Easter Weekend Cooking: Simple & Delicious Chocolate Truffles
I have two cooking secrets that I tend to hoard – one is how to make the perfect biscuit/cookie (still not quite willing to share that trick but I’m getting there – there just aren’t very many things I’m good at, but impressing people with my baking seems to be one of them and I hate to lose my competitive edge! ), and the other is this recipe for chocolate truffles. I did part with it to my younger brother years ago, though – I was moving to Japan and someone had to keep up the tradition! Ever since I learnt this, I’ve been making them for Christmas and Easter: they’re easy, they’re delicious, there are no complicated or alcoholic ingredients in them and they’re just fancy enough to impress people and make a festive occasion feel, well, festive.
I don’t know where this recipe originated from, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I hear from people “Oh I know this one too!” I’m sure it’s quite generic, but sometimes the simplest things are the best. In high school (grades 7 to 10 in Tasmania), I took a cooking class in grades 7 and 8. During one of those years, our teacher taught us this recipe, and I’ve been making it ever since – from memory (and, dare I say it, improving on it). And since it’s Easter, this seemed like the perfect time to share it.
1 packet / 250g milk arrowroot biscuits [I’ve also used Maria biscuits, though milk arrowroot comes in a handy 250g packet from Arnott’s]
1 can / 300ml sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup cocoa*
3/4 cup desiccated (unsweetened fine) coconut*
Dark/semi-sweet (or milk) chocolate, melted
White chocolate, melted, for decoration
Use a food processor to crush the biscuits in small batches and tip into a large bowl, or put into large ziploc bags, seal and crush with a rolling pin (in the past, the bag has sometimes split under my vigorous crushing and left a fine dusting of crumbs everywhere, so I use a food processor).
Add the can of sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder and coconut and mix together thoroughly. You will need to use your hands to get it all blended together nicely. It should make a firm but tacky dough; if it’s too sticky, add more dry ingredients (your choice what you add) – but don’t refrigerate it! You’ll never be able to roll it into balls if you do.
Pinching off small amounts of truffle mixture at a time, roll into balls between your palms and put into another bowl. It’s up to you how big or small you make these; I find small is best because after dipping in chocolate they get quite big, though you will use more melted chocolate the smaller they are.
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You can refrigerate the rolled truffles or you can move straight onto the next step.
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Melt the chocolate in a saucepan over very low heat, stirring occasionally; remove from the heat before all chips have melted and stir until smooth. You can use any kind of chocolate you like, obviously, but I use semi-sweet (cooking) chocolate with some milk choc chips added in.
Line a large baking tray with foil and place close to hand.
Using either truffle forks or two narrow-tined eating forks, dip the truffles one by one into the melted chocolate and roll to coat. Hold up to let the extra drip off, then carefully place on the tray. Repeat until all are coated and then pop in the fridge.
Melt the white chocolate and, when slightly cooler, spoon into a small ziploc bag and snip the corner off. Pipe chocolate over the set truffles for decoration in whatever patterns you like. Refrigerate again until set, then enjoy!
The beauty of this recipe is in where you can take it – you can keep it simple like I do, or you can add things to it, or decorate them in different ways (like coconut or nuts before the chocolate sets). If you’re too tired to decorate at all and you just want some yummy chocolate handy for yourself, you don’t need to dip them in chocolate at all – they’re really yummy without it even. Just super good with it!
A double batch like what I made makes about 95 truffles. They are perfect for gifts and family gatherings.
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