Homemade truffles are always great. No better time than Christmas parties to get making chocolates that everyone can eat. These are rich, and lovely and easy to make. The centre for these ones is quite solid, if you want a softer centre then add another tablespoon of coconut cream.
Do be careful when choosing your chocolate – you’re looking for no less than 70 cocoa and make sure there are no traces of milk etc in chocolate you buy.
150g Dark Chocolate – I use Green and Blacks
7 tablespoons Coconut Cream
1 tsp Coconut Essence
¼ cup desiccated Coconut
For the Coating
150g Dark Chocolate
Grab a pot, and fill about 1/4 full with water. Pop on a medium heat and put a metal bowl on top making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Into the bowl add the chocolate (broken into small pieces). Melt slowly stirring as you go.
When the chocolate is melted add in coconut cream, desiccated coconut and coconut essence and mix to incorporate. Set aside to cool.
Once the mixture has solidified a bit you can make your truffles. Take a teaspoon sized chunk of the mixture and roll into a ball quickly with your hands. You will end up with hands covered with chocolate; or you can use light weight, see-through medical gloves from Boots if you prefer.
Put the rolled truffles onto a baking tin that has a lightly greased piece of greaseproof paper on it and keep going until you have used all the mixture.
First thing to do is grab another baking sheet and line with parchment paper that has been very lightly greased with vegan margarine.
Tempering the chocolate gives a nice shiny appearance and a crisp chocolate coating. I admit this took me several goes to get right. So many recipes say put the chocolate back on the heat to get the temperature back up after the cooling period. This never works for me as I get the temperature too high and the chocolate has a marbled affect.
Take 80g of chocolate and break it into small pieces. Take the other 20g and grate it or chop it up finely.
Now put the pot back on the stove, make sure you've still got a decent amount of water in the pot, and pop the bowl on top again making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Melt the 80g of Dark Chocolate in the bowl. Using a thermometer keep an eye on the temperature of the chocolate – it should get to 50° C, 122°F but not higher. Take it off the heat and put 1/3rd of the melted mixture into a bowl by your side. Add in the rest of the grated chocolate and stir until it’s all melted and your chocolate has cooled to 29°C, 82°F. Now add in the melted chocolate you’ve left to one side and the temperature should rise to 29°C 85°F. My mistake was thinking that a degree higher wouldn't matter - it does!
Once melted it's time to dip. Put a truffle on your fork; lower it into the chocolate and use a spoon to pour chocolate over the truffle. Tap the fork with the spoon to get rid of extra chocolate. This helps keep the shape. Have a tray lined with grease proof paper ready and using a toothpick push the truffle off the fork (only push at the bottom on the truffle so you don't disturb the chocolate).
While the chocolate is still soft decorate with desiccated coconut.
Repeat until finished. Eat within 4-5 days.
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