Chocolate truffles. I maintain I’m not that into chocolate (I have one particular colleague who is always in the mood for choccie, no matter the time of day) but watch December arrive and my store cupboard fill with Ferrero Rocher and Guylian Belgian chocolate pralines. Cheap confectionary casts its spell on me and I am futile to resist their super sweet charms.
This year rather than giving Christmas cards I decided to make boxes of truffles and fudge for my colleagues at work and these utterly decadent, rich truffles were very gratefully (
greedily) received. Christmas Confectionery is essential in this not-that-into-chocolate, chocolate eater’s world ;)
I’ve plans to create my own truffle recipes and venture further into confectionary true once Christmas arrives as rumour has it, Santa is bringing me a super duper candy thermometer this year but for now, I’m bringing you a recipe adapted minimally from Annie Rigg’s Sweet Things. A delightful little book full of gift ideas for every taste and occasion. These particular treats have been calling to me for a long time and seeing the last of the summer’s raspberries in my deep freeze reminded me of it and so I spent the weekend knee deep in molten Belgian chocolate. So to speak!
Raspberry and dark chocolate is a magic combination to me. It is always a good idea in my book. The addition of (wait for it) peanut butter delighted and confused my taste buds in the most unexpected way it took no more than one bite to know these were simply to die for. The raspberry puree is sieved so there are no bits to jar the eating pleasure of these rich and velvet textured truffles and it comes through loud and proud.
The peanut butter, as bonkers as it sounds, serves to anchor the fruity, jammy sweetness and add a touch of saltiness to offset it. I guess you American readers have long known the joys of peanut butter and jelly but it seems unnatural to my British taste buds… Well, it did do! These chic and sophisticated chocolate are absolute winners and easy enough to make you could still get a couple of batches knocked out for last minute Christmas gifts without breaking so much as a seasonal glow ;)
- 40 g caster sugar
- 50 g honey roast or plain salted peanuts
- 200 g fresh or frozen raspberries
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 150 g dark chocolate chips
- 100 g milk chocolate chips
- 200 g double cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
- 75-100 g dark chocolate melted
Make the praline. Put the 40g caster sugar in a small saucepan with a splash of water. Stir well before you put the heat on then put your spatula away! Stirring caramel as it cooks only causes it to crystallise. Turn the heat up gradually until the sugar first dissolves, then bubbles and darkens in colour before your eyes. Do not leave it for a moment and as soon as the colour changes from a light honey to a darker bronze, take off the heat and add the peanuts. Pour onto a silicone baking sheet and allow to fully cool. When cold, blitz to rubbly golden dust and set aside.
Next make the raspberry puree. Cook the berries with the tbsp of caster sugar until they are far less liquid and formed a pulpy mass reduced in volume by half. Pass through a fine sieve until all the seeds have been removed and you have maximal puree left.
Put the chocolate chips, raspberry puree, vanilla and peanut butter in a large bowl then bring the double cream to a boil and pour this over the chocolate etc. Stir well until it has all fully dissolved and then leave to cool a little before stirring in all but 2 tbsp worth of the reserved praline.
Remember when working with chocolate, the room temperature will influence your setting points so allow yourself plenty of time to avoid disappointment. Being cold in England right now these truffles were ready in a few hours but if you are in the Southern Hemisphere it may need a spell in the fridge or leaving somewhere very cool over night.
When set but not solid, scoop out onto a large platter. I used a single tbsp sized ice cream scoop which is the biggest you would want these truffles. A teaspoon would give a smaller, more rustic feel.
Drizzle with the melted chocolate and sprinkle with the 2 tbsp reserved praline. Leave in a cool place until fully set before serving. Placing them in petit four cases and boxing them up in small cardboard boxes makes them a homemade but beautiful gift. If you can bare to give them away!
Adapted from Annie Rigg's book Sweet Things
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