VirginiaLynne has been experimenting in the kitchen for almost 50 years. She loves to share her recipes, cooking tips, and reviews.
Quick and Easy Recipe to Make at Home
Truffles have to be the richest candy you can find. Nothing beats that wonderfully smooth and creamy chocolate. My husband and I discovered them on our honeymoon at a candy store in Newport Beach in 1993. Now you can find them at lots of mall candy stores.
I'd taken a course in the 1980s to learn how to make molded chocolates with different kinds of cream, nut or brittle fillings. Looking at these "handmade" treats, I realized that they were really the same thing, just easier to make because you could just roll a ball rather than having to worry about a mold. Believe it or not, these are actually very easy to make at home. If you use good quality ingredients, you can match or beat any candy you've seen in a fancy store.
This recipe is so easy I've taught lots of kids and adults to make them, and you can do it too!
- 12 ounces chocolate, good quality is best. Guittard or Ghirardelli chocolate chips are easy to find.
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla, or other extract or liqueur
- a pinch of salt
- Melt chocolate and cream in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir together. Sometimes one minute will melt all the chocolate, but most of the time, you will need to microwave again. To make sure you don't burn the chocolate, microwave for 15–30 seconds at a time and stir well in between. Continue until the mixture is completely smooth.
- Add the extract and pinch of chocolate and stir until completely blended.
- Put into refrigerator until set, but not hard, about 1–2 hours.
- Take out the mixture and use a rounded spoon to take out about 1 TB. Roll into balls with your hands. You can also try using a melon baller. Put the balls on parchment or plastic wrap. Since your hands get messy when rolling the balls, it is easy to roll them all first and then wash your hands before trying to do the outside covering.
- Finishing Method 1 (easiest): Roll balls in coconut, chopped nuts, unsweetened cocoa or sprinkles like the photograph above. Put into paper candy cups or on a plate.
- Finishing Method 2 (more professional results): Melt white or dark chocolate in the microwave. Stir well until completely melted and slightly warm. Drop ball in the chocolate and use a fork or toothpick to turn it around to completely coat it on all sides. Note: You can buy a special chocolate dipper that looks like a thin fork with only the two outside prongs. You can make one yourself from a plastic fork if you take out the two inner tines. Lift up the truffle and let the chocolate drip off. Put into a candy cup. Use the edge of the fork or a toothpick to swirl the chocolate on top to make it look pretty. You can also decorate with a nut, an M&M, a piece of maraschino cherry, sprinkles, coconut, or a swirl of white chocolate.
Different Flavor Ideas
An easy way to change the flavors is to use different kinds of chocolate chips like:
- Peanut Butter
You may have to add more cream or 1–2 TB of butter to get these to melt smoothly.
You can also add different flavors of extracts, such as:
- Coffee (or 1 tablespoon of instant coffee mixed with 1 teaspoon of water)
I also like putting different ingredients into the mixture before rolling them. Use your imagination and creativity to make your own special, signature treats, or use some of my favorites:
- Chopped Almonds
- Chopped maraschino cherries
- Caramel bits
- Toffee bits
- Crushed peppermint
For a Better Taste, Get Higher Quality Ingredients
Truthfully, the taste of these candies mostly depends on the quality of the chocolate you use. Fancy, imported chocolate will taste best, but Ghiradelli and Guittard chocolate chips are an excellent substitute. If I'm making a small batch for my family or gifts, I try to get the best quality of ingredients.
That being said, I've taught this recipe to large groups and used inexpensive chocolate chips and everyone loved it. Candy coating is easy to use but doesn't taste good for the inside of the candy. However, because it melts and hardens easily, I usually use candy coating to teach large groups or kids how to coat the outside of the balls.
One other hint is that I vary the amounts of this recipe all the time, sometimes adding more cream or even butter for a creamier taste. Believe it or not, even when I don't actually measure, these usually turn out just fine!
Tips for Teaching This Recipe to a Group
I love to use this recipe to teach small and larger groups to make candy. Even young children or people who don't think they can cook are surprised at how easy it is for them to make something that not only tastes good but is pretty enough for a gift. Here are some tips:
- Use plastic mini-muffin containers for people to put their candies in as they make them. You can also use boxes, a paper plate covered with plastic, or mini-muffin trays.
- Have everyone start by putting paper candy cups (used for mini-muffins) in their container. These make it easy for people to take their treats home and are also a good way to present them as a gift.
- For a larger group, demonstrate how to make the truffle mixture and give people the recipe, but have it made up ahead of time for them to use in forming their own candy balls.
- Use candy coating and inexpensive chocolate chips to keep costs down when teaching kids or a large group.
- Print out the instructions for everyone to take home.
- For faster and easier clean up, cover working surfaces with plastic sheets.
- Have all of the topping and rolling ingredients set out ahead of time in disposable plastic containers.
Creative Uses for Leftovers!
Do you have leftovers after making as many candies as you can eat? The good news is that this mixture stores in the refrigerator for several weeks and has all kinds of other uses. In fact, I usually have some on hand and find it is delicious for:
- Cake fillings, frostings or pouring over a bundt cake. Use it melted or add powdered sugar and whip it up until it is fluffy (sometimes I will add a bit more cream to get the right texture).
- Using as a fudge sauce on ice cream sundaes.
- Making a fondue for dipping strawberries, Oreo cookies, pretzels, and marshmallows.
- Using in a chocolate fountain. You will need to add more cream until it is thin enough to flow.
Can you tell this is a favorite recipe of mine? Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
These truffles are so rich that just a few of them make a great gift. If you have the recipe in the refrigerator, you can make a gift up in just a few minutes. To present them, you can put them into a mason jar, a recycled candy box, a plastic mini-muffin container (I keep all the ones I get at the store for this purpose) or a cute basket. I also have my kids bring them for teacher gifts or give a small thank you to friends by just wrapping up one or more with cellophane and a bow.
© 2011 Virginia Kearney
Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on December 21, 2015:
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on December 21, 2015:
I just made some this week. We love these!
Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on December 21, 2015:
Virginia, this looks delicious and yummy! Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe that I can try at home next year.
Kristin Trapp from Illinois on September 27, 2011:
I have not eaten many truffles in my life, nor have I made them. I think I might be missing out. Voted up and awesome.