My Frugal Recipe for Handmade Truffles
- 150g of chocolate
- 5 tablespoons of icing sugar
- 3 tablespoons of stewed & strained rosehip 'juice' (or any other liquid flavouring you fancy)
- A separate 100g of chocolate (only if you are dipping the truffles - I didn't, I just dusted them)
- 1/2 tablespoonful of icing sugar & 1/2 tablespoonful of cocoa powder combined (icing sugar on its own works well with undipped truffles)
Being a frugal household, I don't usually have any sort of luxury baking items in stock, so I tend to use supermarket's own brand, which usually comes in white, plain or milk. It now costs around 30p per 100g bar but their milk chocolate contains 28% milk solids, which is about double the "minimum cocoa solids' recorded on the likes of the commercial big brand chocolate boxes, over which the current argument rages.
Melt your chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. I just put the bowl of broken chocolate pieces into the steamer, as it seems to work as well as any other method - but cover the chocolate to prevent water dripping into it.
While your chocolate is melting, sift the icing sugar into a separate bowl and then slowly combine that with your chosen flavouring. In this case, I was using the juice from stewed, foraged rose hips. The icing mix changes from a deep mango colour to a shade more like condensed milk once it's mixed with the icing sugar.
As soon as your chocolate has melted into a smooth paste, slowly pour the icing sugar mix into the bowl, stirring and blending at the same time. Your mix will lighten a few shades, regardless of whether you have used milk or plain chocolate. You can now set this aside to cool. I cover mine with cling film and put it in the fridge as soon as I can. It doesn't take too long before the truffle mix is set, so it's a good idea to keep your hot water in the pan, ready to melt the next lot of chocolate if you are making several batches or plan on covering the truffles in a second coat of chocolate.
I left this lot to set in the fridge, overnight, then shaped them into 'logs' before pressing them down with a fork. If you love chocolate and don't mind a bit of a chocolatey mess, handmade truffles are the very thing for you to try.
The above recipe is exactly the same for any frugal chocolate truffles. You can use almost any flavour you choose, be it alcoholic or otherwise, and you can powder them with just icing sugar, just cocoa powder or with a combination of the two. If necessary, improvise - sprinkle them with whatever you have available.
For added luxury, you can dip the finished truffles in a second batch of chocolate before dusting them with cocoa or icing sugar. The following are made with dark chocolate then dipped in white before dusting with cocoa powder.
In case you missed any of the previous truffle recipes, just type in 'hand made truffles' to the search box that pops up in the top right hand corner of the main website at www.scottishmultimedia.co.uk
I am planning on making some apple and chilli chocolate truffles - flavouring provided from homegrown apples and homegrown chilli peppers - but I will wait until I have dark chocolate for those.
If all else fails, a cheap alternative is just to jump on the Quality Street bandwagon and grab some bargains while you can. With prices slashed as low as £6 for 2 tubs, you can always split them up into smaller lots or gift them along with homemade snowman soup.
Feel free to join us in the Frugal Forums, where money saving and good living go hand in hand on even the strictest of budgets.