Learn how to make artisan chocolate truffles

This month we’re feeling full of the joys of Valentine’s Day, so we visited the Richmond shop of top British chocolatier William Curley, to learn how to make delicious handcrafted chocolate truffles. Aimed at couples, these courses are run throughout the year and make a fabulous gift for anyone interested in finding out about how artisan chocolate is made.

On arrival at William Curley’s shop on a cold snowy day, we were instantly won over by the rich aroma of chocolate, and offered a steaming cup of their signature Chilli Hot Chocolate – heaven!

Our tutor, chocolatier Vicky led us upstairs to the working kitchen above the shop, where she started off with an explanation of the chocolate making process. From harvesting the cocoa pods by hand in the rainforest, to the specialist chocolate houses which separate the cocoa butter, cocoa mass and nibs, and blend the chocolate for use by chocolatiers and patissiers around the world.

Chocolate Workshop

We tasted the bitter cocoa nibs and the oily cocoa butter which doesn’t taste of chocolate at all, then tried different strengths of chocolate, from an intense 75% dark chocolate, through to a 32% milk chocolate and finally a 27% white chocolate, noticing how the sweetness increases as the cocoa content decreases.

We completed our tasting with some of William Curley’s signature chocolates, including Japanese Black Vinegar, Salted Caramel, Richmond Park Honey, and Juniper Berry and Cassis.

Chocolate Workshop

Then it was time to have a go ourselves. We would be making William Curley’s House Dark Truffles, which involves making a rich chocolate ganache, which is then coated in crisp chocolate, before being dusted with cocoa powder.

Chocolate Workshop

Using an induction hob, we heated 142g of Whipping Cream with 25g of Trimmoline (a natural sugar in paste form, but you could also use half the amount of glucose syrup). This was then poured into a bowl of finely grated chocolate (we used a combination of 70% and 75% dark chocolate).

Chocolate Workshop

Next we added 25g of softened unsalted butter, a little at a time, taking care not to stir air into the mixture. Then the mixture was put in the fridge for 20 minutes to set, while Vicky prepared a bain marie of tempered chocolate, which would be used to coat our truffles.

Chocolate Workshop

Once the ganache had set, it was spooned into a piping bag and we were shown how to pipe little pointed bulbs, as well as long straight lengths which would then be cut into one inch sections, to create our truffles. The tray of piped ganache was then placed back in the fridge to firm up.

Chocolate Workshop

Next it was time to coat our truffles in the tempered chocolate. Instead of dipping the truffles into the chocolate, we donned latex gloves and lightly touched the melted chocolate onto our fingers, before gently rolling each truffle between our fingers to give it a light coating of chocolate.

Chocolate Workshop

The coated chocolates were then placed in a tray of cocoa powder and lightly dusted, before being sieved to remove any excess cocoa. Then it’s on to a tray and back into the fridge for a few minutes to allow the chocolate coating to set.

The final step was to place our handcrafted truffles into a beautiful gift box, and to admire our handiwork. The perfect handmade Valentine’s Gift!

Chocolate Workshop

There are many things that are delightful about this course, from the heady aromas of the shop, to the wonderful one-to-one tuition, but for me the best and perhaps most surprising aspect is how natural and hands-on the whole process is. Just a few familiar ingredients, cooked and prepared by hand, the way you would at home.

The staff at William Curley are passionate and inspiring, and very willing to tailor the course according to the needs and interests of the participants. So whether you’re looking for a fun Valentine’s gift that you can do together, or are serious about learning the art of chocolate making, this course is a great introduction into the world of the artisan chocolatier.



Find out more about chocolate and patisserie workshops at www.williamcurley.com, or buy William Curley chocolates online and make someone very happy this Valentine’s Day!

Feeling inspired? Take a look at the Creative Courses category in our Directory, where you’ll find a variety of inspiring courses, from crafts to fashioninteriorscooking and gardening.

If you run a creative course that you think our readers would be interested in hearing about, please let us know by emailing editor@frombritainwithlove.com.


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