Valentines Day is supposed to give you an reason to shower your loved on with something special to let them know you (still) kinda fancy them. What a bunch of balls (in this case chocolate balls), if you love someone tell them every day.
I think this message is conveyed particularly well by Erin Ollila on The Lady Project Blog, who tells us (in an open letter to her daughter):
"Every day is Valentine’s Day. Live your life so that every day is spent celebrating the love in your heart."
Rant about Valentines over, if you fancy marking the occasion on the 14th (or any other day) with balls of rich, chocolatey goodness then this is the recipe for you.
8oz milk chocolate
4oz heavy cream
Blitz the chocolate in a food processor into a fine powder, or at least give it a good chopping with a knife. Melting the chocolate from a fine chopped or blitzed form has it melt a lot more consistently in the warm cream, making a much smoother truffle with an even, chocolatey consistency.
Warm the cream in a pan over a medium heat. You want it to be very warm but don't let it boil or begin to bubble. If you want to flavour the truffle this is when you would add your choice of flavour. Some flavour ideas are: brandy, rum, orange zest, peppermint essence or chili.
Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate in a large bowl and stir. You want to stir gently but being sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl so that all the chocolate is melted into the cream- a rubber spatula is best for this job.
When the chocolate is melted and the cream turned a silky, rich brown colour, pop it in the fridge to set. Allow it to fully cool for at least 5 hours, or ideally overnight.
When the chocolate is completely firm, get your coating plates prepared. My favourites are cocoa powder, shredded coconut and flaked almonds- although you really can use anything you like.
Other idea for coatings are a little sprinkle of sea salt or chili flakes (don't roll the truffles in these, just a little sprinkle on a naked truffle will do), grated white chocolate, orange zest, or a shell of melted chocolate- form and cool the truffles again before dunking in liquid chocolate and swiftly popping somewhere cool to set.
Use a teaspoon to scoop a blob of chocolate truffle from the bowl and roll quickly in your hands to form a more uniform shape (if you wish, or leave them in rustic quenelles).
It's best of your hands are cool to roll the truffles so they don't melt. If your hands run particularly warm, you can cool them by rinsing them with cold water before drying throughly.
Drop each truffle into one of the plates and roll, applying a little bit of pressure so that the coating sticks to the truffle. Move the coated truffle to a baking sheet covered in parchment or wax paper. If you find you're working slowly or the room is warm, move the pan to the fridge every now and again.
Store the truffles in the fridge, and advise any lucky recipients it's best to do the same... or eat them quickly to avoid the need for cool storage!
The chocolates will remain fresh in the fridge for a week, although the chance of them actually lasting that long is slim!