Monday, December 20, 2010

Chocolate Truffles for Christmas

One of my favorite things to do during the Christmas season is to get together with friends and make candy.  You get to laugh.  You get to chat.  You get to eat chocolate.  What could be better than that?

I'm going to show you how to make my favorite Christmas candy, Chocolate Truffles.  You'll certainly impress your friends and family with these babies.  That is if you can bring yourself to share.
Start by making the filling.  I don't have pictures for this part.  Believe me when I say that it is quite simple.  Nothing to worry about.

Heat 1 1/3 cups of heavy cream in a sauce pan to a simmer.  Stir in 1/2 cup of butter until melted.  Remove from heat and add 2 1/2 cups of semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips and 2 tsp. vanilla extract.  Stir with a wire whisk until smooth.  Cool to room temperature and spoon into a pastry bag.

Melt some almond bark candy coating in a double broiler.  This is the kind I found at my local store.  I much prefer this over the Wilton candy melts.  You can microwave it if you have nerves of steal.  I've told you of my fear of chocolate and microwaves. 
Now it is time to assemble the truffles.  I have this fabulous silicone mold that I love.  However, the truffles pictured above used a different, less-expensive mold.  So don't think you have to have the silicone to pull this off.  Fill the mold with the melted chocolate coating and let sit for a while.  I wish I could tell you exactly how long.  Truth is, there are too many variables.  What temperature is the chocolate?  What temperature is your house?  You will know that it has sat long enough when you do this....
and a nice coating is left inside the mold.  It may take a little trial and error.  Somewhere in the neighborhood of 3-5 min.

Now, while holding the mold to drain over the bowl of melted chocolate, pick up one of these....
and scrape the chocolate off the surface of the mold leaving just a shell of chocolate in the cavities of the mold.
Like this.  Place this in the freezer until the chocolate has hardened.  You'll be able to tell that it is ready when it is no longer shiny.
Sprinkle each cavity with pecans if your a nut.  Skip this part if your not.
Pipe a blob of filling into each cavity.  I like to put the tip of the pastry bag almost to the bottom of the candy and squeeze.  Keeping the tip down low will force the filling to spread and fill the chocolate shell.  Be sure to leave room for the chocolate coating.
More filling.
Lastly, finish filling each mold cavity with the melted chocolate coating.  During this part I try to be neat and not over fill.  The bottom right got a bit too much.  Give the mold a jiggle to make the chocolate settle into all the nooks and crannies.  Then I pop this into the freezer because I'm impatient.  Once the candies are hard you can remove them from the mold.
I find that shiny chocolate to be irresistable!  And then there is the center, oh my!  You can find the printable recipe below.  Make these for the chocoholic in your life.  They will love you for it!

Merry Christmas!

Chocolate Truffles