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Chocolate Truffles - Tue, 7th Oct 2008
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Chocolate Truffles
AKA: How to make a happy wife

I first made these accidentally. Originally this was a recipe for a chocolate fondue and I had a lot left over. The following day it had solidified into a magnificent chocolate-y treat which was promptly devoured by anyone opening the fridge. So basically this is two recipes in one. If you're after a chocolate fondue then stop at the halfway point. If you want truffles, continue until the end.

* 200mL of cream (full fat, there's no point pretending this is a healthy snack)
* 330g of dark chocolate, grated (whichever brand and cocoa content you prefer, in weaker moments I've been known to use very cheap stuff)
* A shot of your favourite liquor (cointreau or cognac work well)
* Powdered cocoa

Heat the cream in a saucepan until it almost boils, turn off (or right down) the heat and start adding the grated chocolate and stir/whisk until it's all melted and the mixture is smooth. Allow to cool to room temperature and solidify, it's best not to refrigerate it until it's solid.

Once the mixture is solid, spoon out a piece about the size of .... well .... a truffle. Roll the piece into a ball and roll in powdered cocoa. If you want your standard (and technically traditional) chocolate truffle you can stop here, but keep in mind that eating these will often leave a chocolate residue on your fingers, so you'll never be able to get away with sneaking one when nobody is looking. I highly recommend going the extra mile:

Melt some extra chocolate, dip and roll the cocoa coated truffles in the melted chocolate and place on a piece of grease proof paper to cool and set. This is somewhat of a dark art, depending on the brand of chocolate and its precise melting point it may be as simple as dipping them in on the end of a fork or my preferred method of rolling between a couple of desert spoons. Note that unless you take great care every truffle will turn out a different size and shape and they may indeed be quite ugly aesthetically. This is where the final step comes in...

The final step is to feed one to your significant other. The reaction you'll get makes this recipe worth the effort. If the truffles look ugly to you this is not necessarily a bad thing. Number one, it'll be obvious you didn't buy them, and two once they're eaten nobody will remember what they looked like.

Some notes on dealing with chocolate
* Don't use a wooden spoon. Water does bad things to melted chocolate, and wooden spoons will often trap moisture which will come out into the mixture as you stir. Always use a dry metal utensil when dealing with chocolate.
* Never melt chocolate over direct heat, it will burn. Use the double boiler technique: put the chocolate in a metal bowl over saucepan containing gently boiling water. Again don't allow the chocolate to get wet.

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