Rum & Raisin Dark Chocolate Truffles

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INGREDIENTS:

Makes about 20 truffles

  • 200g of good quality dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) – broken into pieces
  • 1/4 cup raisins – chopped
  • 1/4 cup rum
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste (or 1 tsp of vanilla extract)
  • 1 tsp of strong espresso or instant coffee granules (optional)
  • 2 tbsp of cocoa powder

Coatings:

  • Cocoa powder
  • Finely chopped nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans or almonds)
  • Shredded coconut
  • Spices like cinnamoncayenne pepper, orange zest, etc

METHOD:

  1. In a bowl, soak the raisins in rum for one hour (at room temperature).
  2. In a saucepan, over low heat, bring the cream to a simmer. Then add the butter and stir with a plastic spatula until melted.
  3. Next, add the chopped chocolate, and when it begins to melt, turn the fire off and continue to stir until the chocolate is completely melted (be careful not to burn the chocolate).
  4. Then mix in the cocoa powder, vanilla paste, and espresso, and stir until smooth. Finally, stir in the raisin rum mixture, and transfer to a bowl.
  5. Once the chocolate ganache has cooled on the counter, cover the bowl and place it in the fridge. Chill for an hour until the ganache is firm.
  6. Lay out a sheet of non-stick baking paper. Prepare coatings in separate bowls. With your palms or a small spoon, form the chocolate into balls, then roll each one in the coating and place them on the baking paper. Transfer the truffles, along with the baking paper, to an airtight container and refrigerate.
  7. Truffles can be refrigerated for a couple of weeks or for a few months in the freezer. Before serving, let the truffles sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

Tips on making truffles: 
– It’s important to keep the ganache mixture cool after it is removed from the refrigerator, so it doesn’t melt too much when you are forming the balls and coating them. Try placing the small bowl of ganache on top of a bigger bowl layered with ice. (Also, coat your hands with some cocoa powder to prevent your warm fingers from melting the chocolate)
– If the ganache gets too soft for shaping, just pop the ganache back in the freezer for five minutes. If you are making a bigger batch, divide the ganache into separate containers.

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Chocolate Truffles

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 1/2 pound good semisweet chocolate finely chopped
  • cocoa powder (or some tempered dark chocolate)

METHOD:

  1. In a heavy saucepan, bring cream to a boil.  Remove from heat.  Stir in butter until it melts.  Stir in chocolate until all is melted.
  2. Refrigerate uncovered until firm, about 3 hours (maybe?).  If you’re not going to form truffles in the next few hours, go ahead and cover the bowl once the chocolate is firm.   Scoop out about a tablespoon and roll into a ball.
  3. Roll in cocoa powder.

As you can see in the picture below, these are pretty soft.  If you’d like firmer truffles, adjust the cream to chocolate ratio a bit.

Crunchy Peanut Butter Balls

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 ½ cups chunky peanut butter
  • 3 T creamy peanut butter
  • 1 stick of butter, softened, but cool
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable shortening (only if not tempering chocolate)
  •  1/3 cup salted peanuts, halved, for garnish(optional)

METHOD:

  1. Mix together peanut butter, butter, powdered sugar, and graham cracker crumbs.  Shape into 1-inch balls.  Refrigerate for about 1 hour.
  2. Melt chocolate chips and shortening in top of double boiler (or melt and temper the chocolate). Dip balls into chocolate and set on waxed paper.  (Use a toothpick to poke and dip each ball, or else use two forks.)
  3. Garnish with a ½ peanut on top.  Allow chocolate to firm up before serving.
Makes about 56 balls

Triple Chocolate Balls

Triple Chocolate Party Balls

Party Balls

INGREDIENTS:

Makes 20

  • 3 cups crushed shortbread cookies
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup corn syrup
  • ½ cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips or chocolate bar, finely chopped
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup liqueur of choice (or rum)
  • chocolate candy coating (or almond bark) for dipping

 METHOD:

  1. Mix dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients. Mix well until a “dough” forms.
  2. Freeze dough for 30 minutes, or until hard enough to form balls. Break off small pieces and roll between your palms until you have lots of small truffle-sized balls. Re-freeze until ready to dip.
  3. Melt chocolate candy coating in a double boiler. Dip each frozen ball in the chocolate. Set to dry on wax paper.
NOTES
Liqueur suggestions: Bailey’s, Kahlua, rum, or bourbon. Mix it up by using white or dark chocolate! or dark chocolate chips – yum!

Bittersweet Chocolate Truffles

Charles Chocolates Bittersweet Chocolate Truffles

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 whole vanilla bean
  • 2/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (about 2 ounces)

METHOD:

  1. Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and set aside. Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set aside.
  2. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and use the back of a paring knife to scrape the vanilla seeds into the cream. Discard the pod or reserve it for another use. Let the cream and vanilla steep for 10 minutes.
  3. Return the cream to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Pour the hot cream over the reserved chocolate and let it sit undisturbed for 5 minutes. Whisk the chocolate and cream together until very smooth. Pour the chocolate mixture into an 8-by-8-inch baking dish. Cover and refrigerate until hardened, at least 5 hours.
  4. Using a small melon baller or a small teaspoon, scoop a 1-inch-sized ball of the chocolate mixture into your hand and roll it between your palms until it’s somewhat smooth and round. Place on a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining chocolate mixture.
  5. Place the cocoa powder in a shallow bowl or pan. Roll the truffles in the cocoa powder until evenly coated. Store the truffles at a cool room temperature for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container, but do not refrigerate or freeze them—this damages the texture of the creamy chocolate.

Intensely Chocolate Cake Bites (Morsels/Truffles)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 12 flourless chocolate cupcakes (Recipe Below)
  • 1 stick of butter + more (for easy melting chocolate)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • dark chocolate
  • sweetened coconut flakes

METHOD:

  1. In a dry, nonstick skillet over medium heat, add coconut.  Stir and toss until golden.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Drop cupcakes into large mixing bowl.  Mash cupcakes until only crumbs.
  3. In a glass bowl, combine butter and brown sugar.  Heat in a pan until melted and lightly bubbling, about one minute.  Stir and pour into cupcake crumbs.
  4. Using your hands, roll spherical morsels about the size of a large marble (Note: the diameter should not exceed one inch, in my opinion because of the intensity of flavor).
  5. Toasted Coconut Covered (Intensely Chocolate Cake Morsels):  Drop rolled cake in toasted coconut and gently press the coconut into the cake so it sticks, creating a shell.  Place onto wax or parchment paper.   Repeat until desired amount of coconut morsels are created; Store morsels in refrigerator to set, until ready to serve.
  6. Chocolate Covered and Lightly Sea Salted (Intensely Chocolate Cake Morsels) – Note: Store pre-rolled cake in freezer for ten+ minutes to keep shape once in melted chocolate. Place dark chocolate into a glass bowl with a pat of butter for every 4 ounces, to ease the melting chocolate. Microwave until melted.  Drop cake spheres into melted chocolate, one by one, then remove once coated and top with sea salt.  Store morsels in refrigerator to set, until ready to serve.

Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes

iNGREDIENTS:

  • 4 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 extra large eggs, thoroughly beaten
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder plus additional for dusting the pan

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and butter 12 cup muffin/cupcake pan.  Dust each cup with cocoa powder.Note: If you’re having trouble getting the sides of the muffin cups dusted, you can dip a pastry brush into cocoa powder and brush the sides of each cup lightly with the cocoa powder.
  2. Chop chocolate and butter into pieces and drop into a glass bowl. Microwave on high for one minute.  Stir and repeat heating in thirty second intervals until completely melted.  Add brown sugar and whisk until smooth.  Add beaten eggs and whisk well.  Sift 3/4 cup cocoa powder over chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Pour batter evenly into cupcake pan and bake in middle of oven until  fragrant and tops have formed a thin crust, or about ten minutes. Cool cakes in pan on a rack for about two minutes and gently  remove and place onto cooling rack.
  3. Add seasonal berries and chocolate sauce if desired.

Rum Truffles

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 250g of plain sweet biscuits processed into crumbs
  • 4 Tbl of good quality cocoa powder (approx 30g), sifted
  • 1 cup (approx 85g) dessicated coconut
  • 1 x 395g can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 20-40ml dark rum to taste (feel free to replace with your favourite spirit or liqueur)
  • extra sweetened cocoa (sifted), grated chocolate or shredded coconut to roll the balls in

METHOD:

  1. Place biscuit crumbs, cocoa powder and desiccated coconut in a bowl and give it a quick stir to combine. Add condensed milk and rum and stir with wooden spoon until it comes together in a dough. Chill if it has softened.
  2. Roll into small balls with your hands and roll in cocoa powder or decoration of your choice. Place on a baking paper lined baking tray or plate and chill if serving on the day. If it starts to get sticky and melty as you’re rolling, wack it in the fridge to chill and firm up.
  3. If you are preparing these in advance, place the baking tray of formed rum balls in the freezer. When frozen, store them in an airtight container in the freezer. Apparently (don’t take my word for it because I always devour them quicksmart), these Rum Balls will store for a few weeks (perfect for a busy Christmas).
  4. Best eaten at room temperature.

Note: 1 Cup = 250ml and 1 Tbl = 15ml