolate you like – from regular semi-sweet, all the way to high quality dark bittersweet chocolate. To make it easy on myself, I like to use good quality chocolate chips – then you don’t have to chop up the chocolate into small pieces (chocolate chip sized pieces) for melting. (And use the microwave to heat the cream! Don’t bother standing on the stove and making a pot dirty – just microwave right in the pyrex measuring cup!)
This time around, I made 3 flavors: espresso-cocoa, rum-coconut, and orange-almond-pistachio. But be creative – go with any flavor combinations that sound good to you. The “flavoring” should be a liquid or a paste (liqueur, flavorful liquid, jam, nut butter, etc.). The “topping” should be something dry – something you can coat the sticky truffle with to make it easier to handle and look pretty (powders, finely chopped nuts or dried fruits, cookie crumbs, etc). Here are some ideas of flavor combinations you might consider:
Flavor variations examples:
- Espresso or strong brewed coffee + cocoa powder
- Rum + chopped coconut
- Amaretto + chopped almonds or pistachios
- Kahlua + cocoa powder or finely chopped/shaved chocolate
- Bailey’s Irish Cream + powdered sugar
- Raspberry Jam + oreo cookie crumbs
- Nutella + chopped hazelnuts
- (1 tsp matcha + 2.5 T. water) + matcha green tea powder
- 24 oz. chocolate
- 2 c. heavy cream
- 2 T. unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3. T of any flavorful liquid/liqueur or paste
- eg. espresso, rum, amaretto, jam
- about 1 c. toppings, for example:
- finely chopped pistachio or nuts
- shredded coconut
- cookie crumbs
- cocoa powder
1. First, make the ganache. Finely chop the chocolate into even chocolate chip sized pieces (or just cheat, and do what I do – but high quality chocolate chips and use those instead. I like the Ghirardelli bittersweet 60% chocolate chips). Put the chocolate into the bottom of a heat-proof bowl, add the butter and salt.
2. In a large pyrex measuring cup, microwave the cream for about 4-5 minutes until very hot. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips, and allow the mixture to sit (undisturbed) for 6 minutes.
3. After 6 minutes, begin to stir the mixture with a wire whisk. The mixture will appear lumpy and grainy at first – don’t worry, just keep on whisking.
4. Eventually the mixture will come together into a shiny & smooth ganache.
5. Divide the ganache into 3 smaller bowls. Add 3 T. of liquid flavorings to each bowl, and stir until completely incorporated into the ganache. (I used strong brewed espresso, dark Puerto Rican Rum, and 1/2 tsp. orange extract + 2.5 T. Amaretto as my flavorings.)
6. Refrigerate for 3 hours until cold and stiffened. Scoop the ganache into 1-2 T. truffle sized balls. I like to use a cookie scoop because it minimizes the handling of the ganache, which will melt if you over-handle. Put the balls in the freezer for 10 – 20 minutes to firm up.
7. Remove the balls from the freezer (I like to do this in batches, one flavor at a time), and coat. To coat, roll the balls into your desired toppings. For the espresso flavored truffles, I rolled in unsweetened cocoa powder. For the Rum truffles, I rolled in pulverized shredded coconut (just put regular shredded coconut into the food processor for a few seconds to break down into smaller pieces). For the orange-Amaretto truffles, I rolled in finely chopped pistachio.
8. Store in a closed plastic container. These will keep longer if refrigerated, but will last several days unrefrigerated.