After a lot of trial and error I think I can give you the lowdown on the easiest way to make truffles
300g plain or milk chocolate
200ml double cream
2 tbsp liqueur
200g plain or milk chocolate
plus white chocolate for drizzling, edible glitter or edible stars (these are optional but give the truffles a bit of pizzazz!)
Start off by chopping up your 300g chocolate into small pieces. You can use any plain or milk chocolate you like but my advice is to avoid Green & Black’s 70% cocoa solids bars. I used these on The Great British Bake Off in episode one and no word of a lie I had to make the ganache for the truffles six times before I finally switched to Lindt. The G&B’s seized my ganache time after time. Equally I like using Sainsbury’s Basics chocolate, at around 25p a bar it’s a bargain.If I had to advise you on what to use I would say go for Bournville, at 49% cocoa solids it’s a good middle of the range chocolate to use.
Okay so now you’ve chopped up all that lovely chocolate put the double cream into a pan and heat over a medium heat until the cream is just about to boil and bubbles appear at the edges of the cream. Turn off and remove from the heat.Tip in your chopped chocolate and allow the mixture to sit for a couple of minutes.
After the time is up stir the mixture, the chocolate will have already started to melt into the cream. Stir until you have a lovely glossy consistency. Add in 2 tbsps of your favourite liqueur and mix well. I like cherry brandy or Tia Maria, but the truffles do taste just as good without any.
You now need to pour the ganache into a bowl to cool. If you’re in a hurry and want to speed up setting time pour it into a large shallow tray. Cover the top of the ganache with clingfilm.When cool, move to the fridge to set. This will take a couple of hours.Prepare for the next step, you will need a sheet of greaseproof paper and a wire cooling rack. Cut the greaseproof paper slightly larger than the wire rack. Place the paper on your worksurface and the wire rack to one side for now.
When your ganache is nicely set take it out of the fridge and scoop out blobs with a spoon. You need pieces about the size of a large marble. Shape very roughly as in the picture on the left and set onto the paper.
When you have scooped out all the ganache, go back to the first blob you made and roll it between your hands to make a neat ball as on the right of the picture.
Your hands will end up in a bit of a mess but just keep washing them inbetween rolling. Sometimes the ganache starts to get a bit warm and can be difficult to work with, a quick trip back in the fridge will sort it out. Similarly if your ganache balls are getting a bit melty pop them in the fridge in between stages. Transfer all the truffle balls onto the wire rack.
Sometimes I will pop the whole wire rack in the chest freezer just to firm them up for a couple of minutes if needs be.
Okay, so now you have all your ganache rolled into large marble size truffles sitting on the wire rack.
Melt the 200g chocolate you have chosen to cover the truffles. You can do this in a bowl over a pan of steaming water or as I do in the microwave in short 30 second bursts. Melt the chocolate until it gets to this stage:
There should be visible lumps of unmelted chocolate in there, now stir off the heat until they all dissolve. This is a very ‘amateur’ way of tempering your chocolate without the need for thermometers and complicated instruction and should ensure nice glossy chocolate – it works well for me!
Take a spoonful of melted chocolate and pour it off the spoon onto the truffle moving the spoon in a circular motion to encourage the chocolate to completely cover the ganache truffle. Hold the spoon about 1” above the truffle you don’t want the spoon to touch the truffle ball. I find this is a much neater way of covering truffles than dipping them into the chocolate, plus your covering chocolate will stay pure chocolate right to the last bit!
For white chocolate drizzly stripes melt 50g white chocolate and place it into a small piping bag or plastic sandwich bag. Snip off the end and drizzle over the truffles.
There will be chocolate on the greaseproof paper that has dripped through the rack. Spread it out into a sheet using a knife or spatula. Leave this to set. You can then break this sheet of chocolate up into pieces ready to melt down and use another day or have a go at making chocolate curls – you could even just eat it – waste not want not!