Saturday, March 29, 2014

Dark Chocolate Lemon Truffles (made with chocolate chips)

Typically I do not make truffles with chocolate chips. I actually do not think I have ever made any truffles with chocolate chips, unless you count the chocolate chip cookie dough truffles, where the filling has mini chocolate chips. Well, I don't have the time to be a chocolate snob anymore (or the money), so I'm glad these turned out so amazingly delicious.  I had been wanting to make these truffles for awhile. I chose to make them last night as a distraction because my due date came and went, but still no baby. Usually I make these lemon truffles with Scharrfen Berger bittersweet chocolate. I thought I had some in my baking cabinet, so when I set out to make them, I realized I actually had an unsweetened chocolate baking bar with 99% chocolate - not ideal for truffles (but it did work well as a topping). I had half a bag of semisweet Ghiradelli chocolate chips in the cabinet, and I thought, hey, I'll give these a try. They worked perfectly! It was so nice to eliminate the step of finely chopping the chocolate for the truffles because I usually use the big baking bars. These truffles have the perfect balance of rich chocolate and zesty lemon. I rolled and coated them this morning and started the day with 18 of them - now there is only 1 left in the fridge (shared between 5 people - I did not eat them ALL)!  I have a feeling I'll be pregnant until mid-April. But I'm on my maternity leave, so I'll just stay home to make and eat truffles all day long. Yum! I hope you love these truffles as much as I do. They are delicious and easy to make. An added bonus of eating a dark chocolate lemon truffle over other treats is that one truffle only has about 55 calories. So if you eat three for breakfast, you still are having an under 200 calorie  breakfast (not that I know anyone who would ever do something like that...)! Enjoy!

Recipe for Dark Chocolate Lemon Truffles (made with chocolate chips)

8 Tbsp. of heavy whipping cream
1 1/4 tsp. of lemon zest
5 ounces of Ghiradelli semisweet premium baking chips
2 tsp. of freshly squeezed lemon juice
Cocoa powder
1/2 ounce of bittersweet or unsweetened baking chocolate, grated with a box grater (optional)
Cacao nibs (optional)
Extra chocolate chips, for topping

Put the heavy cream and the lemon zest into a small saucepan and set over medium heat. Once it simmers, remove from heat and pour in the chocolate chips. Cover the saucepan for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, gently stir the mixture until it is completely smooth. Gently stir in the lemon juice. Cover the saucepan (make sure to wipe the lid of any moisture before covering) and set in the fridge for several hours or overnight.

Put the cocoa powder into a shallow bowl. Lightly dust your hands with the powder. Scoop up some of the mixture and then use your hands to roll into 3/4-inch balls. Dust with more cocoa if desired. Continue until the mixture is gone. Then roll each ball into the grated chocolate, cacao nibs, or a combination of both. You might need to use your fingers to gently press down the grated chocolate/cacao nibs onto the truffles. Top each truffle with a chocolate chip. Put truffles into the fridge until you are ready to serve.

Recipe makes approximately 16 - 20 truffles. About 55 calories per truffle. 

Recipe inspired by various cookbooks in my home and sources on the web.