A young woman, with too much time on her hands, put it upon herself one evening in the spirit of Christmas, to start up a production line of truffles to brighten up the faces of her beloved friends and colleagues.
Though she succeeded in her efforts, the young lady encountered many hurdles in her journey. Without the aid of a sugar thermometer, a marble tempering slab and a working kitchen; she thought all was lost. However, amongst the chaos, her enthusiasm continued to burn from within and the aspiring chocolatier muddled onwards in her journey.
Success came in the form of over 100 dazzlingly decadent truffles, spanning as far as the eye could see.
That’s right, over 100 truffles. Needless to say the fairytale intentions of how my truffle project began did not conclude as predicted. Let us turn to the reality of the story – that once again I embarked on a ridiculous 36 hour, unequipped mess of cocoa-intoxicated chaos. It’s a common trait of my cooking that I begin with an unrivalled passion, diving in with ingredients like a puppy into a river. Halfway through I slowly become less enthused as things don’t go my way, eventually panicking, throwing in some cornflour (regardless of the dish) and storming off.
This time there was only really one small problem: there were just too bloody many of them and I didn’t have the patience, space or resources to deal with them. Perhaps the five tubs of double cream and kilo of chocolate were the first warning signs that I was in over my head. It was like the film Gremlins.
I just wanted to make truffles for everyone, receive the praise then eat the rest in secret.
This is the moment where the blogger smugly inserts a recipe after providing you with an 80 step photo guide of them seductively licking a spoon.
Sadly I haven’t included a recipe. In fact I never include a recipe, because my chaotic, ad hoc methods vary from each batch to the next. Would you want it any other way? Dark will be the day when I write a recipe on here. So, as a general rule I would recommend an equal ratio of chocolate to cream. Then add some sugar, as much Baileys, Disaronno, or rum as you would see fit. Then double it. I believe the entire process involved consumption of about five glasses of Baileys and several rashly made Old Fashioned cocktails to ease my impatience at the ridiculous situation I had gotten myself into.
To conclude, I have written several points on truffle Do’s and Don’ts to get you through this difficult task, should you so wish to attempt it.
– Allow at least a week out of your schedule, if not more. I set up an Out of Office email.
– Find a suitable workspace. My kitchen was out of action so I newspapered the spare room and popped season six of Mad Men on the laptop.
– Keep your hands cold for handling the chocolate. I am blessed with this natural gift.
– Use a melon baller for precision.
– Sparkle dust is a must.
– Temper the chocolate coating, it adds a shiny touch.
– Have patience. Days of patience.
– Check your door handles, ceilings, ears, elbows and toes after. Chocolate will be there.
– Overheat your cream. The ganache will split and you will cry your eyes out. If, touch wood, it happens, this lady I found knows what to do.
– Drink a pint of Woodford Reserve beforehand. I know it’s Christmas, but it will lead to loss in precision. The result? Inconsistent balls. We don’t want inconsistent balls.
– Use crap chocolate. 70 per cent minimum people!
– Get carried away. No one needs 100 truffles, your friends and family will be sick of you.
Ok fine, if you must have a recipe from a sober source, let it be a reliable Felicity from the Guardian which mine is loosely based on.