These were a huge hit on the school run with my team of taste testers! We've already made several batches and given them as gifts. You can package them in giftboxes, jars, cellophane bags or put them on sticks for individually wrapped treats.
Salted Caramel Truffles
110g caster sugar
30ml/2 Tblsp water
200g dark chocolate, roughly chopped (I used 72% dark chocolate)
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
½ tsp salt
Put the sugar and water in a small saucepan over a low heat. Cook, stirring, until sugar has completely dissolved. Increase the heat to medium and allow the mixture to boil. Cook for about 8-10 minutes or until the mixture turns a rich caramel colour. Add cream and stir until combined then remove from heat and let any bubbles subside. Add the chopped chocolate, vanilla and salt, stirring until the chocolate has completely melted and you have a smooth mixture.
Transfer to a bowl, cover with clingfilm then leave to chill in the fridge for about half an hour to an hour or until firm. Line an oven tray with non-stick baking paper. I use a melon baller, but you can use a teaspoon and damp hands, to roll about 1 - 2 teaspoons of the mixture into small balls. Repeat until all the mixture has been used up then put the tray into the fridge to chill again so the truffles can firm up.
Basic Chocolate Ganache
200g dark or milk chocolate, roughly chopped
150ml double cream
Heat the cream until almost boiling, remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until you have a smooth mixture. Add a little liqueur or flavouring if you like. Leave to cool until thickened, you can refrigerate the mixture if you are in a hurry. Line an oven tray with non-stick baking paper. I use a melon baller, but you can use a teaspoon and damp or cocoa powder covered hands, to roll about 1 - 2 teaspoons of the mixture into small balls. Repeat until all the mixture has been used up then put the tray into the fridge to chill again so the truffles can firm up.
Covering/Dipping the truffles
Put 200g of chopped chocolate into a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Do not let the water touch the bottom of the bowl. You want the chocolate to melt slowly and not get too hot. Stir the chocolate occasionally until it has melted and is completely smooth. Dip each truffle into the chocolate, making sure it is well coated, tap off the excess then put it back onto the chilled tray. Repeat until all the truffles have been dipped. Decorate the top of each truffle with festive sprinkles if you want. Set aside until the chocolate has set.