Oh snap, people. I thought making truffles would be easy. The one whip illustration in the cookbook denotes an easy recipe. I guess the fact that we’re newbs at truffle-making should have clued me in. And maybe I should have read up a little more on some techniques first. Hindsight is 20/20, blah blah blah. The good thing is what truffles we were able to make, they do taste pretty fantastic. I think this has a lot to do with the fact that they have – ahem- the liquors in them.
Behold, the liquors! The recipe calls for Grand Marnier or a similar liqueur, but yours truly wasn’t going to pay its steep price. I had cognac and Triple Sec on hand, so we used those together. See the Notes section for our adjustments and amounts.
The recipes does seem pretty easy. All one does is boil some cream, add in finely chopped chocolate and then whisk in the alcohol. There’s no added sugar or butter.
Don’t forget to toast your nuts, folks. We realized we really needed more than what the recipe called for, especially had we actually gotten 25 as it says it yields. As is, we only got 16 made – more on that later – and we were quickly running out of the toasted almonds by then.
OK, so lemme tell ya how I made these things. The recipe says to freeze the chocolate till just firm, then cut it into 25 squares. Then dip each square in nuts and roll into a ball.
The recipe is crazy. I realized at some point that this wasn’t going to be very do-able going in as they instructed. Rolling chocolate by hand? Even chocolate that’s covered in nuts? Hello, it needs to melt in your mouth, not in your hands, and hands tend to be hot items.
It didn’t work. Chocolate seeped from behind the nut coating and as sis said, they looked like they’d been licked, what with the wet, shiny-esque chocolate thinly covering the almonds now. I did the only thing I could think to do at the time, just worked extra fast to roll the chocolate into balls, or lumps sort of like balls, wiped my hands on paper towels (I may have used an entire forest worth, the guilt is huge), then rolled the balls in nuts.
That’s the story of how we got 16 truffles. The rest we got tired of and just ate with a spoon. I imagine if it could have, my tongue would have gone limp.
There was a lesson learned with this recipe – I need to buy more of those awesome spring-loaded cookie scoop things, and in much smaller sizes than Extra Large Ice Cream Ball. Because it occurred to me not long after that one of those would have been better to roll the chocolate into balls with and elimated my need to demolish half a roll of paper towels wiping chocolate off my hands.
That’s life. You screw up a few truffles and you move on. If you’re feeling so inclined, try some of these for the Holidays. Chocolate and orange is a classic combination for a reason – they taste tongue-tastic together. The liquors aren’t hurting anything either, adding a deeper layer of richness. Rolled in the nuts, they offer a duel level of texture that’s satisfying. Especially after what we went through to bring them into existence that day. Enjoy!
Chocolate-Orange Truffles with Almonds
from Bon Appétit Desserts
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook time: about 10 minutes plus chill time Level: Easy…ish Makes: 25
- 3/4 cup whipping cream
- 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
- 1 1/2 tablespoons grated orange peel
- 1 1/4 cups almonds (about 6 ounces), toasted, finely chopped
Line 8 x 8 x 2-inch baking pan with foil. Bring cream to boil in heavy medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Whisk in Grand Marnier and orange peel. Pour into prepared pan; freeze just until firm, about 30 minutes.
Using foil as aid lift chocolate block out of pan; place on work surface. Flatten foil at edges. Cut chocolate into 25 squares. Place nuts in small bowl. Press chocolate square into nuts, coating completely. Roll truffle between palms into ball. Repeat with remaining chocolate and nuts. Cover; chill until very firm, about 2 hours. Serve cold. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Don’t be like us – save yourselves some pains and buy some small cookie scoops if you don’t have some already. About 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter should be good, or bigger if you prefer. Truffles come in a variety of sizes after all. Use a spoon if necessary after to unstick the chocolate from the scoop and proceed with rolling in the nuts.
If you don’t want to buy Grand Marnier, the only thing unique about it, apparently, is that it has cognac in it. Substitute 1/2 tablespoon regular cognac (you can buy the small sample bottles in several brands) and 1 1/2 tablespoon of an orange liqueur, such as Triple Sec. Or you could skip the cognac altogether and just use an orange liqueur.
Have some extra almonds on hand just in case the above amount isn’t enough to roll the truffles in, maybe more like 1 3/4 cup.