Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Whisky and Orange Dark-Chocolate Truffles

Dusted with cocoa powder and chilled for an hour or two, these truffly-looking nuggets of orange- and whisky-scented dark chocolate make a lovely finish to a meal. You can add any type of liqueur or flavouring agent to this basic recipe: try it with Frangelico and toasted hazelnut chips, or with a dash of good almond extract and a coating of finely chopped toasted almond flakes.

Good-quality, 75-percent-cocoa- solids chocolate is important for this recipe. I use Belgian chocolate chips which I get from my local baking shop. These truffles freeze well, so it's worth making a double batch and keeping them for future pudding emergencies.

The only really tricky part is keeping your palms cool enough to prevent the truffles getting sticky as you roll them. A good tip is to fill a jug with iced water, and to press your palms to the glass to cool them (scraping any chocolate residue off your skin first). It's quite difficult, also, to judge when the mixture is firm enough to be formed into balls. If you've let it get too hard, use a stout-bladed knife to cut it into chunks, and leave at room temperature for a hour or so.

I always melt chocolate in the microwave because it's so quick and effortless, but if you feel like faffing around with a double boiler or a glass bowl set over a pan of boiling water, be my guest.

This recipe is adapted from Phillippa Cheifitz's The Cosmopolitan Cookbook (1986) which, 20 years after I bought it, is still one of my most treasured recipe books (Phillippa used Cognac in her truffles).

Whisky and Orange Dark-Chocolate Truffles

350 g good dark chocolate (see notes, above)
1/2 cup (125 ml) cream
3 T (45 ml) whisky
the finely grated zest of 1 small orange
3/4 cup (180 ml) icing sugar, sifted
1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted, for coating

Place the chocolate, broken into pieces, in a glass bowl and melt in a microwave oven or over a pan of simmering water (see notes above). Stir well until smooth and glossy, and then mix in the cream, whisky and orange zest. Now tip in the sifted icing sugar and mix until smooth. Press a piece of clingfilm onto the surface of the mixture and place it in the fridge for about an hour, or until firm enough to handle.

Tip the cocoa powder onto a plate. Dig out spoonsful (each about the sized of a large marble) of chocolate paste and roll quickly between your palms to form balls (or ovals, to resemble real truffles). Place the balls on the plate of cocoa powder and roll them about so that they are thoroughly coated. When you've made all the balls, place them in a sieve or colander and shake gently to remove any excess cocoa powder. Cover and place in the fridge for two hours, or until firm.

Makes about 35.
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Nina Timm said...

I suppose these were all gone before you could take a photo!! I am not surprised.

Jane-Anne said...

Ah, but I stashed a few away! That's why there are only three truffles in the picture!

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

I love dark chocolate and now that I've discovered it, I won't eat any other kind. Your truffles sound fabulous - please pass the plate. I'll take two.
Thanks for stopping by my kitchen. It gave me a chance to find your great blog and visit your corner of the world.

Homemade Heaven said...

Chocolate Heaven, orange and chocolate and whisky for good measure. Licking my lips now - suddenly gone right off my yoghurt!

Marisa said...

Freezing for future pudding emergencies? You mean like late night nibbles straight from the freezer? Sounds like my kinda recipe.