If you fancy impressing your friends and family then try out making this chocolate truffle tree recipe - which is much easier than it looks. And it does look like a chocolate work of art. Our tree is made up of about 80 truffles, so you should have a few left over for sampling afterwards...an important reward for any chocolate-truffle-tree maker. The truffles are sweet, creamy and rich - who could resist? A true chocoholic's dream.
- For the truffles:
- 2 x 300ml cartons whipping cream
- 4 level tbsp icing sugar
- Few drops of vanilla extract
- 600g dark chocolate, chopped
- For the coating:
- Approx. 400g dark chocolate, melted and tempered
- Edible gold lustre dust, eg, Squires Kitchen
- Chocolate sweets to fill the vase, eg, Maltesers
- 12cm diameter polystyrene ball
- 30cm x 25mm dowel
- Polystyrene glue
- Small jam jar and vase
- Dri-Hard floral arrangement clay
- Cocktail sticks
To make the truffles: Bring the cream to the boil. Take the pan off the heat, stir in the icing sugar and vanilla extract, then pour over the chopped chocolate. Stir until the chocolate melts. To ensure it’s well mixed, use a handblender. Allow the mixture to cool until firm enough to handle.
Scoop the mixture into rough balls, using a round tsp measure or melon-baller, then roll into perfect balls and put them on a sheet of baking parchment. If the mixture starts to get too soft, pop it in the fridge until it firms up.
To coat the chocolates: Dip them one at a time in the melted chocolate and let as much chocolate as possible drip off before returning them to the baking parchment to set.
Use a dry paintbrush to brush gold lustre dust over some of the truffles.
To make the base for the tree: Cut out a small section from the polystyrene ball and stick the dowel in to it using the glue. Select a jam jar that fits in the vase and is lower than the height of the vase. Place the dowel in it, and fill the jar with the Dri-Hard, breaking off small pieces and kneading them until they’re soft, then pressing them into the jar, making sure the dowel stays vertical. Leave for a few hours or overnight until set.
Brush tempered chocolate over the polystyrene ball and leave to set. Add another coat if there’s any white still showing. Cover the Dri-Hard with cling film then fill the gap between the jar and vase with chocolate sweets.
Cut cocktail sticks in half and press into the polystyrene ball, leaving a small length sticking out on each, then press truffles on top. Cover the ball, placing the truffles close together and spreading the gold ones out evenly. Tie a ribbon around the wooden stem.
Top tip for making Chocolate truffle tree
Wear cotton or latex gloves when handling chocolate to prevent fingerprints.