I think this is my favourite post on twimii. It’s certainly the recipe I had the most fun making.
I had notions that I was going to make wonderful homemade sweets as presents for Christmas. It was on the long list of things I was definitely positively without question going to get done on my week off. I was thinking of making Salted Butter Caramels, Rum Truffles (I was going to use the Ballymaloe Chocolate Truffles recipe) and Champagne Truffles.
I didn’t get around to making them in time but I decided I would make the Champagne Truffles for Christmas day. They look so good in the sugar – and chocolate, cream, brandy and champagne sounds like a winning combination to me.
I read the comments before starting on the recipe and some people were complaining about the chocolate not setting and that while it tasted delicious it was very messy. I don’t know why they said the chocolate didn’t set, it does. And it is delicious. But it is also very very messy.
The problem comes with shaping it into balls. The recipe mentions using a melon baller and perhaps if I had a decent one rather than the 99¢ one that I use it might have worked fine. Shaping the balls with your hands is very messy because they start to melt in your hands. I knew very quickly that any sugar coating would end up looking muddy rather than sparkling. So I opted for chocolate sprinkles instead. I very quickly and roughly shaped a ball, plopped it into the bowl of chocolate sprinkles, rolled it around with my fingertips and then put it in a cupcake casing. I had to wash my hands after every couple of them because they would be covered in chocolate at that stage. Really messy. But also very tasty. And quite boozy.
I had been imagining making these very elegant looking sweets – and I knew I’d post my efforts here. It was to be the start of better looking, altogether more sophisticated recipes. I had even thought of doing a photo version of “oh ambassor, with these chocolates you are really spoiling us” – a large tray with a pyramid of sparkling champagne truffles… Yeah, I tend to get a bit ahead of myself.
The waffles in the truffles are the result of my worrying that the chocolate wouldn’t set. I split the mix in half and added 5 crushed waffle cones to one half. I didn’t crush them to the point of powder, there were still bits of cone and I felt the result in texture and taste was like I had added in bits of breakfast waffles to the mixture. I kind of liked it. And as the result looked more like homemade treats for an alcoholic’s pinic rather than the elegant sparkling truffles I’d imagined I felt the waffles worked quite well here.
I originally used brandy cream rather than plain double cream with brandy added in because it was so thick and … well … nice. But it was quite sweet and the dark chocolate I used was quite sweet also so when I tasted the results the next day it was way too sweet and rich so I added another 250ml of double cream and it tasted much better.
Also, it’s worth knowing that the heady booziness (I might just be too sensitive but it seemed that way to me) of the truffles mellows after a few days. And I’m not sure how much sparkling wine I actually added. One of the comments on the recipe said “sprinkle in the Champagne to get the consistency. You can cut back on the liquid, a bit.” so I thought it would be best to just add it in by the ‘glug’ – a quick pour. I added about 5 or 6 glugs, and I imagine that is probably the equivalent of a quarter cup.
They didn’t look great but I have to say they tasted amazing. I will make them again but next time I’ll opt for using plain extra thick double cream (which is so thick it has the consistency of creme fraîche) and add the tablespoon of brandy to the melted chocolate. I also would use the dark couverture chocolate I used in the Baby Guinness Mousse and add in a tablespoon or so of golden syrup to the boiled double cream, as I think that might make a mixture that is easier to mould. I think I’d still add the sparkling wine by the glug and I’d probably omit the waffle cones (although they work well here). Whether I’d use the sugar or sprinkles for the coating really depends on how mouldable the mixture would be.
On the whole I would say that these truffles are messy but worth it.
The way I make Champagne & Waffles Truffles is
- 200ml extra thick brandy cream
- 250ml double cream
- 225g dark (70%) chocolate, broken into bits
- 5 or 6 glugs of sparkling wine (probably between 75 – 100ml)
- 5 waffle cones, crushed
- chocolate sprinkles, lots and lots
- Mix the creams together in a saucepan and bring to the boil
- Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and stir until all the chocolate has melted into the cream.
- Stir in the sparkling wine glug by glug – probably you should add no more than 100ml.
- Stir in the crushed waffle cones.
- Cover the bowl in cling film and leave to set in the fridge overnight.
- Shape a spoonful of the mixture into a ball, as best you can. Drop it in a bowl of chocolate sprinkles and move it around so that it is well covered in sprinkles. Put the coated ball into a fairy or cupcake case – they are too messy at this stage to just leave on a plate. Do this until you have used up all the mixture.
- Leave the truffles to set overnight – or preferably for a couple of days. They have set fine after a couple of hours but they taste better after a couple of days.