Dark Chocolate Decadent Truffles (Gluten Free)

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Truffles are synonymous with Christmas for me! For most of my married life (34 years!) I have been making truffles to give for Christmas gifts. I’ve always taken great pride in using high quality ingredients, now accommodating to be completely free of any gluten or contamination of gluten from the factory, adding artistic decoration and creative packaging. There’s nothing better that the richness and decadence of a dark chocolate truffle, with hints of varied flavors, from liquors to fresh ingredients, espresso or a bit of mint. These are perfect for a Christmas party (remember what those are??) and pair wonderfully with coffee or wine for a simple small dessert. I’ve been known to make 300-400 of these for an event or even for Christmas, but of course not in one day as there are several steps and it is a little time consuming. (Not to mention standing in the kitchen for that long!) The only trouble you’ll have when you make them,  will be deciding how many to make and give or how many to keep for your family (and of course, you need to test before gift giving them ;)). Here you will find the basic recipe (I think originally I used the recipe from Ghiradelli), but have adapted to my own flavors and creations. I‘ll include a few flavor ideas below.

Dark Chocolate Decadent Truffles (Gluten Free)

Equipment

  • Truffle paper, paper or foil
  • parchment paper
  • Small bowls
  • #18/8 (3 cm) size spring loaded cookie or melon scoop

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces Guittard Extra Dark Chocolate (or other gluten free very good quality dark chocolate, chips or bar. If bar cut up before melting)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Flavoring, extract or liquor Use grain free liquor for Celiac) or ¼- ½ teaspoon extract flavoring (gluten free brand
  • Chocolate Coating for Dipping Truffles
  • 4 ounces Guittard Extra Dark Chocolate (or other gluten free very good quality dark chocolate, chips or bar. If  bar cut up before melting)
  • 2 ounces White Chocolate, gluten free brand for decorating

Raspberry Truffles Variation:

  • 1 tablespoon of port 
  • 1/8 teaspoon Schilling Pure Raspberry Extract

Tiramisu Truffles Variation:

  • 1 tablespoon of rum (gluten free brand)
  • ½ tablespoon strong coffee
  • 2 Schaar Gluten Free Lady Fingers (.8 ounce), crushed
  • ½ teaspoon finely ground espresso

Spiced Mocha Truffles Variation:

  • 1 teaspoon finely ground espresso 
  • ½ tablespoon of strong coffee or espresso 
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon 
  • dash of chipotle chili powder

Peppermint Mocha Truffles Variation:

  • 1 teaspoon finely ground espresso 
  • ½ tablespoon of strong coffee or espresso
  • ¼  teaspoon of Schilling Peppermint Extract

Peanut Butter Truffles (this one does not have the dark chocolate base):

  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 Schaar Gluten Free Lady Fingers (.8 ounce), finely crushed
  • ¼ cup Adam’s Peanut Butter or other natural, unsweetened peanut butter
  • ¼ cup (1 ounce) sifted powdered sugar
  • Chocolate Coating for Dipping Peanut Butter Truffles
  • 4 ounces Guittard Extra Dark Chocolate or Guittard Milk Chocolate Chips (or other gluten free very good quality dark chocolate, chips or bar. If  bar, cut into small pieces before melting)

Instructions

  • Melt the chocolate in a heavy small saucepan over a double boiler (or extremely low gas heat, stirring constantly) until the chocolate is mostly melted. Remove from heat and stir until very smooth and chocolate is completely melted. Add the butter pieces and the cream and stir until smooth. Add the flavoring extract or or liquor and stir until smooth. Be very careful to not allow any water into the chocolate mixture.
  • Scrape the chocolate mixture into a small cereal bowl using a rubber spatula. Cover with cellophane and chill in the refrigerator for 30-40 minutes, until slightly firm. You don’t want this too firm or it will be hard to scoop.
  • Line a cookie sheet or small tray with parchment paper. Remove the chilled truffle mixture from the refrigerator. Using a #18-8 scoop, begin scooping each truffle onto the tray in lines and leaving a small space between each row. The recipe will make approximately 16-18 small size truffles. Alternately, if you don’t have a very small scoop, you can roll by teaspoonful, by hand, trying to make them each the same size. When you are finished forming the truffles, move the tray to the refrigerator for the truffles to harden.
  • Once the truffles are very firm, get your dipping chocolate ready to melt. Be sure to wash the saucepan and dry completely before melting the next batch of chocolate. Make sure that no water enters your chocolate at any time. Put about 2/3’s of the chocolate in a bowl, reserving 1/3 of the chocolate to add in later. Set the bowl over a double boiler set to simmer, set your bowl of chocolate, and stir constantly. Once most of the chocolate is melted, remove from the double boiler, and add the remainder of chocolate and continue to stir until the all the chocolate is melted. Cool to 82 degrees, then set the bowl back over the double boiler and bring the temperature to 88-90 degrees (for more on tempering chocolate, see Epicurious How to Temper Chocolate). 
  •  Remove the truffle tray from the refrigerator once your melted chocolate is ready.
  • Drop the very firm chilled truffle gently into the melted chocolate and using a teaspoon cover in the chocolate, turning to coat. Remove the truffle quickly with the top facing up on the top of the teaspoon. Then using a fork in the opposite hand, move the truffle gently off the spoon and back unto the tray. Continue until all the truffles have been dipped. I like to also melt (in a small bowl), over a pan of hot water, a few squares of white chocolate to decorate the truffles. Tip: dipping 6 truffles at a time works well, because you can add the decorative top and it will adhere well, compared to dipping the entire tray and then adding the decorative top.
  • Place the tray in the refrigerator to harden the chocolate covering on the truffles for 45 minutes to an hour to harden completely before placing into truffle papers. Work quickly so the temperature does not change on your truffles, as warming and cooling can cause them to lose their sheen. As you are placing in paper liners, set in an airtight container lined with cellophane and using parchment paper between the layers of truffles. I like to put a note on the top of each container saying the number of truffles and the kind, so when I’m packaging them, I can easily figure out how many to divide between the boxes or containers I’m using.
  • Return the truffles in the airtight container to the refrigerator, removing approximately a half hour before enjoying. Be sure to tell or include a note for your gift recipients that these must stay refrigerated, for up to one month.

Raspberry Truffles:

  • To the chocolate, butter, heavy cream mixture add port and Schilling Pure Raspberry Extract.

Tiramisu:

  • To the chocolate, butter and heavy cream mixture add rum, coffee, Schaar Gluten Free Lady Fingers and espresso.

Spiced Mocha:

  • To the chocolate, butter, heavy cream mixture add ground espresso, strong coffee or espresso, ground cinnamon and chipotle chili powder.

Peppermint Mocha:

  • To the chocolate, butter, heavy cream mixture add: ground espresso, strong coffee or espresso and Schilling Peppermint Extract.

Peanut Butter Truffles (this one does not have the dark chocolate base):

  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan on low heat or in a microwave safe bowl in microwave for 30 seconds. Add he crushed lady fingers and stir, then the peanut butter and powdered sugar. Stir well until smooth. Refrigerate for one hour until slightly firm.
  • Scoop the truffle using a #18/8 scoop, placing formed truffles onto a parchment lined tray (or hand rolling by teaspoonful). When finished scooping, move tray to the refrigerator for one hour. Melt chocolate for dipping, following the instructions above for melting and tempering chocolate. Dip each truffle in melted chocolate, and move tray to refrigerator. Move to truffle papers once chocolate has hardened, and put into an airtight container. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Course: Dessert
Keyword: christmas, dark chocolate, truffles

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