Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Frangelico Truffles

Dipped in chopped hazelnuts, these surprisingly easy to make semi-sweeet chocolate truffles came out looking marvelous! I also made some "plain" chocolate ones with a powdered sugar/cocoa dusting, but they weren't nearly as photo worthy.

My recipe:
1 12 oz bag chocolate chips
3/4 c heavy cream
2 tbs butter
2 tbs Frangelico (or any flavor liqueur)

Bring cream just to a boil then pour over chocolate chips. Let it sit a couple minutes, then stir to combine. If that doesn't work for you for some reason, say there are still obvious chip size pieces in your mix, just put it over a pot of boiling water and stirr it constantly until all the chocolate has melted. I prefer not to do it that way, only because it's an extra step that is easily avoided. Ideally you let the chocolate sit out at room temperature until it's firm enough to mold by hand (a messy job!), but in the interest of time, you can pop it in the fridge and mix it every 10-20 minutes until it has firmed up. You aren't technically supposed to refrigerate those kinds of things because of issues with condensation and certainly many other factors I don't even know, but com'mon - you have to be realistic sometimes. One other thing to mention is that you really should use good chocolate. I personally can't afford to make my truffles out of 100% Scharffen Berger Bittersweet (though it would be dreamy to do so), but unlike cakes and brownies where there are many ingredients interferring with the flavor and quality of your chocolate, truffles are pretty straight-forward with their chocolatiness. I recommend a mix of chocolate that is economical, but also flavorful (I'll let you be the judge as to what those two variations are).

Moving on, once the chocolate has firmed up, use a small melon baller or ice cream scoop to spoon heaping tablespoonfuls of chocolate into little balls. You can mold them in the palm of your hands (the chocolate WILL melt a little in your hands) or use two spoons to shape the little mix into little balls. Perfection should not be an issue when shaping either, since the truffle concept is supposedly inspired by the little fancy mushrooms found in the depths of forests and are intended to be naturally shaped like their name-sakes.

Then roll the little ball around in the topping. It can be useful to press the topping a little bit into the truffle to make sure it sticks well.

Once you find the right method, the assembly line of preparing truffles can be quite efficient and painless. Oh, and delicious!

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