Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and that means that I, for one, start taking chocolate a little more seriously than I do other times of the year. Chocolate is practically synonymous with Valentine’s Day and a gift of homemade chocolate is a wonderful way to show someone that you care. Chocolate truffles are always a good choice because they are straightforward to make and don’t require any special molds or tools. These Champagne White Chocolate Truffles are fit for any special occasion, as they combine two of the most romantic foods you can eat: champagne and chocolate.
I happen to love the creamy, vanilla notes of good quality white chocolate, the kind that is made with real cocoa butter. That said, I know that white chocolate isn’t everyone’s favorite. White chocolate really works here, however, because champagne has such a delicate flavor and needs a milder chocolate to help it come through. High quality white chocolate is the only way to go here and I used Callebaut’s Blanc Satin, which has a lovely flavor and a cacao percentage (all cocoa butter, of course, since there are no cocoa solids in white chocolate) of just under 30%. The champagne is infused into the truffles after reducing it on the stovetop. Reducing the champagne intensifies its flavor and brings out some of the fruity, nutty and bready notes that you often find in champagne. Feel free to use leftover champagne, as the bubbles will cook out during the reduction process.
The truffles are made with butter, rather than with cream, which gives them an incredibly silky mouthfeel and a very nice texture. If the mixture is not hot enough to melt the white chocolate completely as you are making the ganache, simply pop it into the microwave for 20 seconds to help it along. Allow the ganache to set up overnight before forming the truffles. I aimed to make these bite-size and this batch yielded 30 truffles. The finished candies can be rolled in confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, white sprinkles or chopped nuts to finish them off.
Champagne White Chocolate Truffles
250 g white chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup (112 grams) butter, room temperature
1 oz (30 grams) champagne reduction*
Place white chocolate in a medium bowl (pref. a microwave-safe bowl).
In a small saucepan or a microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter and bring it just to a boil. Pour over white chocolate. Add in champagne reduction. Allow mixture to sit for 20 seconds to start melting the chocolate, then stir gently using a spatula until the mixture starts to come together into a uniform ganache. If chunks of chocolate remain, warm the mixture in the microwave for 20 seconds before stirring until smooth.
Allow ganache to set up at room temperature overnight (or for at least 6 hours) before shaping into bite-size balls.
Roll balls between the palms of your hands to smooth them out, then roll in confectioners’ sugar, sprinkles or chopped nuts, as desired.
Makes about 30.
*To make the champagne reduction, cook 120 grams/4 oz of champagne and reduce it to 1 oz. Set aside to cool to room temperature.