How to make chocolate truffles

Homemade chocolate truffles are surprisingly easy to make and make a thoughtful festive gift. Master chocolatier Paul A Young teaches us how to make them with his simple-to-follow guide. Choose from his sea salted caramel milk chocolate truffles or try his white chocolate eggnog version. Both are utterly divine.

A note from Paul: ”Christmas is a magical time, especially in the world of chocolate. I get so nostalgic and love to create things that remind me of times gone by. I love eggnog, so I had to include a recipe made with it.

Enjoying it on Christmas Eve with a little too much rum and lots of nutmeg makes me feel as festive as Santa Claus. The salted caramel truffles are close to my heart as these are still our bestselling product, 11 years after they launched. I rarely share the recipe but here it is, just for delicious. readers.”

How to make chocolate truffles

Paul’s story

He’s a renowned chocolatier, a champion of traditional artisanal methods and is famed for his creative chocolate pairings. Paul’s passion for his craft and his cutting-edge creativity have won him numerous awards. He has three chocolate shops in London that bear his name and has written three cookbooks including Sensational Chocolate: A Celebrity Collaboration, in support of the Children’s Air Ambulance. Paul is a TV regular, too, most recently on BBC Two’s The Sweet Makers.

 

For the salted caramel truffles

You will need:

  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 100g unrefined light muscovado sugar
  • 100ml double cream
  • 5g Maldon sea salt flakes
  • 100g good quality milk chocolate (40g chopped, 60g melted)
  • 30 milk chocolate shells (see tip)

You’ll also need…

  • Large baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper
  • Piping bag; plastic gloves

This recipe makes 28-30. Hands-on time 1 hour, plus setting.

Paul’s chocolate tips

  • Use the best quality chocolate; there’s no way to make poor quality chocolate taste amazing. I recommend Guittard (their milk chocolate chips are available from Ocado).
  • If you want to dip the salted caramel truffles in melted milk chocolate you’ll need to temper the chocolate (heat and cool it to make it more stable) first. It’s tricky but do-able. Learn how from Paul.
  • Be adventurous with your decoration. Colour is king: metallics, clashing colours and foil wrappers are all in vogue.
  • Be brave with your flavours: don’t be too delicate but, at the same time, take care not to overpower the chocolate. Lots of practice with flavour and texture blending is key.

Make ahead

The truffles will keep in a sealed container for up to 3 weeks.

Paul’s tip

If you want to, you can dip the truffles in melted milk chocolate after sealing, as with the eggnogg truffles, but you need to temper the chocolate if you do.

Food team’s tip

The shells shown in the picture are homemade from tempered chocolate but Paul suggests using ready-made shells to keep things simpler. Buy milk chocolate shells (£3.95 for 15) from chocolatetradingco.com.

1. In a medium pan, melt the butter and sugar and stir over a medium heat until the mixture simmers. Whisk together for 5 minutes – the mixture will emulsify and become glossy.

Remove from the heat and carefully add the double cream and sea salt (the mixture may splutter), beating until fully incorporated. Add the chopped chocolate, beating well until fully melted, then set aside to cool.

2. Leave the milk chocolate shells in the tray they came in with the openings facing upwards. Spoon the caramel into a piping bag, snip off the very end to make a small hole, then carefully squeeze the caramel into the chocolate shells until just level. Spoon ¼ tsp of the melted chocolate over each filled shell to seal the opening, then set aside to harden completely.

For the eggnog truffles

You will need…

  • 65ml whole milk
  • 35g unrefined caster sugar
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¾ tsp vanilla extract
  • 500g good quality white chocolate (300g chopped, 400g melted)
  • 30ml dark rum (we used El Dorado)
  • 20ml advocaat liqueur (optional)
  • 40 white chocolate shells (see tips)
  • 80g white caster sugar

You’ll also need…

  • Large baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper
  • Piping bag; plastic gloves

This recipe makes 40. Hands-on time 40 min, plus setting.

1. To make the eggnog filling, put the milk, 35g unrefined sugar, spices and vanilla extract in a medium saucepan over a medium heat and cook until steaming. Put the 300g chopped white chocolate in a heatproof bowl and pour the milk mixture over, whisking until melted and smooth. Stir in the rum and advocaat (if using). Set aside to cool.

2. Leave the white chocolate shells in the tray they came in, with the openings facing upwards. Put the eggnog mixture into the piping bag, snip off the very end to make a small hole, then squeeze the eggnog mixture into the shells to fill them. Spoon ¼ tsp melted chocolate over the top of each filled opening to seal. Allow to harden completely.

3. Meanwhile, melt the 80g white sugar in a small frying pan over a medium heat – don’t stir or it will crystallise. Cook until it’s a brick-red caramel, then pour onto the large lined baking tray and allow to cool completely. When cool, wrap the caramel in the baking paper, then enclose in a tea towel. Bash with a rolling pin to a coarse powder (or break into shards, then whizz in a food processor to a fine powder).

4. Re-line the baking tray. Mix the powdered caramel into the remaining melted white chocolate then, using gloved hands or a fork, dip each sealed chocolate shell into the mixture, rolling it around until fully coated. Put the truffles on the lined tray to set.

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