Well then, on Valentine’s Day, the best thing you and your bit of hot stuff can share are these Chocolate Chilli Truffles, which you can make and customise yourself.
As a lover of ‘fine’ chocolate (why would I settle for less) I chose to use @hotel_chocolat very own Purist Hacienda Iara chocolate with chilli. If you can’t get it with chilli in, then you could always add crushed chili flakes yourself – but to settle for chocolate less than 70% is simply short changing yourself of the experience of a ‘fine’, quality experience.
Stop Press: I have recently found a supplier and maker of very nice chocolates, very close to home (Chorley, Lancashire). They are Choc Amor and are based in Botany Bay, Chorley. Take it from me, they have a very good selection of chocolates made freshly on the premisies and this includes ‘Chilli Chocolate’.
I have given the ingredients and method for plain chocolate truffles and then given additional methods for making Chilli Chocolate Truffles and also Mint Chocolate Truffles – so you have one that’s ‘hot’ on the tongue and also ‘cool’ on the tongue. They are both delicious and can be served at a dinner table in two seperate bowls as an after dinner surprise.
You need to ensure you prepare the chocolate mixture in advance (leaving plenty of time) as the truffle mix needs to cool either overnight or for the day in the fridge. So chocolate mixture made in the morning, should be OK for the same evening.
When the truffles are made you can leave in the fridge for a couple of days ‘or’ you can freeze them – but remember to take out and leave in fridge for at least 3 hours to defrost thoroughly.
The base ingredients for these chocolate truffles is:
- 100g dark chocolate (70% or more cocoa) broken into pieces
- 100ml of double cream
- 1 tsp of liquid glucose (sugar is simply not smooth enough)
- 25g unsalted butter
- 4-5 tbsp of cocoa powder (again, choose the best you can)
- Step1: Put the chocolate, double cream, liquid glucose and butter in a bowl and place over a pan of simmering water (this is the best method for melting chocolate and it not burning or splitting). Leave to melt gently and stir once or twice every minute, until the chocolate mix is combined and smooth. Be careful to kee the heat low to avoid splitting.
- Step 2: Remove the bowl from the pan and leave to cool, then cover an chill overnight (or all day if started in morning) until the mixture has thickened.
- Step 3: Scoop out roundedteaspoons of the mixture and palce on a sheet of non stick baking paper. Tip the cocoa powder (and any other coating ingredients if using) into a bowl.
- Step 4: Dust or hands with extra cocoa and ‘quickly’ roll each chocolate truffle into a ball and then into the cocoa powder until fully coated. Chill until ready to serve.
For Chilli Chocolate Truffles:
- Step 1: Use half chilli flavoured chocolate and half dark chocolate -I used @hotel_chocolate chilli chocolate and also their liquid chocolate flakes (or you can use chocolate no less than 70% cocoa and 1tsp crushed chilli flakes)
- Step 4: Roll the truffles in cocoa and a little granulated sugar mixed (you could add a small amount of mild chilli powder to this mix, but this will significantly increase the ‘fire’ in them as well as add a bit of colour).
For Mint Chocolate Truffles:
- Step 1: Add half a teaspoon of peppermint extract to the melted chocolate truffle mixture.
- Step 4: Instead of cocoa powder roll in approx. 50g of sifted icing sugar. Ensure well coated when serving.
These chocolate truffles can ber adapted with a number of different flavours and textured coatings to suit your palate. They can be prepared in advance and frozen till needed (leave at least 3 hours to ensure defrosted).
They look great served at the dinner table or boxed in tissue paper or little cellophane, decorated bags – so they are an ideal gift for loved ones, family and friends. You could even use them as wedding favours, providing the venue has somewhere to keep them refrigerated until needed.
Alternative flavours could be:
Salted Caramel – using Green & Blacks Butterscotch chocolate instead of dark chocolate.
Honey & Almond – using honey instead of liquid glucose and roll in chopped almonds.
Liquor Chocolates – adding your favourite tipple to the truffle mix and then, one at a time dropping the truffles into cooled milk chocolate instead of cocoa (leave to set on non-stick paper).