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Chocolate truffles

Makes 12 truffles

Rich, slightly decadent and certainly romantic, these chocolates are less difficult to make than you would imagine – they take little time to prepare and last well in the fridge for 2-3 days.

What is important is to use the best possible chocolate – dark and bitter with at least 60 per cent cocoa. The one I use most often is Valrhona.

150ml/5fl oz double cream
40g/1 oz unsalted butter
40g/1 oz caster sugar
150g/5oz dark chocolate
3 tbsp Cognac or brandy
2 generous tbsp dark cocoa powder

Place the cream, butter and sugar in a small saucepan over a gentle heat and bring to a simmer, then immediately remove from the heat and set aside.

Break up the chocolate into rough-sized squares and place in a food processor. Pulse until the chocolate becomes very fine – almost like coarse sand.

Pour the warm cream into the funnel at the top of the processor and pulse once or twice more, just enough so the mixture is homogenised.

Pour into a bowl and stir in the Cognac. Spoon into a bowl and chill in the fridge overnight (or for a good few hours).

Remove the firm mixture from the fridge. Using a warmed spoon, dip into the mixture and form little oval-shaped balls. Sift the cocoa powder on to a flat board and gently roll the truffles to coat them generously all over. Return to the fridge for 15 minutes before eating.