I love making my own petits fours to serve with either tea or coffee after dinner. These take many forms but will typically include chocolate truffles. A chocolate truffle is essentially a firm ganache, made of melted chocolate, cream, butter and flavourings, shaped into balls and coated. It’s super simple but impressive. I’ll often make a selection and send my guests home with a small bag of them. I saw a similar recipe for a dessert recently and thought it sounded divine. So I took the inspiration behind the filling and turned it into truffles and, if I say so myself, they were divine!
1. Boil the cream and apricot puree in separate pans. You can either make the puree from fresh, or indeed tinned apricots, but I tend to buy organic ready-made.
2. Firstly, pour the cream onto the mixed finely chopped chocolate and whisk to ensure the cream quickly melts the chocolate and becomes glossy. Then incorporate the warm apricot puree, the softened butter, the maple syrup and mustards. Mix well until fully combined and silky smooth.
3. Leave the mixture to set at room temperature for about an hour.
4. To make the truffles, use a teaspoon, or small scoop, and put the ballss of truffle filling onto a grease-proof (parchment) lined rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate until slightly hardened, about 15 minutes. This makes them SO MUCH easier to roll into smooth balls.
5. Roll the balls between your palms to smooth into even spheres. Use disposable gloves to prevent your hands from melting the chocolate. Or, dip your hands into ice water every few minutes as you roll the truffles. If the chocolate begins to melt too much, return them to the fridge.
6. Allow the shaped truffles to chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before dipping in tempered chocolate.
8. Tempered chocolate gives the truffles a professional snappy and shiny coating which stays hard without refrigeration.
9. Just drop each truffle in turn into the chocolate and gently spoon the chocolate over the top. Avoid swirling the truffles, swirling will make a mess.
10. Use a fork to lift the truffle out of the chocolate. The excess chocolate will drip down through the tines of the fork back into the bowl.
11. Tap your hand, not the fork, to allow the excess to drip off thereby preventing any damage to the truffle or creating an uneven chocolate coating.
12. Use a toothpick or skewer to transfer the truffle from the fork back to the cocoa and greaseproof (parchment) covered sheet to avoid pooling of chocolate at the base of the truffle.
13. Roll each truffle in the cocoa powder, then allow them to set at room temperature.
14. The truffles can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks providing they’re well-hidden, otherwise…………….