handmade chocolates for a special treat

If you’ve never tried to make homemade truffles, it’s easy. It goes something like this:

You’ll need a 2:1 ratio of chocolate (preferably baking bars, not chips) and cream, as well as some cocoa powder, nuts, sprinkles, etc. to roll the truffles in.

Chop the chocolate, and place it in a bowl. Microwave the cream until it’s boiling for about 30 seconds, then pour into the chocolate. If you want to add any extracts, jams, or other flavorings, now’s the time to do it. Mix with a gravy whisk (for a large batch) or a fork (for a small batch) until you have a smooth ganache. If lumps of chocolate remain, microwave for 10 seconds and try again.

Once it’s smooth, put the bowl in the fridge and watch an episode of Sherlock. By the time that’s over, the ganache should be getting firm. Use a spoon or a dough scoop to scoop out little balls. If it’s still soft, place the balls back in the fridge and watch an episode of IT Crowd.

Once the balls are firm, roll them between your palms to smooth them out a bit (warning: this part is messy, so handle the chocolate as little as possible), then drop them into the cocoa powder/nuts/sprinkles/etc. Roll them around until completely coated. Ta-da!

(Sorry I didn’t include any pictures of the process. You know those foodie blogs with pictures of artful spills and perfectly scattered ingredients? It wasn’t like that.)

Rose-shaped chocolates

What I just described will taste delicious as-is, but if you want to get fancy, truffles make a great canvas for embellishment. You can mix some jam, instant coffee powder, or flavored extracts or oils into the ganache right after you add the cream to give it a new flavor. You can roll the balls very smooth and round, freeze, and then dip in melted chocolate (which you can further embellish with some luster dust or a drizzle of white chocolate). You can even pour some melted chocolate into a candy mold and fill them with your ganache for chocolates that look super professional but are actually super easy. This was my first time using a candy mold, and I was thrilled with the results (shown to the right).

Truffles can take a bit of time, and high quality chocolate is quite pricey, but they are very difficult to mess up and the results are always delicious. This year, I was able to sell handmade chocolates to several friends for Valentine’s Day. I’m glad to say it was a success! Everyone seemed happy with their treats, and I enjoyed making them.

Valentine Chocolate Packaging
When it comes to gift giving, it’s all about the presentation!

If you missed out on Valentine’s Day, no worries! I sell my chocolates year round. So if your anniversary is coming up, or your mom’s birthday, or you just want to treat yourself… you know what to do.

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