Good quality handmade chocolates are such a luxury, but they can be hard to come by even if you’re willing to pay a lot of money for them. With this easy recipe you can make the most gorgeous homemade cognac ganache chocolates that are perfect as after dinner treats, or for an amazing hostess gift or perhaps for the upcoming Father’s Day?
Chocolate making is really fun and creative, and I have a lot of fond memories of always making homemade chocolates for Christmas. It was my grandmother who taught my sister and I the basics of how to do it, and she would buy the most wonderful sprinkles and decorations in small specialized grocery stores long before cake accessory chain stores existed. Traditionally we use a lot of marzipan and hazelnut nougat in our Christmas chocolates in Denmark, but these Cognac ganache chocolates work for any occasion, and I’m sure you’ll find it’s no problem devouring them any time of the year.
Cognac ganache chocolates (makes about 30 chocolates depending on the molds)
For the shells
5.5 oz (150 g) dark chocolate (60%)
Optional: edible gold dust spray (or any other color you prefer). As a fun variation you can spray the molds with gold dust (or any color dust you like) before you start. This way you get the shimmering effect that some of the chocolate gems have in the picture above.
For the filling
5.5 oz (150 g) milk chocolate
2.5 oz (75 g) cream
1/3 oz (10 g) butter
1 tbsp Cognac (use a good one)
1. Start by tempering the chocolate. If you want to add color or shimmer to your chocolates, first spray the molds with the color dust, and then fill the chocolate molds with the tempered chocolate. Now turn the molds upside down, so that excess chocolate can escape and doesn’t make the shell thick and too hard to bite into. Scrape off any chocolate left on top of the mold. Save the excess chocolate and use this later to make lids for the shells. Set the molds aside in the refrigerator at let cool before the shells are ready for filling.
2. To make the filling, heat the cream until just before the boiling point and remove from heat. Add the chocolate and butter and stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is nice and smooth. Last but not least add the Cognac. Let the mixture cool until below 70 Fahrenheit (20 Celsius). The trick is to fill the mold with the filling without melting the shells that you’ve already made. Fill the shells 2/3 way up, leaving space for a chocolate lid to finish the chocolates. Once filled put the molds back in the fridge for about an hour to make sure the filling sets.
3. To finish the chocolates temper the left over dark chocolate. Fill all the shells to the edge and again scrape off any excess chocolate and then back into the fridge the molds go. Since the chocolate is tempered it won’t take long for it to set, so you should be able to remove the shells from the molds after about 30 minutes. If the edges of the chocolates are not even when they come out of the molds, you can use a small sharp knife to carefully cut away any excess to make the edges nicely clean and sharp.
If you’d like to try one of our other after dinner treats, these mini Sarah Bernhardt cakes are definitely worth a try: