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RECIPE

How to Make Chocolate Truffles for Easter

If you are looking for a fun alternative to Easter eggs, why not try Swedish chocolate truffles. They are delicious, easy to make and kids can help you make these delightful sweets. Food writer John Duxbury shares his recipe with The Local.

How to Make Chocolate Truffles for Easter
Chocolate Truffles. Photo: John Duxbury

This little indulgence takes less than an hour to make and you can play around with different coatings, mixtures and toppings. 

Summary

Makes: 30 to 40 truffles

Preparation: 30 minutes

Cooking: 20 minutes

Total: 50 minutes (plus 20 minutes to cool)

Ingredients

200g dark chocolate (70 percent cocoa)

45g butter, cut into small cubes

60g crystallised (candied) ginger

1 orange, zest only

180g double (heavy) cream

70g ight muscovado sugar

a pinch of sea salt

300g milk chocolate, broken into squares

2 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted

Method

1. Cut the dark chocolate into very small pieces and add the diced butter. Put in a large heat proof bowl.

2. Cut the crystallised ginger into small cubes and add the orange zest. Put it into another heat proof bowl.

3. Heat the cream and sugar together over a medium heat stirring continuously until it comes to the boil. Allow to simmer for a minute, then remove from the heat and leave to cool for a couple of minutes.

4. Pour the cream and sugar mixture on to the chocolate and butter, then stir with a fork until smooth. Add a pinch of salt and stir again.

Mixture of cream, sugar with chocolate and butter. Photo: John Duxbury

5. Pour half the mixture on to the ginger and orange and stir to mix.

6. Allow both mixtures to cool, then cover and refrigerate for about an hour until set, but not too hard.

7. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the truffle mixture, then mould/roll it by hand into balls. Return your truffles to the fridge to keep cold.

8. Put 200g of the milk chocolate into a heatproof bowl over, but not touching a pan of simmering water and allow to melt. Remove the bowl from the heat and add the rest of the chocolate. Stir with a fork until evenly mixed and all the chocolate has melted.

9. Sieve the cocoa powder on to a plate.

10. When the temperature of the milk chocolate reaches 33°C (91°F), dip each of the plain truffles into the milk chocolate and using two teaspoons roll them around to coat them and then transfer them on to a piece of greaseproof paper to set.

11. Repeat step 10 for the ginger and orange truffles but immediately after coating with the milk chocolate roll them in the cocoa mixture, using another couple of teaspoons. Once evenly coated transfer them on to a piece of grease proof paper to set.

Tips

• Although you could make a smaller number of truffles than recommended here, we think it is better to make a large batch and freeze some for a later date.
• If you make two types and freeze them, make a note on the box to say which have been dusted with cocoa powder.
• The ideal temperature for the milk chocolate coating in step 10 is 31°C, but we have suggested 33°C to give you time to coat all the truffles. If the chocolate is too hot it will be too runny and if it gets too cold it will be too thick and sticky to coat the truffles well. Also, if the chocolate is too hot it will bloom and so the truffles will not look as nice. One of the reasons that many chocolate truffle recipes use a coating of cocoa powder, sugar or chopped nuts is to hide any bloom!

Recipe courtesy of John Duxbury, Editor and Founder of Swedish Food.

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The three tasty treats that make spring in Sweden a forager’s dream

Although parts of Sweden are still under snow at this time of year, spring is in full swing here in Skåne in the south of Sweden. Here are The Local's top tips for what you can forage in the great outdoors this season.

The three tasty treats that make spring in Sweden a forager's dream

You might already have your go-to svampställe where you forage mushrooms in autumn, but mushrooms aren’t the only thing you can forage in Sweden. The season for fruits and berries hasn’t quite started yet, but there is a wide range of produce on offer if you know where to look.

Obviously, all of these plants grow in the wild, meaning it’s a good idea to wash them thoroughly before you use them. You should also be respectful of nature and of other would-be foragers when you’re out foraging, and make sure not to take more than your fair share to ensure there’s enough for everyone.

As with all foraged foods, only pick and eat what you know. The plants in this guide do not look similar to any poisonous plants, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry – or ask someone who knows for help.

Additionally, avoid foraging plants close to the roadside or in other areas which could be more polluted. If you haven’t tried any of these plants before, start in small doses to make sure you don’t react negatively to them.

Wild garlic plants in a park in Alnarpsparken, Skåne. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Wild garlic

These pungent green leaves are just starting to pop up in shady wooded areas, and may even hang around as late as June in some areas. Wild garlic or ramsons, known as ramslök in Swedish, smell strongly of garlic and have wide, flat, pointed leaves which grow low to the ground.

The whole plant is edible: leaves, flowers and the bulbs underground – although try not to harvest too many bulbs or the plants won’t grow back next year.

The leaves have a very strong garlic taste which gets weaker once cooked. Common recipes for wild garlic include pesto and herb butter or herbed oil, but it can generally be used instead of traditional garlic in most recipes. If you’re cooking wild garlic, add it to the dish at the last possible moment so it still retains some flavour.

You can also preserve the flower buds and seed capsules as wild garlic capers, known as ramslökskapris in Swedish, which will then keep for up to a year.

Stinging nettles. Wear gloves when harvesting these to protect yourself from their needles. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Stinging nettles

Brännässlor or stinging nettles need to be cooked before eating to remove their sting, although blanching them for a couple of seconds in boiling water should do the trick. For the same reason, make sure you wear good gardening gloves when you pick them so you don’t get stung.

Nettles often grow in the same conditions as wild garlic – shady woodlands, and are often regarded as weeds.

The younger leaves are best – they can get stringy and tough as they get older.

A very traditional use for brännässlor in Sweden is nässelsoppa, a bright green soup made from blanched nettles, often topped with a boiled or poached egg.

Some Swedes may also remember eating stuvade nässlor with salmon around Easter, where the nettles are cooked with cream, butter and milk. If you can’t get hold of nettles, they can be replaced with spinach for a similar result.

You can also dry nettles and use them to make tea, or use blanched nettles to make nettle pesto.

Kirskål or ground elder, another popular foraged green for this time of year.
Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Ground elder

Ground elder is known as kirskål in Swedish, and can be used much in the same way as spinach. It also grows in shady areas, and is an invasive species, meaning that you shouldn’t be too worried about foraging too much of it (you might even find some in your garden!).

It is quite common in parks and old gardens, but can also be found in wooded areas. The stems and older leaves can be bitter, so try to focus on foraging the tender, younger leaves.

Ground elder has been cultivated in Sweden since at least 500BC, and has been historically used as a medicinal herb and as a vegetable. This is one of the reasons it can be found in old gardens near Swedish castles or country homes, as it was grown for use in cooking.

Kirskål is available from March to September, although it is best eaten earlier in the season.

As mentioned, ground elder can replace spinach in many recipes – you could also use it for pesto, in a quiche or salad, or to make ground elder soup.

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