Richly decadent, these melt-in-your-mouth chocolates make the perfect post-prandial treat or just-a-thought gift. They're deceptively easy to make and will sate even the most demanding chocolate fiend. Even better, they're endlessly customisable. Alcohol of some sort is the classic addition, à la rum truffles, and I'm partial to a splash of aniseedy absinthe. But you can go with whatever flavourings you like; I've had success in the past with rose, black pepper, pine, thyme, and several nutty varieties.
The only major danger with these truffles is that the ganache may split when you combine the chocolate and the cream, but this is virtually always avoided by adding the chocolate to the cream and not vice versa. (Psst! You can still rescue a split ganache by putting an electric whisk to it; a dribble of liquid glucose/golden syrup can also sometimes help the un-splitting process).
Dark Chocolate Truffles
150g vegan dark chocolate, roughly chopped
3 tbsp flavourless coconut oil
125ml non-sweet soy cream
Seeds of 1 vanilla pod
2-3 tbsp caster sugar (to taste)
3-4 tbsp of your alcohol of choice; or your choice of other flavourings
A small pinch of ground sea salt
4 tbsp cocoa powder (or chopped nuts, icing sugar, etc.)
1./ Add the chocolate and coconut oil to a bain marie (or a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water) and, stirring occasionally, melt till smooth. Stir in the ground sea salt.
2./ Heat the cream with the sugar in another saucepan till just hot. Remove from the heat and stir in the alcohol (or any other flavourings) and vanilla seeds.
3./ Slowly pour the melted chocolate into the cream, stirring as you do. You should end up with a beautifully smooth and glossy ganache. Leave to cool, then cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight.
4./ Once the ganache is set, tip the cocoa powder out into a dish. Take out tablespoon-sized blobs and roll into balls, then roll these in the cocoa powder. Store in an airproof container in a cool, dry place.