When I was a kid, we dyed hard-boiled eggs on Holy Saturday and my Mother hid them around the house on Easter morning. Whatever we found went into our Easter baskets. My mother is a chocoholic, so our baskets always included a giant hollow chocolate egg that was filled with foil-wrapped chocolate footballs, jelly beans, speckled malty ball eggs, and I would get a chocolate bunny and my brother would get a chocolate cross. There was a huge coconut cream egg in the center of the dining room table that we could slice and eat.
I’ve been learning to make candy. Actually, I’ve been teaching myself. I bought a few books on the subject. One in particular concentrates on chocolate truffles. I dove into the deep end and made bittersweet chocolate champagne truffles.
It was a lot easier than I thought. I’d like to share the recipe with you.
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
another 10 oz. of chocolate for melting later
3 tablespoons of champagne or sparkling wine
Instructions and Tips:
Chop the chocolate as finely as possible. Some people use a knife. I’m impatient and I used my food processor. Put into a mixing bowl.
Heat the cream over a medium flame until it just simmers.
Remove from heat and pour over the ground chocolate. Be sure all of the chocolate is covered by the cream.
Cover the bowl and leave sit for 5 minutes.
Remove cover and stir the mixture until you’re sure all of the chocolate is melted. It should look lovely and glossy. This is ganache.
Add the champagne and stir again until well blended.
Let cool to room temperature. It will probably be pretty cool now anyway after all of the stirring.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Wait about 4 hours.
Prepare a cookie sheet or flat pan by covering it with foil, making sure it is smooth.
Scoop out ganache and roll into 3/4 inch balls. Coat your hands in cocoa powder so they don’t stick. I used a melon baller to scoop out consistent-sized balls. Line them up on the baking sheet.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
You need to temper the remaining 10 oz. of chocolate. I used a double boiler but you can also do this in the microwave. But be careful not to overheat the chocolate.
Bring a small amount of water to boil. Remove from heat. Put about 6-8 oz. of the chocolate in a metal bowl and sit on top of the hot water. I didn’t bother chopping this chocolate. I broke it into small pieces. It will slowly melt.
Prepare another cookie sheet with foil.
Remove from the double boiler. Put it the remaining chocolate. It will melt in the hot chocolate.
Stir until it cools slightly.
Heat the water again. Remove from the stove. And place the metal bowl on top again.
Remove the ganache balls from the fridge. Dip each one in the melted chocolate to coat.
You can use a fork but it’s easier if you have a plastic chocolate dipping spoon. You can get them at any craft store.
Tap off the excess chocolate. Try to coat them as thinly as possible. Line them up on the tray and let the chocolate harden.
Remove from the tray and put into little foil or paper cups.
At the candy department at my local craft store, I bought gold dust to decorate the tops. It’s make of corn starch and is edible. It adds a nice rich touch.
Be careful when you eat them as you may faint from sheer pleasure.
Note: The outcome depends on the quality of chocolate you use in the recipe. I used 70% dark chocolate from Scharffen Berger. It’s an American company based in Northern California. It’s the finest chocolate I’ve ever tasted.