Every Christmas I have one major tradition that I can’t ignore: making chocolate truffles. Most years, I have a specific recipe that calls for Baileys or an amaretto liquor, but this year I verged off and tried something a little different, using Courvoisier Cognac instead. The result is one of the best batches of truffles I have ever made.
To share the love a little, I thought I’d post my recipe again, this time with an addition of chocolate coating, rather than just rolling the truffles in an ingredient. Doing a proper chocolate coating is a little tricky, but if you’re careful, the result is really delicious.
1/2 cup of whipping cream
1/4 cup of butter
3 tbsp. of granulated sugar
240 grams of semi-sweet chocolate
1/4 cup of Courvoisier Cognac
Other items: 1 cup of dark chocolate wafers for coating, or 1 cup (total) of any coatings you want to roll the truffles in (if you’re not going to dip them in chocolate), plus 50 to 60 truffle cups and a container. Some suggested coatings include: grated coconut, ground coffee, sprinkles, icing sugar, cocoa, chopped nuts, or crushed candy canes.
First of all, since this is based on an American recipe, it called for 240 grams of semi-sweet chocolate, but in Canada, a package of 8 squares of chocolate only equals 225 grams. Make sure that when you make this recipe you have an extra 15 grams of chocolate to add into the mix, or three teaspoons. A great alternative is chocolate chips, or buy your chocolate in bulk and measure out the extra chocolate.
To start, place the cream, butter, and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring the ingredients to a very light boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.
When the mixture comes to a boil, remove the saucepan from the heat and add in the semi-sweet chocolate, mixing until the chocolate is completely melted.
After that, stir in the Courvoisier Cognac until it looks uniform and you don’t see any traces of liquid. When you’re done this step, cover the saucepan and chill it for about 3 to 5 hours, or until the mixture is firm.
Next, to coat your truffles, you can simply roll them in the ingredient of your choice, or follow my dipping instructions below.
Rolling truffles: Set aside a plate or tray covered in waxed paper and use a melon baller to scoop out the chilled ganache into small, evenly-sized balls. Place each of your dipping ingredients in individual bowls, covering the bottom, and then roll the truffles through one of the ingredients to evenly coat the outside. After that, drop the truffle into a truffle cup and store in a tightly sealed container in the fridge until serving.
Chocolate dipped truffles: For the recipe above, you will want about a cup of chocolate to melt down for the coating. Use a double boiler and a candy thermometer to melt 90% of the chocolate wafers at between 104°F to 122°F. Once the wafers are melted, drop the temperature down to 84°F (dark chocolate, or 80°F for milk chocolate) and add in the remaining wafers of chocolate and stir for at least two minutes. Finally, raise the temperature to 89°F (85°F for milk chocolate) to begin dipping the truffles.
You can prepare to dip your truffles the same way you prepare rolled truffles. Scoop them first using a melon baller and chill them on waxed paper for at least 20 or 30 minutes. After they are firm to the touch, move the tray beside the double boiler and prepare a second tray with waxed paper for your finished truffles.
Next, use a fork to lift a truffle from the tray and dip it in the melted chocolate. Allow some chocolate to drip off and then tap it on the side of the bowl, and slide the fork over the rim to remove excess chocolate. Repeat this for all of your truffles, but try to do it quickly as the chocolate works best for about 20 minutes, and as the truffles warm up, they may melt a little when they are dipped.
For an extra little dazzle on your truffles, you can also drizzle them at the end with a pinch of raw sugar, sea salt, sprinkles, or anything that will compliment the flavour of the truffles. If you want it to set within the chocolate though, you only have a few seconds after putting them down to sprinkle something on top.
Keep in mind that this does take practice, and you will get better looking truffles after you roll or dip them by making sure they’re as round as possible when you ball them.
Good luck, and enjoy! The real trick is to experiment with the recipe and find how you like to prepare them. Try different alcohols in the ganache, or different flavours to roll the truffles in. Consider store-bought truffles for inspiration and you’ll probably find that these truffles become one of your favorite recipes for the holidays, for gifts or entertaining.