Truffling - Hand made Christmas gifts

For the last 20 odd years I have set aside a day and a bit before Christmas to make a selection of hand made truffles. These are then wrapped up and given to friends and family as gifts for Christmas. They also make nice gifts for kids teachers, unexpected visitors bearing gifts and as wee mindings when we go visiting during the festive season. Several years ago for one reason or another I didn't make the annual Christmas truffles and there was outcry for disappointed recipients. I usually make nine or ten different types. Although time consuming I enjoy the process, its way cheaper than the hand made truffles you can buy and they are made with love.

A collage of this years truffles in the making

Every year I introduce a new truffle and some of them are very easy to make. Here are a few of my favourites:

White Chocolate Drops
Makes 30 plus

175g white chocolate
crystallised violet and roses

Spread out a sheet of non stick baking parchment and then break 100g of chocolate into squares and put in a glass bowl. Finely chop the remaining chocolate and put aside. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and melt the chocolate. Just before it is completely melted remove from the pan of water and stir in the rest of the chopped chocolate. If necessary return to the pan to melt further.

Place teaspoonfuls of the chocolate on the baking parchment, gently pushing the chocolate into small circles. Drop a few crystallised violets or roses (or any other sprinkles you want to use) onto the discs and leave to dry. Place the sheets of chocolates in a cool place to set. Store in an air tight container for up to a month with pieces of baking parchment between layers of chocolates to stop them sticking.

Italian Truffles
Makes 24

175g plain chocolate
2 tbsp amaretto liqueur
40g unsalted butter
4 tbsp icing sugar
50g ground almonds
50g cocoa powder
edible gold dust

Melt the chocolate with the liqueur in a bowl set over a saucepan of hot water, stirring constantly until well combined. Add the sugar and stir until it has melted. Stir in the icing sugar and the
ground almonds.

Leave the mixture in a cool place until firm enough to roll into balls. Mix the edible gold dust into the cocoa powder, using enough to make the cocoa powder shimmer.

Roll the truffles in the cocoa mixture and place into paper sweet cases.

Lemon and White Chocolate Truffles
Makes 24

275g white chocolate
30g butter
100ml double cream
1 tsp natural lemon extract
1tbsp limoncello
Icing sugar to dust

Line a baking tray with parchment. Break the chocolate into small pieces and place into a mixing bowl. Place the butter and cream in a small saucepan and heat gently, stirring until the butter has melted then increase the heat.

Stir the hot cream into the chocolate and stir consistently until the chocolate has melted and combined into a glossy  mixture, Stir in the lemon essence and limoncello. Pour into the prepared tin and chill for 2 hours.

When the mixture is firm but not solid roll into balls and then roll in the icing sugar and place in paper sweet papers.

Preparing the citrus fruit to make chocolate candied fruits

Truffles drying before they get boxed up

This year the truffles are going into small cardboard boxes
tied up with  red and white string

Hopefully this has given you some ideas and inspiration for easy to make gifts not just at Christmas but at any time of year. I have boxed up the amount I need for gifts and there are still plenty left for us to eat over the festive season and share with our visitors. Here are some more home made Christmas ideas in this blog from last year