This is a recipe I found on a forum back in the day when I was about 17. I have no idea where the original came from any more, but I had never seen anything like it at the time and have been using it for years. Now that people like Jamie Oliver and Delia Smith (whose recipes, incidentally, I can’t stand since the great coffee cake disaster of ’06…just ask my poor nan!) have websites, there are a proliferation of similar recipes all over the internet now. They’re very simple to make and taste delicious. Great for Christmas, or in fact, just for scoffing. Either way, they’re going in the hampers!
(Pictures to follow on Friday once I have actually made them – just thought I’d give you all the recipe as early as possible!)
– 225g dark chocolate (milk doesn’t set so well – plus you’re adding loads of cream. Dark is fine milky chocolate lovers.)
– 250ml thick double cream
– 55g butter
– Unsweetened cocoa powder to dust
– Flavouring of your choice – more on that at the end!
– Chop the chocolate into small chunks. A pain in the backside, but important to have it set properly.
– Put the cream into a heavy bottomed pan and slowly bring to a gentle simmer. The intention is not to boil it to death, just get it hot. Tip in the butter, and keep simmering until it is melted.
– Pour the cream and butter mixture over your melted chocolate in a heatproof bowl. The smallness of the chunks of chocolate is important here because you want the chocolate to gently melt under the influence of warm cream – slowly and gently. This will make it set better. Don’t cheat by just nuking your chocolate – if it persistently won’t melt, make a bain marie by putting it in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, and stir constantly. Don’t let the water touch the bowl – we’re going for a gentle heat here.
– Sometimes it separates a little at this stage. I don’t fret too much as once it’s chilled this usually resolves itself with a bit of stirring. Leave to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally, and then give it a little time in the fridge until it’s quite firm and cool to the touch.
– Spoon out the mixture into truffle sized pieces and with COLD HANDS (run under the cold tap if necessary) roll out into a surface dusted with cocoa to get a good shape. Keep refrigerated (fresh cream won’t keep that long at room temperature!).
– Eat. Or give away as presents. Or serve at your Christmas party. If you have the self restraint.
I said I’d talk about flavourings didn’t I?
Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten. You have a few options here – your imagination is the limit. Some flavourings are better added to the cream, some are better added to something approximating the finished mixture.
- If you want to add cinnamon or similar, I’d recommend adding this to the cream as it heats up, then strain the cream before tipping over your chocolate to remove any chunks. This will make a lighter, more delicate flavour.
- Whiskey, rum, and most spirits are pretty delicious with chocolate. I add a tablespoon or so to the cream just before pouring over the chocolate as it is the easiest way of incorporating the liquid.
- On the other hand, citrus, such as orange, is easiest to add to the hot mixture – a tbsp of juice plus a little finely grated zest is good. Decorate the top with a tiny sliver of sliced peel, or candied peel if you can get it.
- Chilli! Chilli chocolate is the business. Add some finely chopped chilli to the mixture and decorate with a thin slice of chilli so everyone knows these chocolates are HOT.
- Cracked black pepper – also nice. Go for something fairly coarse.
- Mint – I add a touch of mint essence to the cream. Be sparing.
- Alternatively, roll your finished chocolates in flaked almonds, or stir in chopped nuts – hazelnuts are good, as are walnuts.
- I personally can’t abide coconut but there are some depraved individuals who might consider ruining some perfectly good truffles by rolling them in dessicated coconut. I’ve heard they exist, anyway.
Hopefully these are enough ideas to get you started! Fudge recipe will go up shortly – once I find it!