I find recipes in the darnedest places sometimes, and often they are really good recipes too. I found this recipe for lavender truffles in a light murder mystery book of all places, and it just sounded way too inviting not to try. I am so glad I did too. They turned out really delicious, and they just melt in your mouth. The book was a light murder mystery, in the vein of Murder She Wrote, the old TV series that starred Angela Landsbury back in the 80’s. The book was called “Death is Like A Box of Chocolate“. It is a light, easy read, with a few surprisingly really good truffle recipes in the back. It is definitely a fun book to check out. And don’t forget to try out the truffle recipes too.
The recipe itself only has four simple ingredients. They were time consuming, but not difficult to make, once I figured out what I was doing and how I was supposed to do them without making a huge mess. It took me a couple of tries to figure things out, but once I did, they were very easy to make.
2-2 1/2 tsp dried lavender or 24 fresh lavender flower heads
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
2 1/2 cups chocolate chips, or your favorite dark or bittersweet chocolate, divided
4 TBSP butter
Place the cream and lavender into a saucepan and heat on high just until the mixture starts to simmer, then melt the butter into the mixture and incorporate well. Turn off the heat, and let it steep for 15 minutes. After it has steeped, strain the lavender from the cream mixture and discard, then add 1/2 of the chocolate and melt completely, stirring constantly, over a medium heat.
Once the chocolate mixture has melted, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pour the chocolate over the parchment paper. Spread it out and smooth it over the parchment paper, then chill for at least 2 hours. You want the chocolate to set, but you do not want it firm.
After the chocolate has set, put some plastic gloves on so the heat in your hands does not melt the chocolate, and spoon about 1/2 tsp of the mixture and roll into a ball. Place the rolled balls on another baking sheet, lined with another sheet of parchment paper. Repeat until the mixture is all used and rolled into balls. Chill and set once again, for at least 2 more hours.
After the second chilling, melt the rest of your chocolate (if it does not melt smoothly, add a little milk as needed to make the mixture is more liquid and smoother, which makes it much easier to work with. I found adding the extra milk made the chocolate more like a ganache, and gave a real shiny sheen to the coating, which I like. I think it also gives a very nice finish to the chocolate). Insert a toothpick into the chilled truffle balls and dip completely into the melted chocolate and gently swirl it around, making sure to cover the truffle ball completely. Gently shake off the excess chocolate, and repeat until all the balls have been dipped. I added some colored sprinkles to mine, but that is optional. If you are doing this, add it to the balls before placing them back into the refrigerator to set once again, for at least 2-4 hours. Once they are set, they are ready to enjoy. The truffle filling is very smooth and creamy, with subtle hint of lavender. These are so good. If you like chocolate, you will love these.
Cooking the cream and the lavender. I used dried lavender.
Straining the lavender after it has steeped for 15 minutes.
The second cook, adding 1/2 of the chocolate.
Spreading out the chocolate for the first chill.
Making the truffle fillings. These are now ready to go back into the refrigerator for the second chill and set.
Sorry for the poor quality on this one. It was difficult to show what I was doing and take a picture at the same time. Dipping the truffle fillings into the melted chocolate. Gently shake off the excess chocolate. Now is the time to use sprinkles if you choose to do so. Once they are all done, chill again for at least another 2 hours. If you prefer to be more fancy and add more elaborate decorations, do so after they have chilled and set once again.
Time to sit back and enjoy. Time for truffles.