This year for Christmas, I made chocolate bites of two kinds to give to my family, and bought small confectioner's crystal bags at a professional store to put them in. I also wanted to make little tags to tie around the bags. I bought delicate ivory paper, beautiful green leaves made of very fine thread, and some silver yarn. I cut out rectangles of paper, wrote "Chocolate & Zucchini" with colored pencils on them, and sewed each rectangle to a green leaf with the silver yarn, tying up the label to the bags with a little knot.
- 400 g good quality dark chocolate
- 20 cl whipping cream
- 40 g butter
- an assortment of powdered ingredients to roll the truffles in : I used unsweetened cocoa, coconut flakes, confectioner's sugar, powdered almonds, praline bits, crushed Petit Beurre (crispy cookies) and maple sugar.
(Makes about 50.)
Prepare the ganache a day ahead. Break the chocolate in small pieces in a medium bowl. Dice up the butter, set aside. Heat up the whipping cream in a small saucepan. When it's almost boiling, pour it over the chocolate, blending them together with a fork. When the mixture is smooth, add the butter, stirring until no lump remains. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge.
The next day, the ganache will have hardened. Pour the powdered ingredients in small plates. Use a spoon to scoop out some ganache, and shape it into a ball the size of a small walnut with your fingers. Make a few in a row, then roll them in the powdered ingredient of your choice. After a while, the ganache may be a bit too warm and soft to work with, in which case the bowl can be returned to the fridge for 30 minutes until hard again.
Store the truffles in the fridge in an aerated container. Don't use an airtight one, otherwise the humidity inside will dampen the dry powdered ingredients. I know, that's what happened to me and I had to roll them again! If the truffles have to wait a little before they're given out as a gift (although they shouldn't wait more than a few days), it may be better to shape the balls first, and wait till the last minute to roll them in the toppings.
Just like the mendiants, these were a lot of fun to make (remember your Play-Doh days?) and I thought they turned out really well : they have that amazing rich chocolate taste truffles are so famous for, and they look very professional, just like the ones we had bought at the Salon du Chocolat, really. And they were a gift very happily received!
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