Chocolate truffles are one of those sweets that we all associate with celebration or special occasions. Named after an earthy fungus because their dark round appearance is not unlike that of the truffle that comes out of the ground.
The origin of chocolate truffles is not known for sure but one legend claims that they were invented by the legendary French chef Auguste Escoffier by accident (just like tarte tatin and many other delicious dishes from France). It is said that Escoffier was concentrating hard, creating a pastry cream when, by mistake he poured hot cream into a bowl of chocolate chunks instead of the bowl of egg for which it was intended. He apparently realised that delicious chocolate paste balls could be easily formed from the mixture and voila – truffles were born!
This recipe is from one of our favourite foodies in France, Karen Burns-Booth of Lavender and Lovage, her really easy to follow steps for how to make chocolate cake truffles in minutes mean you can enjoy them all to yourself or if you’re feeling very generous – share them with friends!
INGREDIENTS: (Makes approximately 24)
150g (5oz/0.6 cup) dark chocolate (75% to 85% cocoa solids)
150ml (1/4 pint) double cream
50g (2oz/0.2 cup) unsalted butter
Grated zest of 1 orange, unwaxed
200g (7oz/0.9 cup) cake crumbs (Madeira cake is very good!)
3 tablespoons Grand Marnier or Orange Liqueur of your choice
Cocoa, for dusting
1. In a large saucepan, gently melt the chocolate with the cream and butter, stirring all the time.
2. Process the cake until it makes fine crumbs, it must be VERY fine, almost like sand.
3. Pour the cake crumbs into the saucepan with the chocolate mixture, then add the orange zest and mix THOROUGHLY. Then add the liqueur and mix again. Leave to chill and firm up for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
4. When you are ready to make the truffles, take a walnut size amount of the truffle mixture and roll it in to a ball, then dust in the cocoa – continue until all of the mixture is used up and store them in an airtight container (in the fridge) until needed.
They can also be frozen, defrost 6 hours before serving and they make great gifts – if you can bear to give them away!
More delicious desserts:
Apple Sorbet with Calvados
French Lemon Meringue Tart
Perfect French Cherry Clafoutis