Chocolate truffles are rich and decadent, an indulgent treat that is easy to prepare. The centre is made of ganache, which is then coated with either chocolate, icing sugar, crushed nuts or cocoa powder depending on personal taste.
Chop the chocolate into fine shards, put this into a bowl. Make sure that the bowl is completely dry and the chocolate is not cold. Any moisture when melting chocolate will result in the chocolate seizing and this will ruin the chocolate's structure.
Heat the cream until it just starts to boil around the edges, then pour it over the chopped chocolate. Stir and place the bowl over a pan of simmering water to help the chocolate melt faster and stir until melted completely. Take the bowl off the heat and stir in the vanilla, butter, salt, coffee and crushed nuts. Mix well and then let the chocolate come to room temperature. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for about 4 hours to allow the chocolate ganache to solidify.
When ready to shape the truffles, have a tray ready on which you will place the truffles and a small spoon for shaping them. Scoop up small amounts of the ganache and quickly form them into smooth round balls. You need to work fast and not over handle the ganache as the warmth from your hands will tend to melt the chocolate. Whenever you find the ganache has become too difficult to handle, stick the bowl back in the fridge for a few minutes and then keep going. It will be slightly messy, but the results are worth it. The shape does not have to be perfectly round, just try and get it as round as you can in the shortest time possible.
Once all the truffles are shaped and placed on the tray, put the tray back in the fridge for about an hour to help them hold their shape well.
You can then dust them with cocoa powder or drinking chocolate powder or icing sugar (depending on how sweet you want the truffles) or melt some milk chocolate (I used cadbury's dairy milk), and dip the truffles in it using a fork and spoon, turning to coat each truffle completely. Make sure that the melted chocolate is not warm as this will end up melting your truffles! Once they are coated, put them back on the tray and refrigerate again to solidify the coating.
You can drizzle them with melted white chocolate for contrast if you want.
Serve them cold or at room temperature. They are such a rich treat but a definite MUST try!