Chocolate Truffles Two-Ways

Who doesn’t love chocolate truffles? How can one fail to fall for their silky, yet devastating, texture? No offence to those of you who, for some reason, dislike these smooth balls of bliss, but I may find myself sorely tempted to call into question your sanity and/or reprimand your taste buds. Not only this, but truffles are the ultimate form of expression in food – one can truly make them one’s own by adding whatever flavour one desires, almost anything goes. Though most people don’t realise it, chocolate is one of those incredibly versatile ingredients that is only very rarely at odds with the flavour one chooses to couple it with. Such versatility also implies that they make the perfect gift, for if the generous party knows whether the receiver has a penchant for a certain fruit, drink, or something a little more adventurous, then that flavour can almost certainly be instilled within the confines of a truffle.

This recipe is taken from the Green and Black’s chocolate recipe book, which is a goliath among its kind. The book is incredible; it is impossible to open any one of the pages without one’s salivary glands wanting to get in on the action. If you are looking for a cookbook specifically geared towards the cooking and preparation of chocolate, look no further, the Holy Grail of cocoa-literature has been found.

Since this is a blog about frugal gastronomy, one feels one must say a few words regarding this aim. I thoroughly dislike all recipes that call for ‘good quality’ chocolate to be used. There is, in my opinion, very little difference between chocolate that costs 50p per 100g and chocolate that costs £2 per 100g, particularly after said chocolate has been cooked and mixed with other ingredients. I am perfectly confident that I could cook two batches of truffles, one using the more expensive brand and one using the less expensive brand and there would be no way to tell them apart. It is true that they may not taste exactly alike, or be of exactly the same quality, if eaten as a snack, but for the purposes of cooking using the more expensive brand is merely an appalling waste of money. Perhaps there would be a discernable difference if one plumped for a fantastically expensive brand of chocolate, the type only found in specialist shops, but that smacks of imbecility.

That turned out to be quite the rant, didn’t it? This is why I am, at the best of times, to be left in the dank corner of a basement, whilst my guests enjoy their freshly cooked and entirely personalised selection of chocolate truffles. As one or two of you will have hopefully discerned this recipe aims to provide you with two types of truffle. However, I see very little point in making two distinct recipes for such a simple variation. The first type of truffle will be a very basic, yet wholly delicious, dark chocolate truffle. The second will be an entirely more interesting chocolate orange truffle. To perform the transformation all one must do is add two teaspoons of finely grated orange zest to half of the mixture – the flavour this brings is really quite striking.

Chocolate Truffles

Makes 20-25

Ingredients:

• 275g dark chocolate, finely chopped

• 250ml double cream

• 50g unsalted butter at room temperature

• 50g cocoa powder

• 2 tsp of orange zest, finely grated

• 50g white chocolate, optional

Method:

1. Place the dark chocolate in a large bowl, heat the cream until it has just started boiling and pour it over the chocolate. Stir this gently until all of the chocolate has melted. Leave this mixture to cool for a few minutes and then gently stir in the butter until it has been fully incorporated. If one wants to make chocolate orange truffles divide the truffle mixture into two bowls and mix the orange zest into one half of the mixture. Leave the truffle mixture to cool and set in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours.

2. Remove the ganache from the fridge about 15 minutes before you want to make the truffles. Dust your hands with cocoa powder and begin rolling spoonfulls of the chocolate mixture into cocoa covered balls roughly 2-2.5 cm in diameter. If one would like some added decoration one may melt a little white chocolate and flick it over the truffles, we did this in order to distinguish between the two types of truffles. Be careful to do this on greaseproof paper and allow the white chocolate enough time to set. The truffles can then be returned to the fridge and kept for up to 2 days in an air tight container.

Cost: These truffles may seem decadent, but the price one should expect to pay for the entire batch is £2.20. This is simply fantastic when you consider that a box of chocolates containing this many truffles would bring one to one’s financial knees.

 

122 thoughts on “Chocolate Truffles Two-Ways

  1. zoe@myfoodintranslation

    I’m a huge advocate of both chocolate truffles and frugality, but I think I’d have to disagree with you on the chocolate front. I use one of the “fancier” chocolate brands (Callebaut, don’t mind giving them some publicity since I think their products are amazing) and a 2.5 kg bag of chocolate chips costs about 17€. Now if you do the math, that’s 68 cents (about 58p given the current exchange rate) for 100g, which is about the same price as the cheapest chocolate you can find in a supermarket. So the higher quality option is worth it in my opinion in this case (and I believe that in a recipe where chocolate plays such a prominent role, you may be able to tell). Anyhow, the truffles look scrumptious, so enjoy :)

    1. frugalfeeding

      I can’t work out what you’re trying to say. I’m not necessarily saying anything about the quality of the chocolate… of course if you can get a better make for the same price then go for it – you would be mad not to… What I’m saying is that you’d be stupid to spend £2 on 100g rather than 50p, when the difference would be minimal if not negligible.

        1. frugalfeeding

          You needn’t apologise :D. I guess one of the problems is we can’t get ‘good quality’ chocolate here cheaply. Though, I have no problem with basic chocolate from supermarkets, I actually find it’s fairly good quality.

  2. spree

    I’ve never made my own, but will after this post of yours! I have a very specific idea that won’t leave my head now that you’ve helped put it there! and I too love how well chocolate gets along with others. : )

  3. musingmar

    I’ve made many chocolate recipes, but never truffles. Maybe this will be the year they appear on my Christmas sweet treats tray! As for the great cost/quality of chocolate debate, I’ve been making Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Cloud Cake for years, and use standard baking chocolate with great results. I did try one of the more expensive brands once and don’t recall a discernible difference. That said, I’m sure there are recipes and occasions where it’s worth it to splurge!

  4. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

    Now normally I would agree with you on most of your postings, but I temper a lot of chocolate at home, and I would advocate using the best quality chocolate you can afford. In particular, I always try and use couverture chocolate (more than 30% cocoa mass) and try to avoid chocolate that has added vegetable fat (compound chocolate). And I still think that’s frugal, because even when I pay $16/kg for chocolate, the finished truffles are still massively cheaper than buying them retail! :)

    I’ve found over years of experimenting that people always notice the quality of chocolate I use, be it in a cookie or a truffle. When I switched from Nestle choc bits to Callebaut callets, everyone commented! We always buy Callebaut, which we’re able to get in bulk at the same price as higher end supermarket chocolate. I do agree though that the premium demanded for some brands like Valrhona aren’t justified…

    1. frugalfeeding

      I always use chocolate over 40% – always… usually it’s 60%. Nestle is crap, it isn’t chocolate. The chocolate I use is very cheap, but it IS chocolate. I don’t thin it uses vegetable fat either. Honestly, no one has ever commented on the quality. I have a very good palette, in my opinion, and I can’t tell the difference easily in cooking. Perhaps here cheap chocolate is simply better?

  5. Patti

    Perfect for the holiday season and much more frugal for office mates and friends than purchasing. I half-hearted agree on your chocolate philosophy, but do prefer to stay away from the cheaper big American brands, as they tend to have lots of added gunk and doesn’t temper / set as well as higher-quality chocolate.

  6. Cinnamin

    Oh these truffles look gorgeous. The melted chocolate is so smoothglossysilky… I’m running out of adjectives! I agree with you wholeheartedly about the whole ‘good quality chocolate’ bit. I was in a specialty foods shop in Mumbai and the Cadbury chocolate buttons were priced at 90 rupees for just about 50 grams, which works out to around $2. Ridiculous! I’m going to try this out- the orange must give it a lovely flavour.

  7. thecompletecookbook

    I have just made up a birthday basket for my sister-in-laws birthday pressie of date balls, custard cookies and ginger snaps – these here truffles would have been awesome in the mix! Now I am going to have to make them all for myself.
    :-) Mandy

  8. madsilence

    Hi Frugal!
    Thanks for stopping by Madsilence – I hope you’ll post a review if you try the bratwurst recipe ;) Loving the truffles, they sound delish! Have you ever tried making cake truffles?

  9. Aimee@clevermuffin

    Yuuuum!!! And I’m nodding my head off over here about there being no need for ‘good’ quality chocolate vs the everyday stuff. I think one of the best things to cook with ever is left over easter egg chocolate. Love truffles!

  10. allie

    Yum! These look so good, I’ve been looking for a recipe to use the left over sloes from my sloe gin making in and these will make great Xmas pressies. Thanks for putting it up. A x

  11. darcyeats

    I agree… truffles are such a fantastic form of chocolate expression! The luscious little balls of bliss posses so much palette potential! Thanks for stopping by my post! On the red wine chocolate glaze… the combo sounds odd, but it makes for some seriously amazing chocolate bliss. And leftover glaze makes sinfully luscious truffles!! :)

    1. frugalfeeding

      They don’t – they only think they dislike truffles. what they didn’t tell you in school is that it’s actually impossible to dislike truffles – therefore claiming that you do makes you mad.

  12. omgyummy

    Thanks for popping by my blog! Oh chocolate and orange zest – you’ve got my attention! I think there are some difference in chocolate from least expensive to most but at some point the improvement may stop keeping up with the price increase. And I do agree that with the addition of other flavors, some differences may be masked. Bravo on a great-looking truffle. I’m sure it tasted even better.

    1. frugalfeeding

      No problem. Chocolate and orange are a match made in heaven! Of course there is some difference, but (at least in Britain) for all intents and purposes the difference is negligible. I’ve realised, though, that thi may not be the case elsewhere.

  13. Just A Smidgen

    Well… you had me at the photos… enough heart palpitation going on there without your dialogue… but! I enjoyed learning about chocolate. I haven’t got the book but may (at my peril) purchase a copy. I could get into a lot of trouble making chocolate truffles.

  14. graciousstrange

    These look and sound delicious, however, I also have to disagree with you on your stance about ‘good quality’ chocolate. After my years of ‘brownie research’ I was able to tell which brownies on the plate had been made with the ‘good’ chocolate and which were ‘homebrand’…and yes, I secretly ate all the good ones and left the dodgy behind!
    Having said that, I have been known to have phenomenal taste and smell so maybe I am just extra sensitive ;-)

    1. frugalfeeding

      I assure you my taste and smell is rather phenomenal and I promise you, you could not tell the difference. I get the impression cheap chocolate in the USA might be a lot lower quality than that found in the UK.

  15. Karen

    I’m the first one to cook a delicious meal that doesn’t cost much. I’m sorry but I can tell the difference in chocolate. I’m sure that your truffles are great but the chocolate does matter as far as my personal taste is concerned. Sorry.

  16. theintrepidbaker

    Oh my word!! I am so incredibly impressed! How did you manage to get the cost down to just £2.20? I would love to try this! Cream and butter nowadays are so expensive! 100g of chocolate itself is at least half the cost of the whole batch. I respectfully disagree with your comment about the quality of the chocolate. I made a chocolate cake with low quality chocolate and the cake was a major disaster in terms of flavour and texture. White chocolate particularly has to be of high quality if not the ramifications can be great.

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  18. The Vegan Kat

    I love truffles, and these look so good I’m craving them now! I live in the US and I would say there is a difference between chocolate quality here, but there’s not always a huge price difference. I’m vegan though, so I’m already more limited in chocolate choices. I usually get Ghirardelli for baking.

  19. Sarah

    Here in the US i just buy my chocolate at Costco on the cheap ;-) I think what people get wrapped up in is how dark the chocolate is. That is where the food snobbery comes out – but I find that there is a point of where the chocolate is just too harsh (ie..not enough sugar). So I find that my massive bags o’ chocolate (10 lbs!) that are semi-sweet are perfect for making truffles, bark and fudges….and no one knows what I paid ;-) And more so, freshness is more important than brand. High turn over = yum!
    I do avoid though chocolate made by Hershey in the US unless it is a specialty product, it tends to be low quality out here.
    Anyhow, yum…I love making easy truffles!

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  23. saiyiu

    I was just looking for a chocolate truffle recipe with a twist. Agreed, they are gorgeous to taste and easy on the wallet .. best of all, they’re perfect to bring to all those holiday potlucks coming up. Will definitely be trying the second recipe :)

    And once again, thanks for visiting The Pedestrian Cooks!

  24. Somer

    I’ve been making vegan truffles since Annie posted a recipe. Bits of candied ginger in some, nuts in others, cayenne and cinnamon, coconut, orange, mint. It’s a blast and I think they’re better than the store bought variety. And you’re right about the chocolate, it doesn’t need to be expensive.

      1. Somer

        I think your dark chocolate bark with the chili and nutmeg is an incredible combo! Nicely done frugal, it would be lovely in these as well, though ground chili might be more appropriate for truffles :)

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