I was fortunate enough to be invited to a truffle making workshop hosted by the lovely Lisa Marley from The Cocoa Box and luxury fashion online boutique, Farfetch. This was especially exciting for me as I’m a complete chocoholic- barely a day goes by without the good stuff passing through my lips and I’ve just started making my own (watch this space on how I got on with my Easter Egg making!) so I was super looking forward to learning how to make some truffles (homemade truffles are SO impressive at dinner parties). The best thing about these truffles? They were so much fun and so incredibly easy to make that you’re guaranteed to have the best, super impressive (and frankly the easiest) dinner parties from now if you just wheel out a baked vacherin with some artisanal bread, a few ottolenghi inspired salads and then these babies to finish-served with the boozy bunch’s favourite tipple of choice: Champagne, of course!
On arrival we were greeted with some magically refilling chocolate martinis and got stuck in with the chocolate class. Lisa was so incredibly friendly and knowledgeable- with some fantastic tidbits that wouldn’t go amiss in your trivial pursuit arsenal! Did you know that the first solid chocolate bar was actually made here in our fair country by Fry’s in Bristol (sadly, these guys were bought out by Cadbury and their original factory was closed by Kraft- you can read ALL about it in the wiki link [don’t tell my history professor I sent you there!]). After a brief intro to chocolate, we got stuck in to making the truffles ourselves. Queue a bunch of grown women turning into giggly kids! It turns out that truffles, well… looked disturbingly like a certain form of bodily function before we turned it into those delicious brown beauties. Needless to say, despite having been issued with aprons and gloves, we got chocolate EVERYWHERE (this is not as surprising to me as the one place I usually find chocolate after a chocolate making session is bizarrely down my cleavage).
The Process: (Make sure the room is cool)
Mix 1 part double cream with 2 parts melted chocolate (Lisa uses Barry Callebaut callets, which is professional- only; I use the more easily accessible, but still tasty Callebaut ones at home), plus some flavouring if you’d like. We probably got about 150ml of cream + 300ml of chocolate between 2 and this produced about 2 dozen each. Stir (and I quote) with “urgency but not panic”. The ganache mixture gets pretty stiff so you’d get a good workout here. Take the spoon out so it doesn’t get stuck.
Spoon the ganache into a large piping bag. At this point, we got the giggles (this got worse as I was definitely on the slightly more… mature side of the table!). Pat it down a bit to get the air out but not so violently that you burst the bag. The better you do this bit, the smoother the next section will be. Cut about an inch off the pointy bit to make a piping hole.
Here comes the fun bit! Squeeze the piping bag to make strips of ganache! Make comments, enjoy and laugh. Make shapes even! We made a smiley face accidentally!
Finally cut the ganache into size- about 2 bites per chocolate and roll lightly with your fingers. Once you have lovely balls, dip them into the toppings of your choice. We had a choice of cocoa powder, dark chocolate vermicelli or raspberry sprinkles. You could enrobe the chocolate ball in some melted milk chocolate but we found that our truffles were sticky enough not to need that. Leave on a covered working service (we had parchment paper, but at home I’d use silicone sheets instead as curly parchments just messes with my cool).
Taaa Daaa! All done! Sit down and enjoy with friends or package them up as fancy gifts.
Much thanks to Lisa for the class and recipe as well as Farfetch for hosting the workshop in their super cool office space on Old Street!
The Cocoa Box offers all sort of chocolate, cupcake decorating and patisserie workshops and events via their website. I must say, it was a super fun evening and would highly recommend it as a fun thing to do with girlfriends.