|Amaretto and Irish Coffee truffles - deceptively easy idea for Valentine's Day, or just because <3|
I found the recipe on Martha Stewart's website, and ended up tweaking it, as usual. I'm not quite sure why I have so much trouble following recipes. I have patience for art projects, animal training, and poring over laws and regulations at work, but I'm really not sure if I've ever actually followed a recipe, in its entirety, in my life.
I was a little concerned before I got started that these wouldn't set, but they gave me no trouble at all. I felt so accomplished as I was rolling these babies! ANYWAY, here is my (modified) truffle recipe:
***First, this isn't technically an "ingredient", but you really need a scoop or melon baller. One with a flippy lever thingy to get the truffle out. Martha says you can use a teaspoon, but this is one time I must insist that you do not listen to her! You will have a mess on your hands in a very literal sense. A nice scoop makes the process MUCH quicker and easier. David just bought me one from Sur La Table, for my early Valentine's Day present.
- 8 oz chocolate -- I used Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet baking chips. High quality, no chopping necessary and they melt very nicely. You could also use milk chocolate, or even white chocolate - but you'd need to reduce the liquid just a little bit.
- 1/2 cup heavy cream -- yes, it really needs to be full fat, heavy cream. If you're going to do it, do it right. No lowfat milk nonsense! I found that I needed about an extra 2-3 teaspoons to get the right consistency.
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste -- Martha didn't call for it, but it really enhances the flavor. If you use liquid vanilla extract instead, reduce the other liquid proportionally.
- 2 Tbsp liqueur -- I made 1 batch with amaretto, and 1 batch with Irish cream.
**For the Irish coffee truffles, I also added 1 tsp instant espresso powder.
- Cocoa powder, for rolling. I ended up using this for the Irish coffee truffles, and I rolled the amaretto truffles in a mixture of finely chopped almonds and sugar. Since I was making two different flavors, I wanted to be able to tell them apart.
- Place chocolate in a heat proof bowl (I use a heavy glass bowl).
- Bring heavy cream to a boil in a saucepan. Just as the cream begins to boil, lower the heat, add the vanilla bean paste, liqueur, and any other flavorings. Give it all a quick stir to combine, and then pour over the chocolate in the bowl.
- According to Martha, if you just let it sit for 10 min, the chocolate will be completely melted by the hot cream. This didn't work for me, so after waiting 10 min and stirring, I MacGyver'ed a double boiler by putting some water in the (now empty) saucepan, setting the glass bowl with the almost-melted chocolate mixture right on top of the saucepan, and stirring with a spatula until the chocolate was completely melted.
- Once your mixture is melted and mixed together thoroughly, put the bowl in the refrigerator to cool and solidify the chocolate mixture. Martha says to pour into "a shallow dish", but I don't really know why. Maybe to make the mixture set more quickly? It seemed happy in its glass bowl and I didn't feel like washing an extra dish, so I left it there. Worked just fine.
- Your truffle mixture should set in about 30-45 minutes.
- Scoop out little truffle balls (just like you're scooping ice cream), smooth out the rough edges, and roll them in the cocoa powder (or whatever else you'd like to use - chopped nuts, colored sanding sugar, powdered sugar - get creative!). Martha said to put the truffle balls in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to re-set before rolling them, but I found that if they were a little softer on the outside, it helped the cocoa/sugar/nuts stick better. Your call.
- Place your finished truffles on a non-stick surface (I used tupperware lined with parchment paper), and return them to the refrigerator until you're ready to present them to your loved one. They will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks...
...if they last that long! :-)