Use this easy chocolate truffles recipe so you will learn how to make delicious treats to share with friends and family or how to simply indulge yourself .
Needless to say that you all heard about one of these Belgian chocolate brands like: Callebaut, Cote d’or, Perette, Godiva or Leonidas. Indeed, even these Greek sounding Leonidas chocolates are made in Belgium.
Compared to Swiss chocolates, Belgian ones tend to be less sweet and more rich on chocolate.
Belgian chocolate history
Chocolate isn’t a Belgian invention at all. Its main ingredient – being cocoa – comes from the beans from the cocoa tree: which is native in Mexico and Guatemala. You can also grow them here in Malaysia and the biggest chocolate producing country worldwide now is Côte d’Ivoire in West Africa. All this geography… to point out that these trees needs a climate warmer than Belgium, hence the origin of chocolate for sure isn’t Belgian.
The South American Aztecs and Mayas knew that after fermenting and roasting the cocoa seeds, they could make it into a kind of bitter drink called xocolātl.
It took until 1815, that the Dutch Coenraad Van Houten – Van Houten should ring a bell…! – invented a good and cheap way to produce modern chocolate.
15 years later, Belgium was formed. From the beginning of its history, chocolates were considered as a gift.
In 1912, the Belgian confectionery created the " praline ", a filled type of chocolate: a mouthful which perfectly complied with its gift vocation. To protect the delicate nature of this "praline" Belgian chocolates, an adequate packaging has been patented under the name of "Ballotin".
Then there are the Belgian chocolate truffles: bite-sized sweets, made from chocolate and a ganache, the latter to which flavourings have been added like liqueurs or essences. Truffle mixtures can be piped in balls or long strands, rolled in cocoa powder, icing sugar or dipped in covertures. They are named after the truffles found in the ground, resembling their rough, dark shape and color.
And in case you want to taste chocolate in your daily bread: my friend Jen just published a delicious chocolate babka with mixed nuts recipe: complete with step-by-step pictures and detailed instructions. You can find it here.
Meanwhile in Malaysia…
Shopping around in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, I suddenly noticed a package that said: "Belgian chocolates". Taking a closer look, I was even more surprised to learn that these chocolates were manufactured in a village just nearby the Belgian village I was born.
So far so good, until I tasted them: really overly sweet, the typical – exaggerated – sweetness you also encounter buying Malaysian kuih – bite sized sweet desserts – or even your regular coffee or tea.
Anyway: my cravings for chocolate where nourished, so time to make my own, which keeps you in control of all the ingredients (mind you that apart from the overload of sugar, a whole lot of other unhealthy ingredients are added to your average supermarket bought chocolates).
Making Belgian chocolates is easy:
- finding a good, tested recipe, like the one below
- add or reduce the amount of sugar you use the next time
- get creative and change the coating or add some extra taste to the filling.
Ingredients for Belgian chocolate truffles
Makes around 36 delicious truffles.
- 8.75 US oz (8 Australia oz) (250 g) cooking chocolate (I used the Malaysian brand Nur, since chocolate will be your main ingredient, it does pay out to experiment with different brands so you will find your favorite)
- 2 teaspoons instant coffee, sifted (again a strong taste maker, so again you can shop around to find the one that suits your taste best)
- 3.5 US oz (3.3 Australia oz) (100 g) unsalted butter
- 1 egg yolk
- 1,5 tablespoon icing sugar (powder sugar), sifted: we repeat that this recipe is not paleo!
- TIP : since there is already sugar in the chocolate I am using, I only add 1,5 tablespoons of sugar (for me too sweet, for others just right). If you find pure, sugar-free cooking chocolate, maybe you need to add 3 tablespoons of sugar and… all depend how sweet you really want it. Best is to start a batch with as little sugar as possible. If really needed you can coat them with extra sugar and next time adjust your recipe accordingly.
- For coating:
- 2 tablespoons pure cocoa powder, sifted
- 2 tablespoons icing sugar, sifted
Easy chocolate truffles recipe preparation
- Break the chocolate in pieces and let it get soft "au bain marie". (the au-bain-marie method means placing whatever is to be melted in a small but high pot, which is then heated buy putting it in a larger container filled with hot water. The larger pot goes on the stove.) This is cumbersome, so if you have a really small fire and a saucepan with a thick bottom, you could melt your chocolate as such under constant stirring. Just make sure not to use too much heat!
- Add the butter and keep on stirring until butter is melted.
- Remove the butter-chocolate mixture pot from the au bain marie, stir in the egg yolk, instant coffee, 1,5 tablespoon icing sugar and let it cool down. Since room-temperature in Malaysia is around 30 degrees, I put the mixture 45 minutes in the fridge. Make sure that the mixture doesn’t become to hard, so check it once in a while. Ideal is making these types of chocolates in winter in a not heated room of your house.
- For the coating : mix the 2 tablespoons cocoa powder with the 2 tablespoons icing sugar in a round bowl.
- When the chocolate starts becoming a bit harder, dig some out by a teaspoon and form into balls (I use my hands here, gets a bit messy but that is the most effective for me). Roll each ball in the cocoa-icing sugar mixture.
- I store them in the freezer, as mentioned above: temperature here is about 86F (30 degrees C). Since the cooking chocolate used is far from "pure" chocolate and butter is added as well, these chocolate truffles will almost melt at our 86F (30 degrees C) room temperature.