These melt-in-your-mouth soft, velvety, decadent, fruity Chocolate Champagne Truffles are easy and less messy to make with no rolling, scooping or shaping involved. They are dusted with cocoa powder for a touch of flavor and easy handling, or with gold luster dust for a touch of extravagance, perfect for celebrations!
The end of December is always a little special to me, because it’s not only the end of the year, it’s also our wedding anniversary! There are definitely a lot of things I’d change about my wedding, but certainly not the guy I got to share it with, and that new chapter in our lives that we embarked upon together. 🙂 So here’s to new chapters, new beginnings, and of course a brand new year to all my lovely readers!
Taste testing for a good chocolate combination that complements my favorite bubbly!
And what better way to sign off this year and welcome 2018 than with a sweet little treat – these melt-in-your-mouth, soft, velvety, decadent and easy Chocolate Champagne Truffles!
These will be PERFECT for your end of year/new year’s eve parties, and even for Valentine’s day celebrations too.
Even though champagne and chocolate seem like a match made in heaven, there is some debate about the best way to pair these two. So it’s good to get an idea about the chocolate and the bubbly that you will be using to make these chocolate champagne truffles. Even though I love dark chocolate truffles, champagne pairs rather poorly with dark chocolate. Brut champagne (dry champagne) with chocolate tends to bring out very acidic and bitter notes. So the recommendation is to use a sweeter champagne, or a sweeter sparkling wine like spumante, cava, prosecco or a sparking red wine. Milk chocolate or white chocolate will be better at mingling with the flavors of a sparkling wine, so I decided to go with milk chocolate for this chocolate truffles recipe instead of white chocolate.
K and I actually tested several chocolate and champagne pairings to find out what combination we liked the best. I tested the flavor of Asti with two of my favorite chocolates – Callebaut milk chocolate and dark chocolate. I wouldn’t have minded using Lindt milk or dark chocolate either. Another good option would be Ghirardelli chocolate.
How to separate the chocolate truffles without messing up the shape of them.
Since Asti tastes quite fruity with grape, peach and elderberry flavors, the milk chocolate complemented that flavor profile really well. The dark chocolate was OK with it, but the sweetness of the champagne was lost with the deep, rich, bitter flavor of dark chocolate. So I decided to go with milk chocolate, which is sweeter than dark, but it enhances the flavor of the champagne well too. I added just a little dark chocolate to the truffles to balance the sweetness of the truffles too, but made sure that the milk chocolate is the main flavor.
On a side note, lately, I’ve been a teensy bit obsessed with South Korean dramas, and in one of the shows I saw that the characters were eating the softest chocolate truffles that were cut into squares instead of balls. And instead of being dipped in chocolate, these truffles were simply dusted with cocoa powder. After some internet sleuthing, I found out that these chocolates are called Nama chocolate and are legendary in Japan and parts of East Asia. So inspired by that, I decided to make these chocolate champagne truffles the same way! 🙂
Alright, so important questions first – how do you make chocolate truffles without making a mess?
Instead of scooping, shaping and dipping truffles, I prefer a different way of making these truffles. I just set the mix in a pan and then once it’s chilled, I cut it into squares instead. Super easy. Of course there’s nothing wrong with round/shaped truffles (that is the more traditional after all), and I do make truffles that way too (like these dark chocolate rum truffles or these bourbon gingerbread truffles). But these chocolate champagne truffles can be softer compared to those made with dark chocolate, so for that reason, these will be easier to cut into squares or shapes, rather than rolling them into balls. For Nama lookalike truffles, you can simply dust the surface with cocoa powder. With just a light dusting, these chocolate truffles looked just as elegant as Nama truffles.
However, I wanted to coat these champagne truffles completely so that they weren’t sticky even after they softened. I also decided to coat them with a mix of cocoa powder and gold luster dust to give them a bright, beautiful shimmer! That gold luster dust makes these chocolate truffles look fancy and extra special, perfect for celebrations like a new year, wedding, birthday, anniversary, valentine’s day etc. Use dutch cocoa powder or a good-quality cocoa powder instead of regular natural cocoa powder, because you don’t want to add the bitterness of natural cocoa powder to these decadent champagne truffles. Supermarket natural cocoa powder has a very bitter taste that will interfere with the flavor of these champagne truffles. However, dutch processed cocoa powder or a good-quality cocoa powder like Callebaut or Valrhona cocoa would be an even better option.
These chocolate champagne truffles are cut using a warm, sharp knife. Make sure to wipe the blade after every cut to ensure beautiful, clean cuts. After you cut it, refrigerate/ freeze the truffles for a few minutes so that the cut edges firm up again and it’ll be easier to separate the truffles. These are then coated with cocoa powder.
After coating the truffles with cocoa powder, you can either serve them like that, OR you can dust the surface with a touch of gold luster dust for a truly celebratory look! Use a small dry paint brush to dust the surface with gold luster dust. I also tried brushing the surface with gold luster dust dissolved in a little vodka (as a paint), but that didn’t work too well, and I preferred just dusting it. I dusted half the truffles with the gold luster dust, and kept the other half with just the cocoa powder dusting.
The cocoa powder dusted truffles can be packed on top of each other. However, the gold dusted truffles are better kept in a single layer so as not to disturb/stain the gold dusted surface.
What do these chocolate champagne truffles taste like?
In one word – addictive. The fruity flavor of the champagne lingers after the initial rich chocolate flavor, and the cocoa dusting balances the sweetness of the chocolate truffles. And they are delightfully creamy and melt-in-your-mouth smooth in texture.
These chocolate champagne truffles are best stored in the fridge. It should be OK to leave these at room temp during the winter, but on a hot summer day, these truffles may soften up a bit too much. If you are able to, leave the truffles outside just for a few minutes before serving. You can really taste the chocolate and fruity notes when the truffles aren’t too cold. Since they are coated with cocoa powder, they should still be easier to pick up and eat at room temperature, however if you’re serving these on a hot/ humid summer day, I recommend serving them with some cocktail fork picks (sturdier than regular toothpicks).
These champagne truffles are PERFECT celebratory treats! You can serve these with the same champagne that you used to make them too. I paired my chocolate champagne truffles with this gorgeous Gold Shimmery Champagne Cocktail, which I made with the same champagne used for the chocolate truffles.
Plus, with no rolling, scooping or shaping involved, these champagne truffles are SO easy to make and not too messy. That’s a BIG plus in my book. 🙂 The added extravagance from the gold luster dust is not only appropriate for celebrations, but will even make your guests think that you bought these from a fancy chocolate store!
Chocolate Champagne Truffles
- 340 g milk chocolate callets or finely chopped
- 60 g semi-sweet chocolate about 50-55% cocoa, callets or finely chopped
- ⅓ cup champagne please see blog post about choosing the right champagne
- 2 tbsp cream
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp St Germain liqueur or brandy please see notes
- ½ cup Callebaut cocoa powder OR Dutch cocoa powder
- Food grade gold luster dust
- Butter and line a 6 x 6 inch square pan with parchment paper or wax paper. You can also use a 7 x 7 inch pan or a 9 x 4 inch bread loaf pan as well. Straight sides are preferred, but not required.
- Place the chocolate, champagne, cream, and salt in a heat-proof bowl or metal bowl.
- Add a few inches of water into a pot and bring the water to a simmer on the stove. Place the bowl on top of the saucepan and melt the chocolate with all the ingredients (double boiler method). Stir continuously until you have a smooth mix, with only a few small unmelted pieces of chocolate remaining.
- Remove the chocolate from the heat and add the butter and liqueur. Stir until the small pieces of chocolate and butter are completely melted and incorporated into the chocolate mix.
- Pour the chocolate mix into the prepared pan.
- Cover the pan (to protect the chocolate from fridge odors), and refrigerate overnight. Alternatively, you can place the pan in the freezer for about 4 hours. Make sure to keep the pan in a completely flat position.
- When the chocolate has set, gently lift/remove the chocolate from the pan (lift the parchment paper). Using a warm, dry knife cut the truffles into 20 - 25 square pieces. Warm the knife by dipping it in warm water and then wipe it dry, OR use a blow torch to warm the blade. Clean the blade between each cut.
- Return the truffles into the freezer for about 10 - 15 minutes to firm up the cut edges. When the chocolate has set, carefully peel off the parchment paper from the bottom. Carefully separate the chocolate truffles along the cut edges.
To Serve (Nama-style chocolate truffles)
- Place all the truffles close together on a flat plate or pan. Place the cocoa powder in a small sieve and dust the tops of the truffles with a thin layer of the cocoa powder.
- Optional - place about 1/8th of a tsp of gold luster dust in the small sieve and gently tap over the truffles for a light splatter of gold luster dust. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
To Serve (second method)
- Coat each truffle in the cocoa powder on all sides. Gently shake the excess cocoa powder off the truffles. Repeat with all the truffles.
- With half of the truffles - place a cocoa dusted truffle on a small plate. With a dry paint brush, dust off the excess cocoa powder from the surface.
- With a clean, dry brush, pick up a little gold luster dust, and apply a thin dusting of gold luster dust on the top of each truffle.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Tips & Tricks
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