The finest handmade chocolate shop in the East End is chock-a-block with small mountains of truffles and pralines as well as divine hot chocolates topped with yet more shaved chocolate! So when the owner, Fatou, agreed to give me the recipe for their signature flambé truffles, I was over the moon – you cannot beat these for decadent petits fours or handmade gifts. Just be sure to use very good quality chocolate. The recipe makes about 45 truffles – it sounds a lot but you can make a batch with half of the ganache and freeze the remainder for another occasion. These are best made the day before serving as the mixture needs to rest.
Put the cream in a saucepan and set on medium-low heat. Bring to the boil, then take the saucepan off the heat and add the chocolate. Stir very gently until the chocolate has completely melted into the cream. To flambé or flame the cognac, pour it into a small saucepan and put over a medium-low heat. Warm it until bubbles start to form at the side of the pan, then light it with a long match and take off the heat immediately. Let the alcohol burn off, keeping a saucepan lid handy to put out the flames once they turn from blue to yellow, as they can get quite high! Stir the cognac into the chocolate mixture until it’s combined. Place the ganache in the fridge for at least three or four hours and preferably overnight. Bring the ganache out of the fridge and scoop out teaspoonfuls, rolling them lightly into balls between your palms.
At Dark Sugars they dip the truffles in tempered chocolate and then into cocoa powder. At home, I like to roll them straight in the cocoa powder. Either way, put them in the fridge for at least 15 minutes before serving.
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