Christmas Truffles and Barks

I only make truffles and barks at Christmas time. I guess it’s a way of keeping them special, as well as ensuring I do not eat bucket loads of them. I have made them for probably the last 5 years or so now. Some I do every year, but I also love coming up with some new flavours each year too.

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2011 Box

This year will have to be a scaled down production as I will only be in Canberra two days before Christmas number 1 (Key’s family Christmas on Christmas Eve) and I will be stealing mum’s kitchen to make them…thanks ma.

I will be keeping what flavours I’m planning on this year a secret, so that it’s still a surprise for my friends and family who will be receiving a box this year.

I won’t list a recipe for every flavour pictured here, so if there are any flavours that you are interested in but that I haven’t given details on, just leave a comment below and I’ll add it into the post.

Please excuse all of the camera phone pictures in this post, these are just snaps I took in the last few years, long before I ever thought I’d have a food blog, or apparently, understood that horizontal photos are a good thing :)

 

Christmas Truffles and Barks

Truffles are deceptively easy to make. I find the hardest thing is dipping them after they have been rolled into balls, so I cheat a bit and don’t dip many. There are plenty of other ways to decorate them. I’ve given instructions on a few ways that I use in the recipes below.

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Step 1: Read my chocolate melting cheat sheet here.

Step 2: Buy ridiculous amounts of chocolate bars at the supermarket. My favourites are the coles branded cooking chocolate bars (example here) and the Nestle Plaistowe bars (example here)

Step 3: Most of these recipes need 2 days to complete. So plan to do this over the course of two days, especially if you want to make a few (or a lot). Use the first day to do all of your melting and non-chocolate based items, for example the Oreo truffles, then let the ganaches set overnight. Use the second day for rolling, dipping, decorating and making barks with leftover chocolate. These will need overnight to set again and then you can start gifting.

Step 4: Turn the air con on if it’s hot in your kitchen (if you are lucky enough to have one)

Step 5: Try not to eat all of the truffles before you have gifted them :)

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The truffles keep well in the fridge for at least a week so you can prepare them a few days earlier, but in this case, make sure you warn your receivers that their gifts will only last a limited time in the fridge. For this reason, I normally make mine close to Christmas so that the receivers have at least a few days to eat them all. That is normally not an issue though, as they are gobbled quickly :)

I’ve played around with chocolate to cream ratios a lot and I’ve found that dark chocolate based truffles do need a bit more cream to ensure they don’t set too hard. If you want to play around with your own combinations, or even just make simple chocolate truffles, then my advice would be to follow the ratios below:

  • Dark chocolate – 250g of chocolate to ½ a cup of cream
  • Milk chocolate – 250g chocolate to ⅓ a cup of cream
  • White chocolate – 250g chocolate to ⅓ a cup of cream

 
Each of these amounts will make around 24 truffles, so halve the amounts if you don’t want to make a lot. Final tip, if you are making a mix of both un-dipped and dipped truffles to gift, make the truffles that you plan to dip slightly smaller when you form the balls. The additional chocolate coating from the dipping should then make all of the truffles closer to the same size after decorating, which will make them present better when gifting them in a box or bag.

Ok. You are ready to make truffles!

 

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From top to bottom: Dark Chocolate and Orange Truffles and Peppermint and Candy Cane Truffles

 

Dark Chocolate and Orange Truffles

I created these last year with my jaffa loving best friend in mind. They were a success! The simple infusing of the cream with the orange zest leads to a strong orange flavour throughout the truffles.

Ingredients – Makes approximately 24 truffles

  • ½ cup of cream
  • Zest from one orange
  • 250g of dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • Additional 150g of dark chocolate for dipping, roughly chopped
  • Square pieces of candied orange peel to decorate

 

Directions

  1. Heat the cream over a medium to low heat on the stovetop.
  2. Once it starts to simmer, remove from the heat and add the orange zest. Let it infuse, uncovered for 30 minutes.
  3. Reheat the now infused cream back up until it starts to simmer.
  4. Remove from the heat and add the 250g of dark chocolate. Stir well until it is completely melted. Return to the heat for short periods of time to melt completely if necessary.
  5. Pour into a bowl and let it cool on the bench for at least 30 minutes, then cover with kitchen wrap or a lid and let it set completely in the fridge, preferably overnight.
  6. Once the ganache has set, take heaped teaspoon amounts and using your hands, roll them into balls. Set onto a chopping board, or a plate lined with baking paper and then return to the fridge to set hard again. This will take a few hours. Once set hard again, they can be decorated.
  7. To decorate, melt the 150g worth of dark chocolate and using a fork or wooden skewer to hold the truffle, dip each truffle into the melted chocolate, letting any excess drip off. Set back onto the lined board and place a square piece of candied peel on top.
  8. Let set in the fridge again overnight.
  9. Truffles will keep well in the fridge for at least a week.

 

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From left to right: Milk Chocolate and Passionfruit Infused Truffles (yellow sprinkles) Oreo Truffles (decorated as per below recipe) and Cognac Truffles

 

Milk Chocolate and Passionfruit Infused Truffles

These passionfruit truffles are inspired by a Heston Blumenthal tart recipe that I’ve mentioned before. They are my all time favourite truffles that I have ever made. Perhaps this year I will go the extra mile and dip them in chocolate to decorate them, but rolling them in yellow sprinkles is a great decorating cheat and the yellow kind of goes along with the passionfruit flavour.

Ingredients – Makes approximately 24 truffles

  • ⅓ cup of cream
  • Pulp and seeds from 3 passionfruit
  • 250g of milk chocolate, roughly chopped
  • Yellow sprinkles to decorate

 

Directions

  1. Heat the cream over a medium to low heat on the stovetop.
  2. Once it starts to simmer, remove from the heat and add the passionfruit pulp and seeds. Let it infuse, uncovered for 30 minutes.
  3. After 30 minutes, pass the cream through a fine sieve discarding all passionfruit seeds and pulp. Reheat the now infused cream back up until it starts to simmer.
  4. Remove from the heat and add the milk chocolate. Stir well until it is completely melted. Return to the heat for short periods of time to melt completely if necessary.
  5. Pour into a bowl and let it cool on the bench for at least 30 minutes, then cover with kitchen wrap or a lid and let it set completely in the fridge, preferably overnight.
  6. Once the ganache has set, take heaped teaspoon amounts and using your hands, roll them into balls. Immediately roll them in the sprinkles and then place onto a plate or chopping board that’s been lined with baking paper.
  7. Let set in the fridge again overnight.
  8. Truffles will keep well in the fridge for at least a week.

 

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From top to bottom: White Chocolate and Vanilla Truffles, Gingernut Truffles, Cognac Truffles and White and Lavender Truffles (purple)

 

White Chocolate and Lavender Truffles

Lavender paired with white chocolate has been a favourite of mine ever since I tried some lavender and white chocolate fudge from the Old Bus Depot Markets in Canberra. You will need food grade lavender flower buds for this. In Australia, I ordered the Herbie’s brand online from a site that has now sadly closed down. I’m sure you will be able to find them in speciality food shops though. If in Canberra, I’d try Cooking Coordinates at Belconnen Fresh Food Markets first, as they have a large range of Herbie’s spices. In Singapore I’ve seen them at a loose leaf tea shop called Wang San Tang Tea Pavillion (say that 3 times fast) in the very bottom basement of ION Orchard, near to Daiso.

I also love the purple dyed chocolate used for the dipping decoration. Last year when I made these, it was the first time I’d ever tried dying chocolate and it was very simple. Make sure you do buy food colouring specifically for chocolate though. Mine was from Cooking Coordinates and while I haven’t bought it in Singapore, I’d guess that Phoon Huat would have it.

Ingredients – Makes approximately 24 truffles

  • ⅓ cup of cream
  • 1 tbs of food grade lavender flower buds
  • 250g of white chocolate, roughly chopped
  • Additional 150g of white chocolate for dipping, roughly chopped
  • Purple chocolate food colouring

 

Directions

  1. Heat the cream over a medium to low heat on the stovetop.
  2. Once it starts to simmer, remove from the heat and add the lavender. Let it infuse, uncovered for 30 minutes.
  3. After 30 minutes, pass the cream through a fine sieve discarding all of the lavender. Reheat the now infused cream back up until it starts to simmer.
  4. Remove from the heat and add the 250g of white chocolate. Stir well until it is completely melted. Return to the heat for short periods of time to melt completely if necessary.
  5. Pour into a bowl and let it cool on the bench for at least 30 minutes, then cover with kitchen wrap or a lid and let it set completely in the fridge, preferably overnight.
  6. Once the ganache has set, take heaped teaspoon amounts and using your hands, roll them into balls. Set onto a chopping board, or a plate lined with baking paper and then return to the fridge to set hard again. This will take a few hours. Once set hard again, they can be decorated.
  7. To decorate, melt the 150g worth of white chocolate and stir in a few drops of the chocolate food colouring until a lavender colour is achieved.
  8. Using a fork or wooden skewer to hold the truffle, dip each truffle into the melted chocolate, letting any excess drip off. Set back onto the lined board.
  9. Let set in the fridge again overnight.
  10. Truffles will keep well in the fridge for at least a week.

 

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From top to bottom: Oreo Truffles (decorated in a similar way as described in the Gingernut Truffle recipe below) and Lemon and Lime White Chocolate Truffles

 

 Lemon and Lime White Chocolate Truffles

Using the jelly crystals to decorate these doesn’t give much flavour, but I think it looks pretty :)

Ingredients – Makes approximately 24 truffles

  • ⅓ cup of cream
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 250g of white chocolate, roughly chopped
  • Additional 70g of white chocolate for decorating, roughly chopped
  • lemon flavoured jelly crystals to decorate
  • lime flavoured jelly crystals to decorate

 

Directions

  1. Heat the cream over a medium to low heat on the stovetop.
  2. Once it starts to simmer, remove from the heat and add the citrus zest. Let it infuse, uncovered for 30 minutes.
  3. Reheat the now infused cream back up until it starts to simmer.
  4. Remove from the heat and add the 250g of white chocolate. Stir well until it is completely melted. Return to the heat for short periods of time to melt completely if necessary.
  5. Pour into a bowl and let it cool on the bench for at least 30 minutes, then cover with kitchen wrap or a lid and let it set completely in the fridge, preferably overnight.
  6. Once the ganache has set, take heaped teaspoon amounts and using your hands, roll them into balls. Set onto a chopping board, or a plate lined with baking paper and then return to the fridge to set hard again. This will take a few hours. Once set hard again, they can be decorated.
  7. To decorate, melt the 70g worth of white chocolate and then drizzle small amounts over the top of each truffle so that it drips down the edges slightly. Set back onto the lined board and then sprinkle even amounts of both flavours of jelly crystals over the top of them.
  8. Let set in the fridge again overnight.
  9. Truffles will keep well in the fridge for at least a week.

 

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From top to bottom: Cognac Truffles and Oreo Truffles (decorated in a similar way as described in the Gingernut Truffle recipe below)

 

Oreo Truffles

These Oreo and cream cheese truffles technically aren’t truffles, but if you’ve ever had them, you know that doesn’t matter a bit. I didn’t come up with the recipe by any means, variations are rife on the internet. The first time I had them was at a friends BBQ and I could not stop eating them. I would have eaten at least half of what was on the plate.

These are Key’s favourites so I make them every year. These don’t need to set overnight for you to shape them, so they are a great one if you have less time to prepare them. The decorations are endless and you can see pictured in this post, multiple ways that I’ve decorated them over the years. Sometimes I do them more like the gingernut truffles below and other times I just thinly drizzle them with a mix of chocolates as I’ve explained in this recipe.

Ingredients – Makes approximately 30

  • 300g of Oreo biscuits
  • 250g of cream cheese at room temperature
  • 40g of milk chocolate to decorate
  • 40g of white chocolate to decorate

 

Directions

  1. In a processor, process the Oreo biscuits in batches until they are a very fine powder. Sieve out any remaining large chunks.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the cream cheese and the biscuit crumbs. It may take a while to come together, but it will eventually. Use your hands to mix together if necessary.
  3. Take heaped teaspoon amounts and using your hands, roll them into balls and then place onto a plate or chopping board that’s been lined with baking paper.
  4. Place in the fridge to set hard. This will take a few hours. Once set hard, they can be decorated.
  5. To decorate, melt the milk chocolate and white chocolate separately. Place each batch of melted chocolate into a separate Ziploc bag or piping bag and using scissors, trim of the smallest amount of plastic from one of the corners on each bag.
  6. Leaving the truffles on the lined board, drizzle small amounts of both the white and dark chocolate over all of the truffles so that each truffle ends up with thin, decorative lines over the top of them.
  7. Let set in the fridge overnight.
  8. Truffles will keep well in the fridge for at least a week.

 

2012box

2012 Box

 

Gingernut Truffles

These were a new creation I came up with last year, obviously based on the Oreo truffles above. I’ve heard that this method also works with Tim Tams. Perhaps I should try that this year :)

Ingredients – Makes approximately 30

  • 300g of gingernut biscuits
  • 250g of cream cheese at room temperature
  • 80g of milk chocolate for decorating, roughly chopped

 

Directions

  1. In a processor, process the gingernut biscuits in batches until they are a very fine powder. Sieve out any remaining large chunks. Reserve 2 tbs worth for decoration.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the cream cheese and the rest of the biscuit crumbs. It may take a while to come together, but it will eventually. Use your hands to mix together if necessary.
  3. Take heaped teaspoon amounts and using your hands, roll them into balls and then place onto a plate or chopping board that’s been lined with baking paper.
  4. Place in the fridge to set hard. This will take a few hours. Once set hard, they can be decorated.
  5. To decorate, melt the milk chocolate and then drizzle small amounts over the top of each truffle so that it drips down the edges slightly. Set back onto the lined board and then sprinkle even amounts of the reserved, processed gingernuts over the top of each truffle.
  6. Let set in the fridge again overnight.
  7. Truffles will keep well in the fridge for at least a week.

 

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Bottom: White Chocolate and Vanilla Truffles

 

White Chocolate and Vanilla Truffles

I don’t decorate these truffles at all, as I love the look of the black vanilla speckles against the creamy white colour of the white chocolate. Key loves white chocolate and vanilla, so I’m sure you can guess who I had in mind when I made these.

Ingredients – Makes approximately 24

  • ⅓ cup of cream
  • 2 tsp of vanilla bean paste
  • 250g of white chocolate, roughly chopped

 

Directions

  1. Heat the cream over a medium to low heat on the stovetop.
  2. Once it starts to simmer, remove from the heat and add the chocolate and vanilla. Stir well until it is completely melted. Return to the heat for short periods of time to melt completely if necessary.
  3. Pour into a bowl and let it cool on the bench for at least 30 minutes, then cover with kitchen wrap or a lid and let it set completely in the fridge, preferably overnight.
  4. Once the ganache has set, take heaped teaspoon amounts and using your hands, roll them into balls and then place onto a plate or chopping board that’s been lined with baking paper.
  5. Let set in the fridge again overnight.
  6. Truffles will keep well in the fridge for at least a week.

 

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Far left: Nutella Truffles

 

Nutella Truffles

These were another new creation last year. Nutella, chocolate and a pinch of sea salt…what more can I say?

Ingredients – Makes approximately 24

  • ⅓ cup of cream
  • 220g of milk chocolate, roughly chopped
  • ⅓ cup of Nutella
  • pinch of sea salt flakes
  • chocolate rice or chocolate sprinkles to decorate

 

Directions

  1. Heat the cream over a medium to low heat on the stovetop.
  2. Once it starts to simmer, remove from the heat and add the chocolate, Nutella and salt. Stir well until it is completely melted. Return to the heat for short periods of time to melt completely if necessary.
  3. Pour into a bowl and let it cool on the bench for at least 30 minutes, then cover with kitchen wrap or a lid and let it set completely in the fridge, preferably overnight.
  4. Once the ganache has set, take heaped teaspoon amounts and using your hands, roll them into balls. Immediately roll them in the sprinkles and then place onto a plate or chopping board that’s been lined with baking paper.
  5. Let set in the fridge again overnight.
  6. Truffles will keep well in the fridge for at least a week.

 

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Middle: Peppermint and Candy Cane Truffles

 

Peppermint and Candy Cane Truffles

The peppermint flavour in candy canes obviously adds to the peppermint flavour in these truffles, but it also looks real purdy as a decoration! If you don’t have a processor then just thoroughly bash up the candy canes in a mortar and pestle or using a plastic bag and a rolling pin.

Ingredients – Makes approximately 24

  • ⅓ cup of cream
  • 1 tsp of peppermint extract
  • 250g of milk chocolate, roughly chopped
  • candy canes to decorate

 

Directions

  1. Heat the cream over a medium to low heat on the stovetop.
  2. Once it starts to simmer, remove from the heat and add the chocolate and peppermint extract. Stir well until it is completely melted. Return to the heat for short periods of time to melt completely if necessary.
  3. Pour into a bowl and let it cool on the bench for at least 30 minutes, then cover with kitchen wrap or a lid and let it set completely in the fridge, preferably overnight.
  4. Process the candy canes in a mini processor until they are the texture of fine breadcrumbs. Do this just before you need them as the resulting candy cane powder may clump together if done too far in advance.
  5. Once the ganache has set, take heaped teaspoon amounts and using your hands, roll them into balls. Immediately roll them in the crushed candy canes and then place onto a plate or chopping board that’s been lined with baking paper.
  6. Let set in the fridge again overnight.
  7. Truffles will keep well in the fridge for at least a week.

 

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Middle: Cognac Truffles and Bottom: Oreo Truffles

 

Cognac Truffles

These don’t have to be done with cognac, any brandy, whisky or scotch would be fine. You can even flavour them with an alcohol flavouring essence that you buy in the baking aisle at the supermarket. This will give you the flavour but none of the alcohol.

Ingredients – Makes approximately 24

  • ⅓ cup of cream
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp of cognac or brandy flavouring essence
  • 150g of dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 100g of milk chocolate, roughly chopped
  • cocoa powder to decorate

 

Directions

  1. Heat the cream over a medium to low heat on the stovetop.
  2. Once it starts to simmer, remove from the heat and add both of the chocolates, the nutmeg and cognac. Stir well until it is completely melted. Return to the heat for short periods of time to melt completely if necessary.
  3. Pour into a bowl and let it cool on the bench for at least 30 minutes, then cover with kitchen wrap or a lid and let it set completely in the fridge, preferably overnight.
  4. Once the ganache has set, take heaped teaspoon amounts and using your hands, roll them into balls. Immediately roll them in the cocoa powder and then place onto a plate or chopping board that’s been lined with baking paper
  5. Let set in the fridge again overnight.
  6. Truffles will keep well in the fridge for at least a week.

 

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Pictured: Gift wrapped White Chocolate Bark with Macadamias, Dried Apricots and Crystallised Ginger, Candy Cane Bark and Dark and White Chocolate Swirled Bark with Cranberries and Pistachios

 

Chocolate Barks

I always end up making these chocolate barks as they are a great way to use up leftover chocolate, including any leftovers that have set hard again from dipping and decorating. You can really go crazy with flavours here, but these are some of my favourites. I’ve left the amounts as approximates because really, you are just melting chocolate and sprinkling stuff over them. So go crazy and let me know what combinations you come up with.

Salted Pretzel Bark

Ingredients – Makes 1 bark approximately 30cm x 20cm

  • 250g of milk chocolate
  • Approximately 1 cup of pretzels
  • Pinch of sea salt flakes

 

Directions

  1. Melt the chocolate and then pour it onto a baking tray or chopping board that’s been lined with baking paper.
  2. Tilt the tray or board so that the chocolate will set in a rough rectangle shape, approximately ½ a cm in thickness.
  3. While the chocolate is still warm, place the pretzels onto the bark and push them into the chocolate slightly. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes.
  4. Let set in the fridge overnight and then break into rough chunks.
  5. Bark will keep well in the fridge for at least a week.

 

Dark and White Chocolate Swirled Bark with Cranberries and Pistachios

Ingredients – Makes 1 bark approximately 30cm x 20cm

  • 150g of dark chocolate
  • 100g of milk chocolate
  • Approximately ¼ cup of dried cranberries
  • Approximately ¼ cup of shelled pistachios, chopped into rough pieces

 

Directions

  1. Melt both of the chocolates separately and then pour the dark chocolate onto a baking tray or chopping board that’s been lined with baking paper.
  2. Tilt the tray or board so that the chocolate will set in a rough rectangle shape and then pour the white chocolate over the top of it. While it is still warm, draw a chopstick or skewer right through both chocolates to make swirling patterns all through the block.
  3. Sprinkle over the pistachios and dried cranberries.
  4. Let set in the fridge overnight and then break into rough chunks.
  5. Bark will keep well in the fridge for at least a week.

 

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From left to right: Salted Pretzel Bark, Candy Cane bark and Dark and White Chocolate Swirled Bark with Cranberries and Pistachios

 

Candy Cane Bark

I make this bark every year as it’s my sister’s favourite.

Ingredients – Makes 1 bark approximately 30cm x 20cm

  • 250g of milk chocolate
  • Approximately ½ a cup of roughly broken up candy canes

 

Directions

  1. Melt the chocolate and then pour it onto a baking tray or chopping board that’s been lined with baking paper.
  2. Tilt the tray or board so that the chocolate will set in a rough rectangle shape, approximately ½ a cm in thickness.
  3. While the chocolate is still warm, sprinkle over the crushed candy canes.
  4. Let set in the fridge overnight and then break into rough chunks.
  5. Bark will keep well in the fridge for at least a week.

 

White Chocolate Bark with Macadamias, Dried Apricots and Crystallised Ginger

This one is my favourite bark that I make.

Ingredients – Makes 1 bark approximately 30cm x 20cm

  • 250g of white chocolate
  • Approximately ½ a cup of roughly crushed macadamia nuts
  • Approximately ¼ cup of chopped, dried apricots
  • Approximately 2 tbs of chopped, crystallised ginger

 

Directions

  1. Melt the chocolate and then pour it onto a baking tray or chopping board that’s been lined with baking paper.
  2. Tilt the tray or board so that the chocolate will set in a rough rectangle shape, approximately ½ a cm in thickness.
  3. While the chocolate is still warm, sprinkle over the macadamias, apricots and ginger.
  4. Let set in the fridge overnight and then break into rough chunks.
  5. Bark will keep well in the fridge for at least a week.

 

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If you make truffles this Christmas, I’d love to see some photos. You can post them on my facebook page here  :)

 

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Hi! I’m Taryn. The Wooden Spoons is a food blog and collection of wooden spoons, recipes and stories. I’m a Canberra fan-girl with a passion for all things food. I love South East Asian food, fusion food done well and slow cooked anything. I don’t get quinoa, have a mild phobia of milk touching my skin and custard from a package freaks me out. Thanks for joining me on my cooking and food adventures.

  1. Faja Reply

    Nom, nom,nom
    I am hiding mine from Kanye this year!

  2. Vanessa Reply

    I found a recipe for salted caramel pretzel bark that I’m trying out this weekend!

    • Taryn Reply

      Oh yum! I love salted caramel SO much.

  3. Mr West Reply

    mmm delicious. Looking forward to xmas very much

    • Taryn Reply

      Me too Mr West xx

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