Monday, December 16, 2013

chocolate espresso truffles

Last year I made about half a dozen batches of chocolate orange truffles for gifts, parties, and snacking during Christmastime. They were quite a hit! Most people think chocolates truffles are too difficult to attempt at home and should be left to professional chocolatiers, but truly truffles are quite easy to make. You just need a little bit of time, a willingness to get a little messy, and a love of chocolate!

If you've been reading, you might recall that the classic chocolate/coffee flavor pairing is a beloved combination in our family. I decided it was time to recreate espresso brownies in a chocolate truffle form. These truffles are rich and decadent spheres that will make your chocoholic/coffeeholic loved ones giddy.
Chocolate Espresso Truffles 
Adapted from All-recipes
Makes 20-24 truffles

1/4 c. unsalted butter
3 tbsp. heavy cream
4 oz semisweet chocolate
2 tbsp prepared espresso
3/4 tsp. espresso powder 
4 oz semisweet chocolate
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3/4 c. finely chopped almonds or hazelnuts

1. Combine butter and cream in a saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil then remove from heat.
2. Stir in 4 oz chocolate, prepared espresso, and espresso powder. Stir until mixture is smooth. Note: I made a batch of these truffles with only the prepared espresso, but the additional flavor from the espresso powder is needed to pack an espresso kick into the truffles.
3. Pour truffle mixture into a parchment lined 9 x 5 loaf pan. Chill for about 2 hours until firm.

4. Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper. Here's part I of truffle making messiness: shape truffle mixture into rounded teaspoon with hands. No matter what you will have chocolate on your hands afterwards, but if the chocolate begins to majorly melt than you might need to stop and re-chill the truffle mixture. Place on baking sheet and chill in freezer for about 30 minutes. The last few truffles are usually the most oddly shaped of the bunch, I sometimes go back and roll those into better balls after they have been in the freezer.
5. While the truffles are in the freezer, toast the almonds. I prefer to toast in a skillet on medium heat stirring and shaking often until the nuts brown slightly and give off a nutty smell. You can also toast in the oven, but I think it's easier to make sure they don't burn when they are on the stove top (especially if you don't have a window on your oven door).

6. In a double broiler, melt remaining 4oz. chocolate with oil. Stir until smooth and let cool slightly (you don't want the outer layer to melt your truffle center).

7. Drop truffles in the melted chocolate. Use two forks (or a toothpick) to lift the truffles out. Allow any excess chocolate to drip off.
8. Drop the chocolate coated truffles in the toasted nuts and roll around until the melted chocolate is completely coated. Then carefully transfer back onto baking sheet. Repeat with remaining truffles.
9. Chill to set outer chocolate shell. Homemade truffles keep best in an air-tight container in the fridge. Set the truffles at room temperature about a half hour prior to serving.
Make these espresso truffles for your next Christmas party or give these out as gifts. I doubt you'll get any complaints when you show up these beauties! Never doubt the power of chocolate and coffee. Never.

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