Birthday Truffles

So, my boyfriend had his birthday last week and I love birthdays. I love getting people really cool presents and I just love birthdays! I wanted to make his special, even though he was working on the day so I was trying to think of some things I could do. I bought him some cool presents and then I took him out for dinner on Friday. I kind of felt like something was missing in the present department and I kind of felt something homemade/baked but I wasn't sure what... Until I remembered these truffles I found on Martha Stewart's site. I thought they were perfect and he loved them and they were really yummy, so it was a great idea all round! Her recipe made 117 though, so I quartered it for Cam's birthday and then halved it the next time because I did actually end up making them twice, but that's for later...

Chocolate Truffles (makes around 35-40 truffles)

350g bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces (it's quite important that you choose the right chocolate, definitely no more than 70% cocoa and that makes very rich truffles. I like the Whittaker's dark chocolate but not the Ghana)
100g milk chocolate
1/2 cup + 2T cream
1 vanilla bean, 1t vanilla bean paste or 2t vanilla extract
60g butter

Grease and line a baking sheet/tray and set aside. In a heatproof bowl, set over (but not touching) simmering water, melt 120g bittersweet and 120g milk chocolate together until smooth. Place cream and vanilla bean, paste or extract in a small pot over a medium heat; heat cream until it just comes to a boil. Let it cool until it's around the same temperature as the chocolate mixture. If using a vanilla bean, remove it and throw it away. Take the chocolate mixture off the heat and add to the cream mixture. Mix together, starting from the centre of the mixture and working your way outwards until the mixture is emulsified. Add the butter and mix until well combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking sheet/tray and spread it evenly over the tray. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down gently to prevent the chocolate from forming a skin. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. Uncover the chocolate mixture and turn out onto a chopping board, removing the baking paper. Using a sharp knife, cut the chocolate into 3cm squares. Reline the baking tray and set aside. Roll each square of chocolate into a ball and place on the prepared baking tray. Your hands will get very messy doing this, you may need to wash them between groups of truffles! Refrigerate for at least an hour. Melt the remaining 130g bittersweet chocolate, this time it could be in the microwave on low, if you want. Martha says to get some of the melted chocolate in your hand, roll the truffle in it and then she rolls them in cocoa. I think this is weird, and we have a chocolate dipper so I just used that, but you could maybe use a spoon or just dip the truffle in the melted chocolate. When they're dipped in the melted chocolate, place back on the baking tray and then back to refrigerate again for at least an hour and store in the fridge until you want to eat them. Which will probably be really quickly. Because they're awesome.

Not very many left! Enjoy, they're way better than store-bought. :)

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