Valentine’s Day is Friday, and you’re likely plotting what you’re going to give as a gift to your loved one – whether it be a significant other, the children in your life, your Mom or Dad, or a treasured friend. The shelves of your local stores are packed to the brim with chocolate confections in red and pink boxes, but what means more than a gift you made yourself?
Sure, you’re saying to yourself, “But I’ve never made chocolates!” or “I can’t make something pretty that my loved one will appreciate!”
Wrong. You can do it. And instead of giving that same box of chocolates you’ve purchased year after year, why not bestow upon the object of your affection a hand and homemade chocolate that captures both the heart and the sweet tooth?
My fella loves chocolate. I call him a Chocosaurus, a species modern man who loves a great chocolate. I, too, have often bestowed upon him a purchased present, but when I began making confections at home, his response was all together different. He loved the chocolates that he knew I molded by hand, that were made with my careful thought to every detail. A labor of love. At our house, we don’t typically make a big fuss of Valentine’s Day, but I always create a simple gift that says, “I love you everyday.”
These truffle hearts have a rich chocolate center made of 60% cacao dark chocolate and white chocolate, a combination that creates a smooth and silky center. The combination of both dark and white chocolate cuts the bitterness that many feel dark chocolate holds while maintaining some of those great flavor notes. The white chocolate flavor is very understated. Your gift recipient will likely think these are milk chocolate truffles based on the coloring and taste of the two chocolates combined.
On the outside of each truffle is candy coating, creating the vivid red color and holding it all together without a sticky feel. On the outside, I dripped white chocolate to create a non-patterned highlight. I like a little abstract art on the outside of my chocolates. Don’t worry – if your loved one isn’t a fan of white chocolate, you can always use dark or milk chocolate as your drizzle. Either will harden appropriately.
This recipe is simple without a large number of ingredients or required tools. To achieve a perfect heart shape, I recommend using a heart-shaped mold. The size and depth of your mold will effect the yield from the recipe. I used a silicone try from Michaels labeled as an ice cube tray. Silicone is much easier to use in that it is very flexible.
Even if Valentine’s Day isn’t a red letter day in your life, these truffle hearts are fun to make and even more fun to give.
Makes eight truffles
- 3 ounces 60% cacao dark chocolate, chopped
- 2 ounces white baking chocolate, chopped
- 2 1/2 ounces heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 6 ounces red candy coating
- 1 ounce white baking chocolate, melted
- Begin by preparing your chocolate. Chop 3 ounces of dark chocolate and 2 ounces of white baking chocolate. I recommend chopping both moderately with some finely chopped pieces and some a little larger. The larger pieces will add texture and add some chocolatey chunks to the truffles. Set the chocolate aside in a medium bowl.
- Combine heavy cream and butter in a small saucepan on high heat. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
- Pour the mixture over the chocolate and begin gently whisking until the mixture becomes smooth.
- Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of eight hours to cool and set.
- Once your the truffle mixture has cooled, create your heart shapes using your mold. Spoon small portions of the truffle mixture into the mold until filled. Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Remove mixture from refrigerator. Using a table knife, remove the mixture from each mold cavity. The mixture will still be semi-soft and will not come out solid. You will need to smooth heart using your fingers to create a proper shape. (This is messy but fun!)
- Melt your candy coating in the microwave according to package directions.
- Insert a toothpick in the point of your heart chocolate and dip in the melted candy coating. Remove and place on a parchment paper lined surface to allow the coating to set. Repeat with each truffle heart.
- Once the candy coating has set – 15 to 25 minutes for a solid setting – heat your remaining white baking chocolate squares in a small dish in the microwave for two minutes on 50 percent power. Dip the point of a table knife in the melted chocolate and allow it to drip on the chocolate hearts. (If you prefer a less “abstract painting” look to the white chocolate drizzle, place the melted chocolate in a disposable piping bag and apply as desired.)
- Store in an airtight, festive container. Store in the refrigerator.
As stated above, the size of the mold used will effect the yield of the recipe. The mold I used holds a heaping teaspoon of truffle mixture per cavity.
Your hearts may not be perfect on your first go. My hearts certainly weren’t, and it took a great deal of experimenting to achieve the right look. I recommend that if this your first time making candy or you are hesitant, have extra ingredients on hand to try again. And remember that you’re loved one will adore these, even if they aren’t the perfect heart shape.