Events and Celebrations

  • 250 ml (8 fl oz) double cream
  • 200 g (7 oz) plain dark chocolate
  • 3–4 tablespoons brandy or rum
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
  • 200 g (7 oz) plain dark chocolate
  • crystallized violets

Pour the cream into a small pan and bring to the boil. Take the pan off the heat and break in 200 g (7 oz) plain dark chocolate. Leave to stand until it has melted, then stir in the brandy or rum and mix until smooth. Chill for 4 hours until the truffle mixture is firm.

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper and dust with cocoa powder. Scoop a little truffle mixture on to a teaspoon, then transfer it to a second spoon and back to the first again, making a well-rounded egg shape (or use a melon baller). Slide the truffle on to the cocoa-dusted paper. Repeat until all the mixture is used up. Chill again for 2 hours, or overnight if possible, until firm.

Melt 200 g (7 oz) plain dark chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water (see page 10). Stir well, then, holding 1 truffle at a time on a fork over the bowl, spoon melted chocolate over the top to coat it. Place the truffles on a piece of waxed paper on a nonstick baking sheet. Swirl a little chocolate over the top of each with a spoon and finish with a crystallized violet.

Chill for at least 1 hour, then pack into petit-four cases and arrange in a gift box lined with purple tissue paper.

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