These truffles have a deep chocolatey flavor with a little bit of background tanginess from the champagne. Their texture is firm but just as creamy and melt-in-your-mouth as you could hope for.
Despite my love for making and eating truffles, I don’t really love rolling them into little balls. It’s just one of those kitchen tasks that I try to avoid (we all have them, right?).
So instead of making truffle balls, I make my truffles slightly firmer in texture and then slice them into cubes. They lose the roly-poly truffle look, but something about the neat edges feels so festive to me.
I also use edible gold leaf on these champagne truffles, which ups the fanciness factor considerably. But even if you skip that extra gilding, these truffles, dusted simply in cocoa, are still impressive and most importantly, delicious.
Edible gold leaf isn’t tough to work with and I buy mine from Amazon. I like the loose sheets sold by Barnabas Blattgold the best. I apply the leaf using a clean, dry paintbrush, which I've dedicated to kitchen tasks. Make sure the area on the surface of the truffle where you want to apply the gold leaf is free of cocoa powder since the gold needs something tacky to adhere to.
Champagne Chocolate Truffles
- 20 ounces chopped dark chocolate or quality dark chocolate chips
- 8 ounces (1 cup) heavy cream
- Pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup champagne or sparkling wine (sparkling or flat, either is fine)
- 3 to 4 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
- Edible gold leaf, optional
Prep the pan:
Lightly butter an 8-inch loaf pan and line with a sling of parchment paper, leaving a few inches of overhang on two sides. The butter will help the parchment paper stick to the pan without slipping.
Make the chocolate:
Combine the chocolate, cream, and a pinch of salt in a heatproof bowl and set it over a pan of simmering water. Make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir the mixture over the heat until just melted and smooth.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the champagne.
Chill the chocolate block:
Scrape the chocolate into the prepared loaf pan with a spatula and smooth the surface. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours, until set firmly (there will still be some slight give, which is good).
Slice the truffles
Warm a knife in hot water, dry it off, and then run it around the rim of the pan to loosen the chocolate block. Lift out the block using the parchment sling.
Trim the ends of the truffle to square them off if you want. (And save the trimmings for yourself!) Cut the block in half through the middle to make two squares. Cut each square into thirds and then cut into fourth to make cubes. As needed to prevent sticking, wipe down your knife, dip it again in warm water, and wipe dry.
Coat the truffles with cocoa.
Place the sifted cocoa powder in a bowl. Carefully toss each cube cocoa powder. If you want to apply gold leaf, make sure to leave one of the sides clear so the leaf has something to stick to.
Apply the gold leaf (optional)
Avoid touching the gold leaf with your fingers at it will stick to whatever it touches. Use a very dry, very clean paint brush to apply it to the truffles. Lightly brush or dab the surface of the gold leaf with your paint brush to "grab" some of the gold leaf, and then dab it on the surface of the truffle. The leaf should adhere to the truffle and slip off of the brush.
Repeat until all the truffles have a little gold leaf on top.
Serving and storing
If serving the same day, arrange the truffles on a plate and store in the fridge until serving. Take them out of the fridge a little bit before serving to take the chill off. Truffles can also be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.