This is a little late. Since I would have liked to get this post up a week or two ago, but sometimes things don’t go as planned. We made chocolate truffles as our holiday gifts this year. We needed a sophisticated way to present them, and I wanted to share what we did.
The first thing, I mentioned in my homemade chocolate truffle post the other day, is that we topped the tempered ones with a garnish to indicate what’s inside. The peppermint chocolate truffles were topped with a piece of candy cane (which you should do right before they are to be consumed, because they attract a lot of moisture and get sticky). The chocolate almond ones were topped with a piece of slivered almond. A coconut flake adorned the coconut rum chocolate truffles. And we grated fresh nutmeg on the eggnog chocolate truffles.
If you were going to make citrus ones (grapefruit, lime, lemon, orange, kumquat) it would be well worth the effort to make some candied peel of that fruit to use for the top. I really wanted to make Earl Grey or Jasmine Green Tea Pearl flavored ones, but I don’t know how I would distinguish it from another flavor, without using a tea leaf (something I don’t actually want to eat).
To look for interesting packaging supplies, Marc and I perused Michael’s craft store and found little fluted white paper cups for each truffle. We bought two sizes in packages of 100, by a company called Wilton. The smaller Bon Bon size called Candy and Party Cups was perfect for most of the truffles. They looked right proportionally…not so big the truffle was swimming in it…not so small that it would look silly. The larger package of Mini size, called Baking and Party Cups were just too big. They would be a better size for mini muffins or cupcakes. But, you just never know until you dive right in and discover what’s what.
Once we coated some of the truffles with tempered white chocolate, we realized it would have been good to have other colors for the little paper cups. White on white isn’t all that interesting and doesn’t provide any contrast. If you buy Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, or See’s candy, they have brown paper cups, so I know other colors are out there. We just didn’t think of it until it was too late to order them in time.
To actually deliver the truffles, we found Chinese takeout boxes in a few different colors for 79 cents each. Most of them were garish and unsophisticated, but there were a couple colors we liked. One was the perfect plum (or rather fig) color to tie in perfectly with Figs with Bri. Michael’s had a giant shelf of beautiful satin ribbon on sale $1 a spool, so we picked out some greens, a purple and a white. If I hadn’t gotten sick, and we hadn’t run out of time, we would have made special little labels like we did for the lemon curd, but I still think they came together with class.
The little purple takeout container held about 6 truffles, perfect for a couple or single person. The larger box held three tiers of 8 or so truffles, so Marc separated the layers with cardboard that he cut to size. He also cut off a corner of the cardboard, so there was room to stick your finger in and lift it up to get to the next stratum of chocolatey goodness.
They’ve been a big hit, since (almost) everyone loves chocolate. Not only are they delicious, but this is an affordable gift to share with loved ones. With all of the commercialism of the holidays, it’s worth taking the extra time for a homemade gift.