I’t’s my birthday in two days! So bring on the champagne truffles 🙂
Champagne truffles are my number one favourite fancy chocolate. One day Katie and I will have to move out and live in a cardboard box due to my Hotel Chocolat champagne truffle addiction. And it’s pretty cold in the UK.
To save us both from frostbite, this weekend I decided to get in the kitchen and create some boozy champagne truffles of my very own. Oh and they were VERY boozy. Top tip – when the recipe says one tablespoon, make sure you only put in one tablespoon. This isn’t a Christmas Cake, the alcohol won’t get the chance to burn off in the oven. I got a little heavy-handed with the cognac bottle, and the resulting chocolates tasted like they could have put me over the drink drive limit.
So yeah, one tablespoon of brandy and you’re set.
I rolled my truffles around in some cocoa powder before being dusted with icing sugar, as I found that this helped the icing sugar to not melt into the truffle. But it might just have been all that excess booze. I suppose technically you don’t even need the icing sugar at all, but I think it just makes them look a bit more like, well, champagne truffles.
As usual with truffles, the main ingredients are high quality chocolate and a generous helping of double cream. These two ingredients are forced to mix together against their will, forming a smooth and silky ganache. Then comes the (not so) secret ingredient to make your truffles extra smooth – a little bit of butter.
If you are unlucky enough to split your ganache, then don’t throw it away just yet. Get back in the kitchen and blitz it with an electric whisk. Add the butter, and whisk it some more. And if you’re lucky, the greasy mess will transform into the smooth creamy ganache you wanted all along.
You might not expect it, but these champagne truffles are made with brandy as well as champers. Champagne just wasn’t strong enough to give these truffles the kick I wanted. They definitely don’t taste like brandy, but it somehow manages to enhance their champagniness. As long as you only use one spoonful!
Whilst the bottle of champers (well, it was actually sparkling wine) was open, I made a champagne layer cake with raspberry buttercream… but that’s a recipe for another day.
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- 250g (9oz) good quality chocolate (I used 150g dark 70%, 100g milk 37%)
- 125ml (½ cup) double cream (heavy cream)
- 50g (¼ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 75ml (1/3 cup) champagne
- 1 tablespoon brandy or cognac
- Cocoa powder and icing (powdered) sugar to dust
- Melt the chocolate, either in the microwave or over a saucepan of boiling water. Set aside.
- Heat the cream in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Before the cream boils, remove from the heat, and pour into the melted chocolate.
- Very gently, stir the cream and chocolate together. Do not rush this, or the mixture will split, and look oily. If this does happen, add the butter immediately and use a handheld whisk to beat the mixture until the butter has melted and the mixture looks smooth and silky. If the mixture doesn't split, add the butter to the bowl, and mix with a spoon until completely melted.
- Add the champagne and the brandy, and mix well. Cover the bowl with cling-film, and put in the fridge to set for a few hours, or overnight.
- When completely set, remove from the fridge. Roll the mixture into small balls, and roll in cocoa and then icing sugar. Put back in the fridge for an hour or so, and then eat.
- These truffles will keep for 3-4 days when kept in the fridge. They can be frozen, and will keep for 3 months.