Chocolate-Cherry Truffles for Mother’s Day

by Kelly on May 6, 2011

Sunday is Mother’s Day. But you knew that…right? Well, if you didn’t, I promise not to judge. In fact, I’ll do you one better – I’ll give you an idea of something delectable you can make that for your mom, grandmother, or whoever you want to recognize and celebrate, is sure to adore.

Chocolate Cherry Truffles-3

I’m talking about chocolate truffles, because yes, it’s cliché that women love chocolate, but it’s a cliché that I am more than happy to perpetuate, because at least in the case of this woman, and the women in my family, chocolate is a very beloved ingredient. And when it comes to chocolate, I find that there are few things as universally crowd pleasing as a truffle.

Chocolate Cherry Truffles-1-2And even better, truffles can actually be really easy to make, like these Chocolate Cherry Truffles.  The center, or ganache contains just 5 ingredients – bittersweet chocolate, heavy cream, dried cherries, balsamic vinegar, and a pinch of salt.  The vinegar and salt may seem like unusual ingredients, but they both really  bring out the chocolate flavor.  The balsamic vinegar adds depth and seems to make the chocolate chocolatier, while the salt makes everything more pronounced.

And I make the truffle even easier by enrobing rolled balls of the chilled ganache in my cheater’s chocolate coating.  I call it cheater’s chocolate coating because it doesn’t involve tempering, which can be tricky.  Instead, I melt together chocolate with a bit of vegetable shortening.  It’s the same trick I use for my cookie dough truffles and it works like a charm.  It sets up with a beautiful sheen.  And to make it a little more festive, I drizzle the top with some candy melts.  I chose pink to give a nod to the cherry filling, but you could use any color that strikes your fancy.

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Make these for mother’s day and you could just find yourself in the running for best daughter or son.  You can thank me later.

Chocolate-Cherry Truffles
Adapted from Dash Magazine

Ingredients:

-22 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (I used Trader Joe’s Chocolate Callets, which are amazing and I absolutely love, but if you’re working with a standard chocolate bar, you’ll want to break it into pieces.), divided
-3/4 cup heavy cream
-1/2 cup dried cherries, finely chopped
-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
-1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
-4 ounces Wilton Candy Melts

Method:

Begin by making the ganache. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine 14 ounces of the chocolate and cream. Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in the cherries, balsamic vinegar, and salt.

Pour the mixture into an 8-inch square baking pan, then refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.

Ounce the ganache has set, Use a melon-baller or sturdy 1-tablespoon measuring spoon to scoop balls of the chocolate mixture. Place balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat and return to the refrigerator for about a half an hour, or until firm.

Add remaining chocolate to a microwave safe bowl along with the shortening. Microwave on 50% power for 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until chocolate is melted.

Remove the balls of ganache from the refrigerator and using a fork, spoon or candy dipping tools dip the ganache balls in the melted chocolate, allowing the excess to run off before placing back on the baking sheet. Repeat until all the ganache balls have been dipped.

Place the candy melts in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on 50% power in 30 second intervals until melted, stirring between cooking time. Pour into one corner of a plastic food storage bag. Snip off the tip of the corner to turn it into a piping bag and drizzle candy melts over truffles in desired pattern.

Refrigerate truffles for at least 2 hours before serving.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Victoria (District Chocoholic) May 6, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Dried cherries and dark chocolate are just about the best combination ever.

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Liz @ Blog is the New Black May 6, 2011 at 12:32 pm

These are gorgeous!

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Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living May 6, 2011 at 12:40 pm

So pretty! I love chocolate and cherries together, and the pink drizzle brings it all together beautifully. I’m intrigued by the addition of balsamic vinegar!

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Kitten with a Whisk May 6, 2011 at 12:42 pm

These look gorgeous! I’m afraid if I made them, my mom wouldn’t even get a chance to eat them before I gobble them up.

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Maria May 6, 2011 at 12:44 pm

A great treat for Mother’s day!

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Kelly May 6, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Victoria – I agree! For me, it’s right up there with dark chocolate and bananas, or less conventionally, milk chocolate & bacon. 🙂

Liz – Thank you. 🙂

Lauren – I loved the balsamic vinegar addition. I’m definitely intrigued by it as well. I’m thinking I may try to incorporate it into more of my chocolate baked goods like brownies or ice creams. One of these days I ought to do a side by side comparison to see what it really adds.

Kitten with Whisk – I fully understand that concern. Thankfully I will say for me it was solved by licking the bowl & spatula. 🙂

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Shannon May 6, 2011 at 2:09 pm

LOVE the balsamic and dried cherries in the center!!! i’m sure my mom would love these as much as i would 🙂

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Kelly May 6, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Maria & Shannon – Thanks. 🙂

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5 Star Foodie May 6, 2011 at 11:39 pm

Chocolate and cherries is the best combo, this is a terrific treat for Mother’s day.

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Carolyn Jung May 7, 2011 at 4:15 pm

The tiny bit of vegetable shortening is a genius trick. I bet it makes the chocolate easy to work with and very glossy.

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Kerstin May 7, 2011 at 7:25 pm

Gorgeous and so flavorful with that balsamic in there – wish I was enjoying one of these right now 🙂

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Mary May 9, 2011 at 11:39 am

These are almost a work of art. They look delicious and couldn’t be any prettier. I always enjoy my visits to your blog. You’ve created a wonderful spot for your readers and I always enjoy my stop here. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

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Katherine: Unemployed May 9, 2011 at 12:23 pm

how gorgeous! I have never thought to make truffles in this way but you do a great job! where do you get your inspiration?

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Sues May 9, 2011 at 10:22 pm

Mmm these actually remind me of my dad because he loves chocolate and cherries. Father’s Day is coming up but my dad recently gave up sweets, darn it! These look absolutely beautiful 🙂

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The Duo Dishes May 10, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Love these pictures! You don’t even need to order a beautiful truffle box if you can make them this well. How cute.

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Kelly May 10, 2011 at 1:19 pm

5 star foodie – I agree. It’s one of my favorite combos; whether it’s in ice cream, cookies, or a truffle. I love it.

Carolyn – Thanks. I have to admit that while it’s a helpful trick it’s probably keeping me from learning how to temper chocolate the right way since I’m just inclined to keep doing it this way since it works well and it’s easy, one of these days I’ll get tempering right though.

Kerstin – I agree! I’m loving the balsamic add. It really enhances the fruit and chocolate flavors. I’m starting to wonder what would happen if I added it to more things – like chocolate pudding or chocolate frosting or brownies.

Mary – Thank you. You’re making me blush.

Katherine – Great question. My inspiration comes from everywhere. Sometimes I eat a dish at a restaurant and HAVE to make it at home. Other times I’m just poking around at the farmers’ market and a combo comes to me. I guess the answer is, anywhere and everywhere!

Sues – These are gender neutral. I think they would be equally lovely for a dad. You could certainly keep the pink drizzles or opt for something a bit more manly. Given that we have butch bakery, which makes cupcakes for men (http://www.butchbakery.com/) I am sure there are some ways these could be made more masculine, maybe a bit of a camo pattern. 😉

Duo Dishes – Thanks. I have to admit, they are much more fun to make than to buy.

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Jessica May 11, 2011 at 1:48 am

These look fabulous! Do you mail truffles?! ;-P

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