Chocolate truffles, beautifully wrapped make a lovely sweet gift.
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250g/10oz good quality plain (semi-sweet) chocolate
250ml/8 fl oz double (heavy) cream
40g/1-1/2oz unsalted butter
3 tbs brandy, rum or other liquer to flavour
Chocolate vermicelli (sprinkles)
Finely chopped hazelnuts, walnuts, pistachios or almonds
Icing (confectioners) sugar
Break the chocolate into small pieces. Bring the cream to the boil in a saucepan then remove from heat and add the broken chocolate. Stir until it melts, then stir in the butter and allow it to melt completely. Add the brandy or other liquer and make sure it is well mixed.
Pour the mixture into a bowl and, when cool, cover with clingfilm then refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
Line a baking sheet with non-stick paper. Using a teaspoon or a melon ball maker if you have one, make 20 to 30 balls from the chilled chocolate mixture, placing each one on the baking sheet.
Put the cocoa, icing sugar, cocoa powder, vermicelli or nuts on to separate plates, if you are using more than one kind of covering. Roll the truffles in whichever you choose. Doing a variety looks very good.
You can also dip the uncovered chocolate in melted chocolate (use a skewer or cocktail stick) instead of the other coverings to give a smooth chocolatey appearance. For best results, freeze the truffles before coating them in melted chocolate.
Allow the truffles to chill.
Present them in little truffle paper cases or piled up in a dish or on a plate. They keep in the refrigerator for about 10 days or you can freeze them for about 8 weeks.