The Gift of Christmas Truffles

Since last Friday, I have been laboring over my gift to my family, consisting of my parents, brother, grandparents, and aunts. Every year, we all give each other one small, modest gift.  I decided to make truffles for everyone because I’ve always wanted to, and I figured it would be easier than going out and buying individual gifts. Well, it may have been a little easier just to buy gifts in the end. By the fourth morning of working on the chocolates, I was sure it would be the first, and last, time I make truffles. But I’m not thinking that way anymore. They were so good, and such a big hit with my family, that I would gladly act as a pasticceria chef again. I was also not following any exact recipe (because I tend to make recipes my own), and it was my first time making small chocolates, so I imagine truffle baking will be much easier the second time around.

White Chocolate Truffles with Nonna's Cherry Jam, Dark Chocolate Hazelnut and Almond Truffles, and Peppermint Bark Truffles (from left to right).

White Chocolate Truffles with Nonna’s Cherry Jam, Dark Chocolate Hazelnut and Almond Truffles, and Peppermint Bark Truffles (from left to right).

Always use high-quality dark chocolate.

Always use high-quality dark chocolate.

The trick is to use the best chocolate available. If you really want to wow someone with french-like chocolates, you need to forget any expenses and inconveniences, and get top-class chocolate. Being a Torinese, after living there last year, I became spoiled by the chocolate capital of Italy. The town of Alba, which is 15 minutes from my vineyard home in Piemonte, is home to the Ferrero factory, a brand famous for their  Nutella, Ferrero-rocher, and Kinder. I was pretty spoiled living there too, smelling the aroma of Nutella during soccer practice every day. So I had high standards when deciding on which chocolates to use in my truffles. I’ll say this: Do NOT use cheap chocolate, or anything with “Hershey’s” on it.

The white chocolate ganache.

The white chocolate ganache.

I used two types of chocolate to make four types of truffles. I settled for a nice 73% cocoa dark chocolate, and a smooth, light white chocolate. These two choices could provide an endless list of possibilities.

The good part about truffles is that once you get a solid ganache center, you can garnish them with whatever you like! Two types of ganaches were made for the center of the truffles: a dark chocolate and white chocolate center.

The 4 Types of Truffles I made (all my own recipes):

Peppermint Bark Truffles– A fantastic twist on a classic holiday treat. I had to try making this because my Aunts and I enjoy making peppermint bark every year, so I knew they’d enjoy this creation.

Peppermint Bark Truffles

Peppermint Bark Truffles

White Chocolate Truffles with Nonna’s Cherry Jam– I took each white chocolate ganache ball, placed my Nonna’s cherry marmalade in the center, dipped the truffles in the liquid from the marmalade, and gave it a coating of pure white chocolate. I totally made this recipe up. It was daring, but very successful. This was my brother’s favorite.

White Chocolate Truffles with Nonna's Cherry Marmalade.

White Chocolate Truffles with Nonna’s Cherry Marmalade.

Dark Chocolate Truffles coated in Toasted Hazelnuts– The dark chocolate ganache balls were given a coating of pure dark chocolate, and then rolled in toasted hazelnuts. A classic combination, which is my father’s all-time favorite. Very piemontese. 

Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Truffle

Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Truffle

Dark Chocolate Truffles coated in Almonds– Just like the hazelnut truffles, but with almonds instead. I didn’t even toast the almonds. Simple and delicious. A soft dark chocolate center, with a crunchy nut outside.

Dark Chocolate Almond Truffle

Dark Chocolate Almond Truffle

I shall be posting the recipes for these delicious chocolates. If you are ever feeling ambitious, and your chocolate craving is stronger than usual, then I suggest you try these truffles out. I promise you will send me a grand letter of gratitude with a stamp of approval if you do.

I placed the truffles in festive gift bags.

I placed the truffles in festive gift bags.

Truffle Gift Bags

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