Devilishly dark chocolate liquorice truffles – perfect for Halloween

Dark chocolate liquorice truffles. This chic yet demonly dark and indulgent treat is perfect as part of a Halloween table. One for the adults perhaps but why should we miss out on all the fun? Liquorice powder, alongside vanilla and coffee, work to bring out the intense chocolate flavour. A word of reassurance for liquorice loathers; don’t worry it isn’t overwhelming, it just makes the chocolate so much richer. If you’re a big fan of the anise flavoured treacly treat, add to the intensity and increase the amount, why not?

I love making truffles. It is a process and a little fiddly at times, but once you get the hang of it, they are so rewarding to make and one of the most impressive to share. A chocoholic’s dream.

These are seriously addictive; one will never be enough. Chocolate on chocolate, oh so ghoulishly good.

Dark chocolate liquorice truffles

Ingredients

For the truffle

500g chocolate (I divide this between 300g of dark chocolate and 200g of milk chocolate)

200ml double cream

10g liquorice powder

¼ tsp salt

3 tbsp freshly brewed strong coffee

½ tsp vanilla extract

For the finishing touches

300g chocolate (200g dark chocolate and 100g milk chocolate)

3 liquorice twists, chopped into very small pieces

Coarse sea salt (to sprinkle over each truffle)

This will make about 30 truffles. Once made, they will keep for about a week in the fridge.

Method for dark chocolate liquorice truffles

Make a cup of strongly brewed coffee and leave to one side to cool slightly.

Finely chop the chocolate. Add to a glass or metal bowl (something that is heat proof).

Add the double cream to the bowl. Place the bowl on top of a pan with gently simmering water on a low heat. This will melt the chocolate gently and is a good way to avoid the mixture getting too hot and splitting or burning. (A very sad end to a promising food adventure).

Stir the chocolate and cream occasionally. If it looks like the bowl is getting too hot, lift it out of the saucepan and stir the mixture.  Then return to the heat until the chocolate has completely melted into the cream. It will look luxuriously smooth and glossy. It should take about 10 minutes.

Take 3 tbsp of the coffee and add to a small bowl. Add the liquorice powder, vanilla extract and salt to the coffee and stir to combine.

Add the coffee/liquorice mixture to the chocolate ganache (chocolate and cream mixture) and stir to combine.

Dampen a sheet of parchment paper, scrunch and remove excess water. Place the paper right on top of the ganache. This will help the mixture forming a firm layer when refrigerated.

Place in the fridge and cool for about 2 hours.

Take the truffles out of the fridge and using a melon baller or teaspoon, take small amounts of the chilled ganache and gently roll into a ball and place on a lined baking sheet. (This is a bit of a messy affair so keep a bowl of soapy water and towel nearby).

Put the truffles into the fridge to set a little. Approx. 10-15 minutes.

While this is happening, melt the chocolate for the coating. The easiest way to temper chocolate without a thermometer is to use the microwave. Break the chocolate into small chunks. Put about 2/3 of the chocolate into a heat-proof bowl and melt the chocolate in short bursts. Every 30 secs check the mixture and stir occasionally.

When the chocolate has just melted, add in the remaining 1/3 of the chocolate and stir to combine until the chocolate pieces melt into the rest of the mixture. By doing this it will reduce the temperature of the chocolate and make it better to work with.  

Prepare a sheet pan/or wire rack with some non-stick parchment paper on the top. Take the truffles out of the fridge.

One by one, balance a truffle on a fork and with your other hand spoon some of the melted chocolate over the truffle, ensuring that you cover the whole thing. Tap off the excess chocolate and place on the parchment paper. Repeat.

The chocolate dries very quickly, so do a few then add some of the finely chopped liquorice pieces. Then after another minute or so add on the sea salt. (If you do this too early, the salt will just disintegrate into the chocolate. This won’t change the taste, but it will alter the finished look of the truffle and also will lose the crunchy texture).

Looking for more Halloween inspiration? Try my Halloween cupcakes – matcha mash

On the look out for other liquorice recipes? Try Nigella’s liquorice pudding or maybe try BBC Good Food’s recommendations