I have been trying to be a little more creative with my dinner gifts these days and although I do mostly bring wine, I am trying to also bring something inspired. 

My friend invited me over for dinner on Sunday so I decided to make a selection of chocolate truffles for our dessert. 

Truffles are very easy, although a little messy to make, they are always a crowd pleasers when it comes to friends with a very sweet tooth.  A lot of truffles are made with heavy cream – they are fabulous and incredibly rich.  For something a little different and not as rich or fattening, I like to make mine with low fat cream cheese.  They are still incredibly decadent and sweet and yes, a little fattening.

Vanilla, Almond & Espresso Chocolate Truffles

Makes 20

Ingredients

4oz low fat cream cheese
1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips, melted
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
½ teaspoon espresso, sifted
½ teaspoon Almond essence

For covering the truffles
1 tablespoon ground almonds
1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa powder

Directions

In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar until well blended.

Stir in melted chocolate until there are no more streaks.

Separate mixture into 3 separate bowls.  Add the vanilla, espresso and almond essence into separate bowls and mix well.

Refrigerate for about 1 hour.

Put the ground almonds, confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder on separate small plates. 

Make sure your hands are cold.  Heat from your hands can make rolling the truffles even more of mess.  I am probably at the very high-end of a messy cook and end up with food everywhere!  Shape mixture into small bite-sized balls and roll into the ground almonds, confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder. I made the vanilla with cocoa, espresso with chocolate and almond with the ground almonds. 

Of course I had to try all three and I would say my favorites are the Espresso Truffles rolled in cocoa powder.  I had a few more just to make sure!

For truffles with more of a bite you can use any type of liqueur.  Contreau, an orange liqueur is a wonderful addition.  Oh, and ignore the calorie count J