Thursday, December 29, 2011

truffles, truffles, truffles?

Blogging goal for today -blog about Christmas.  Yea!  For the food blog that means I get to post all of the goodies we made to put on goodie plates this year.  They need blogging before I forget all of the tips I had.  Many of them came from came from the little 50 Edible Gifts insert in my Food Network magazine.  They came with the simplest of instructions - the entire recipe usually consisting of 2 lines.  Hint...  They needed more than that.  Here are the recipes with some helpful hints.  Going to start with the truffles.  The first 2 are actually truffles, the third is a ball because it is crunchy.  All 3 are good.  I'd give the chocolate truffles a 5, coconut almond 3.5-4, and hazelnut crunch 4.5 (only because they were a pain to make - helpful hints I've added ought to make them more like a 5 star next time.)
balls left to right are chocolate-hazelnut crunch,
coconut-almond truffle, and chocolate truffles.

Chocolate truffles
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/2 stick butter (4 Tablespoons)
  • 1 pound finely chopped chocolate.  (I used semisweet.  I think I used 8 oz of box and 8 oz of chocolate chips to tell the truth.)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar (optional)
  • (original recipe called for these to be rolled in crushed peppermint candies, chopped nuts or cocoa powder - I used the cocoa powder/powdered sugar mix above, but any of these would be good.)
  1. Bring cream and butter to a boil in a saucepan.  Place chocolate in a boil and pour hot cream mixture over chocolate.  Stir until melted.  Add vanilla and stir until smooth.
  2. Refrigerated until firm.
  3. Mix powdered sugar and cocoa powder on a plate.  Scoop chilled truffle mixture with a spoon (or handy cookie dough scoop) and roll into balls.  Roll the balls in the cocoa/sugar mixture.  Chill.

Coconut-Almond truffles
  • 3/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut (original called for unsweetened, and I think that nice fine shred would have worked better than the sweet stuff, but I used what I had in my pantry.  It worked, but I think the other would be better.)
  • 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • additional coconut for rolling
  1. Mix all ingredients together until they form a dough.  Chill until firm.  (original recipe doesn't do this, and maybe if you have some stiffer almond butter than mine, you won't find it necessary, but I did.)
  2. When firm, roll into balls, then roll in shredded coconut.  Chill

Chocolate-Hazelnut Crunch Balls
  • 3/4 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts.  (I just toasted mine in a pan on the stovetop.)
  • 1 cut crisp rice cereal
  • 1/2 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (Nutella)
  • powdered sugar for rolling
  1. These need the most help when it comes to directions - according to the book you just mix the stuff together and roll into balls, and roll in the sugar.  I've got news for you, they don't stick together like that.  Even once refrigerated they don't stick together well like that, so here is what I learned.
    1. Mix ingredients together.
    2. Refrigerate until a bit more firm (still won't be very firm)
    3. Make something that resembles a ball, but don't try too hard ....yet anyway.  
    4. Toss that ball-like blob in the plate of powdered sugar to give it a good dusting.  
    5. Then, when it isn't going to stick to you like crazy, shape it into a nice ball.
    6. Chill.
Following my directions, these actually became easy to make.  Although I have to tell you the first 2/3 of the batch drove me absolutely batty.  When super cool, they would sort of stick, but not really.  Tossing them in the powdered sugar before trying to form them all the way was totally the key.  I suppose I could have just added powdered sugar to the mix, but I was worried about them being too sweet. This way they were wonderful.

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