Valentine's Day is almost here, and if you're planning on spending a small fortune on chocolates for your sweet, hold up! Consider making your own chocolate truffles -- in addition to the "OMG, you shouldn't have" look, you'll get bonus points for having taken the time out to make something by hand.
Ok, so I know I've lost some of you already. Hear me out. "But truffles are soooo haaarrrrrd to make," I can hear you sighing. "I could never do that." Au contraire, mon cheri. Despite the fact that stores charge big bucks for these little balls of chocolate love, truffles are actually one of the easiest candies to make. Within an hour you'll have a few dozen handmade chocolate truffles, and a one heck of a fabulous Valentine's Day gift. And if you're sweetie is of the vegan persuasion, I've got you covered with a vegan truffle recipe as well.
First things first: You'll be melting chocolate, which means you'll need to chop it first. Like, chop it as finely as possible. It's easy to chop the long, flat bars you get from the baking section of the grocery store, and I recommend you use a large chef's knife or my weapon of choice: a meat cleaver. If all else fails, don't fret. You can use semi-sweet chocolate chips without suffering any dire consequences.
Second: You must use a double boiler to melt your chocolate. Any other means of melting will burn the chocolate or turn it into a seized up lump of concrete. If you don't have a real double boiler, never fear. Find a pot and a large bowl that will snugly fit in the pot without slipping into it. Make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't rest in the water. Rather, you want there to be a good inch or two between the bottom of the bowl and the water in the pot. Also, be sure to not get any water into your chocolate mixture, lest it seize up. If this happens, you'll need to dump it out and start over. Sad panda. For more information, check out this guide on melting chocolate.
Now, let's get our hands dirty!