Homemade Marzipan Dark Chocolate Truffles

Homemade Marzipan Dark Chocolate Truffles | A Sweet Spoonful

We live one block away from a hot chocolate cafe here in Seattle where they also happen to sell really nice truffles and little sweets. When Sam works out of his home office, he’ll often go there for a change of scenery and without fail, he brings me home a truffle. My favorites tend to be the vanilla sea salt, but it’s really a toss up between that and the dark chocolate marzipan. I’m not sure where he got the idea, but last month for Valentine’s Day, Sam decided to strike out on his own and made homemade truffles instead of buying them. He researched how to make marzipan and bought these little chocolate molds to turn them into truffles. I wasn’t privy to any of this, really, and the night before I had strict instructions to stay out of the kitchen. My best guess was that there was chocolate cake on the horizon. Little did I know the next day would include truffles with our morning coffee. 

Homemade Marzipan Dark Chocolate Truffles | A Sweet Spoonful

When I was in my twenties, I had a lot of thoughts about how holidays should be or what I felt my partner should do for occasions like birthdays or Valentine’s Day. For whatever reason (probably because holidays were such a big deal in our house growing up; my mom did, after all, invent the “birthday table,” a tradition in which she transformed our dining room table into a themed celebratory centerpiece with streamers, balloons and the ever-present birthday crown), I felt like I should have a certain kind of Valentine’s Day — that if it was the right person and if they truly loved me, they’d surely know that you were supposed to get flowers and chocolates and write a sentimental card worth saving for years. I think a lot of those feelings were centered around the constant questioning about whether the person I was with at the time was the right one, if they were really ‘my person.’

But a funny thing happens as you get older – or seems to have happened as I’ve gotten older. It began to occur to me that what love and gestures I could make were at least as important as those I hoped for in return. I also began to suspect that my many prescriptions, the affirming gestures, devotions and rituals I’d practically formed into a checklist, actually fell so far short of the serendipities, surprises and gesturing of a truer love. A lot of those shoulds really needn’t have been, really (although let’s not get carried away: I do still really love birthday cake).

Homemade Marzipan Dark Chocolate Truffles

So Valentine’s Day came and went without a grand dinner or many of the things I used to feel it should include. Instead, we woke up to bagels and lox from Eltana, strong coffee and Sam’s marzipan truffles. The sun came out for the first time in a quite few days, so we decided to go on a long walk and ended up visiting our friends, Brandon and Molly, and sipping small berry smoothies from straws at their kitchen table. Later that afternoon, we walked down to the beach with Molly and June to look for sea glass, the sun bright and the air brisk, the day so casually unfolding on its own without any of the prescribed notions or forced gestures that I’d once clung to. It was several hours later, the afternoon light mostly faded, before we all got home, feeling a little windswept but like we’d had quite a day. Suffice it to say, I’ll take long impromptu walks, sea glass and wood-fired bagels over a dozen roses any Valentine’s day of the week.

Homemade Marzipan Dark Chocolate Truffles | A Sweet Spoonful

I was so impressed with Sam’s little marzipan jewels that we decided to make them again and photograph them — we timed it around Oscar weekend so we could share them with a few friends who came over. I thought this would be a full day project, but the marzipan really takes a mere 5 minutes to come together and let’s just say it’s reallllly good I didn’t know this fact until now. So if you’d like, you can just follow the marzipan recipe here, store it in the refrigerator, and slice off little bits to have with tea or coffee. That’s treat enough.

Homemade Marzipan Dark Chocolate Truffles | A Sweet Spoonful

If you want to go all the way and turn them into truffles, you will need a little mold and you simply melt dark chocolate in a double-boiler (we didn’t fuss with tempering it and it still came out shiny and snappy) and put a dollop in the bottom of the mold, place a little truffle ball on top of that and cover it with a spoonful of chocolate. Then chill to firm. Alternatively, if you don’t have a mold, I think you could easily just spear your little marzipan balls with a toothpick and dip them into the chocolate, laying them out on parchment to cool. They’ll be more rustic looking that way, but no less delicious.

Megan’s Note: If you can find almond meal made from blanched almonds (versus the more “natural” almond meal made from almonds with the skin still on), that’s the easiest route. Alternatively, you can blanch and grind your own almonds; if you do this, just aim for a very fine texture. Second, there seems to be a lot of discussion on the internet about the relative safety of the raw egg white in most marzipan recipes; our consensus (and the consensus of many) is that most eggs today are pasteurized and since you’re refrigerating the marzipan, it’s really not an issue. If you have personal reason to be concerned or are still nervous, Sam assures me that you can use two spoonfuls of corn syrup instead of the egg white, but we’ve not tested this so I can’t speak to the flavor or consistency. 

Dark Chocolate Marzipan Truffles

Dark Chocolate Marzipan Truffles

  • Yield: 20-24 truffles
  • Prep time: 25 mins
  • Cook time: 10 mins
  • Inactive time: 1 hr 30 mins
  • Total time: 2 hrs 5 mins

The first time Sam made these he used more sugar and a stronger extract; we both agreed it might be nice to try and tone both down, and I think this ratio is spot on. While I’m often nervous about the addition of rose water to desserts as I think it can become overpowering very quickly, it’s so subtle here you will barely notice. I’ve seen bakeries who use a little orange blossom water instead, and that would certainly be nice, too.

Ingredients

For the marzipan:

1 1/2 cups (180g) almond meal (like Bob's)
1 cup (145g) powdered sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon rose water
1 egg white

For the chocolate coating:

12 ounces bittersweet chocolate (at least 60%)
flaky salt, to top (optional)

Instructions

To make marzipan: Scoop the almond meal and powdered sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and mix to break up any lumps. Add the almond extract and rose water and mix to combine. Add the egg white and mix again until it takes on a dough-like consistency. If dry and crumbly still, add a little water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until it comes together into more of a dough. Turn the marzipan out onto a clean surface and knead a few times so that it fully comes together and begins to soften into one nice ball. Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Store marzipan wrapped in plastic wrap or waxed paper, refrigerated for up to 2 weeks, or frozen for up to 6 months.

To assemble truffles: Using low, controlled heat, melt the chocolate in a double-boiler, stirring frequently to ensure it melts evenly. Using your favorite truffle mold, dollop a little chocolate in the bottom of each indent and swirl around until the interior is completely covered. Grab a small piece of marzipan and roll it into a ball and then a flat little disk roughly the diameter of your mold. Press the marzipan disk into each of the molds, and then top each with enough chocolate to reach the top of your mold. When finished, place in the refrigerator to cool and firm up (or the freezer if you’re eager like us).  If you’d like to top each with a sprinkling of salt, get a small cup of water ready and dip your finger in the water. Moisten the top of each truffle lightly and sprinkle the salt on top — the little wet spots will dry leaving a pretty, salted top.

Comments

  1. Ashley

    These look amazing! I was so impressed with his endeavor and let me tell you, he was doing quite a bit of research. All of that paid off, they look so great. And also, isn't getting older wonderful?! All sorts of silly expectations and ideas of what real romance is suppose to look like fall aside while actual real love takes its place. Just as I typed that Gabe handed me a perfect little breakfast sandwich. Grown up love is the best.

  2. Kasey

    This is so awesome. Go Sam! Also, I LOVE marzipan. I totally want to try my hand at this. xo

  3. Monica

    What an amazing and delightfully-sweet endeavor by your husband! I am so impressed, and have pinned this recipe to try one day soon. I will surely make some for my very deserving husband and our rascally 9 year old. Thank you!

  4. Christina @ but i'm hungry

    These look lovely! My husband loves marzipan, I'd love to try and make him some. A little tip on chocolate- it comes tempered, so as long as you warm it VERY slowly and it doesn't get too hot, it will stay tempered and give you that good snap and shine. ;) Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Nicole

    Yea! Marzipan is so easy and delish to make. These look soooo good; nice job Sam! And your day sounds like my ideal for a holiday or a birthday or just a Sunday. Walking down the beach to hang out in particular sounds like heaven. As do these truffles :)

  6. Sarah

    The truffles were just so fantastic, and I've been enjoying the leftover marzipan stuffed into dates every day this past week. So, thanks friends :)

  7. Anne

    I could so go for one of these right now - I suspect a truffle might make compiling taxes much easier. (P.S. Who knew this kind of project would be so easy?!)

  8. Susan

    Yousa :) I wasn't thinking about Almond Meal for the basis of Marzipan.......so hard to grind almonds fine enough so this is great! Thanks.

  9. tea_austen

    Oh man, I held out a couple of hours without reading. All I can say now is: DANGEROUS. So very dangerous... :-)

  10. Kathleen

    Yes, please! I fell in love with marzipan while I lived in The Netherlands (it was everywhere, shaped as every possible creature). I didn't realize it until now, but I am LONG overdue for another taste. Yum.

  11. Lindsay

    Isn't it dangerous to have the raw egg white in there?

    1. megang

      Lindsay: Check out my notes under "Cooks Note" re: the egg whites.

  12. Mimi

    wait. your husband made these?

    1. megang

      Mimi: I know, right?! We actually made this batch together though ...

  13. Lindsay

    where did you buy the molds?

    1. megang

      Hi, Lindsay- Sam bought them at a local cake shop here in Seattle but they're readily available online with a good ol' fashioned Google search. There are many options! Good luck, Megan

  14. Grace

    I needed to read this today. I often struggle with setting expectations that eventually lead to let downs instead of celebrating what is. Thank you for sharing this!

  15. Kathryn

    Love Truffles and Marzipan! :D Look nice to be shared with a nice tea

  16. Zoe

    Mmmm! Looks so christmassy! Does anyone know how far in advance you can make them before giving them away?

    1. megang

      Hi, Zoe- Since these haven't lasted more than 3 days in our house I'm guessing that you've got up to 5 days here. Enjoy them!

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