Baileys Chocolate Truffles

I first made these many years ago for my sister’s 16th birthday. She liked them so much that I also made them for Christmas – which was when Mum decided they were her favourite chocolate. Every year since I’ve received a barrage of ‘subtle’ hints in the run up to Christmas!

They’re so simple to make – all you need is a bit of patience. The fresh cream and butter means they don’t keep for more than a week or so (and should be stored in a cool place/the fridge), but that also makes them a fantastic last-minute Christmas present.

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Ingredients (makes about 40):
Truffle centre:
– 275g dark chocolate, broken into squares
– 150g salted butter, cut into squares
– 150ml double cream
– 100ml Baileys
– ½ tsp vanilla extract

Coating:
– 250g dark chocolate
– cocoa powder, to dust (optional)

1. Pour a couple of inches of water into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and place a large heatproof bowl on top, ensuring it doesn’t touch the water. Place the chocolate and butter into the bowl and allow to melt: you can gently move the pieces around to help them to melt evenly, but don’t stir.

2. When everything has melted, remove the bowl from the heat. Pour in the double cream, Baileys and vanilla extract and whisk to combine completely. Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

3. Line a large tray or board with cling film. Use a melon baller (/a teaspoon/your hands) to scoop out small amounts of the truffle mixture, and roll into balls. Place onto the tray; repeat. I find it helpful to have kitchen towel to hand – once you get melted chocolate on your hands the mixture becomes much more difficult to work with, so wipe down periodically! Cover the balls with another sheet of cling film and return to the fridge (or freezer if you can) for another hour or so.

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4. Melt the chocolate for the coating in the same way as in step 1. Spear one of the balls with a cocktail stick and dip it into the melted chocolate, then place it back onto the cling film and slide the stick out (you can use another to help if necessary). Dip the cocktail stick into the melted chocolate and drizzle a small amount on top to cover the hole. Repeat for each truffle. Once each truffle is coated, you can dust over some cocoa powder and/or edible glitter for a final flourish. Leave in a cool place (or the fridge) to set completely.

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Tip: If the melted chocolate starts to set before it’s been used you can put it back on the hob to reheat, though the end result will be less smooth and shiny each time you do this. If you’re worried about this, you could melt the chocolate in two batches to be on the safe side.

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