Thursday, December 13, 2012

Smoky Scotch whiskey chocolate truffles

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Chocolate truffles are one of the most impressive sweet treats you can make for your friends and family.

Fortunately, they are also one of the easiest.

When you stick to just chocolate and cream, they're rich, dense and dark. But when you throw in a little unexpected flavoring, they're rich, dense, dark and intriguing

My husband is in an all-guys book group, several of whose members like Scotch. I found a bit of Smokehead left over from one of their meetings and, as an experiment, dumped a few tablespoons into my last batch of truffles. (Smokehead, a single malt Scotch from Islay, is described on its website as "peaty, smoky and vigorous." Indeed.)

So did the experiment succeed? It did. I can highly recommend the combination of 66 percent Valrhona chocolate and super-smoky Scotch. 

I brought some of these smoky Scotch truffles to a friend's holiday party and was rewarded with serious groans of pleasure. I made a big batch for our Food Bloggers Los Angeles annual holiday cookie and cookbook swap, too, and got compliments. I think you'll like them.

Note: The better the chocolate, the better the truffles, period. I rolled my truffles in festive silver sprinkles because it's December, but normally I just dust them with dark cocoa powder. I love the rustic look of misshapen truffles dusted in cocoa - it makes them look like the fungal truffles for which they were named.

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Super smoky Scotch whiskey chocolate truffles
Chocolate truffles are one of the easiest and most impressive chocolate candies you can make. These rise to a new level with the addition of an extremely smoky Scotch whiskey. A perfect homemade gift for the holidays.
  • 1 pound bittersweet chocolate, at least 60% cocoa solids
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon Scotch whiskey
  • dark cocoa powder or festive sprinkles, for coating
Chop the chocolate into relatively small pieces and put it in a glass or ceramic bowl. (Yes, the kind of bowl is important: You may need to put the bowl in the microwave, so metal is out, and plastic will make the truffles taste funny.)Heat the cream until steaming but not boiling - I do this in the microwave. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and let it sit about 2 minutes. Whisk the chocolate and cream together until all the chocolate is melted. If the mixture is tepid and you still see lumps of chocolate, put the bowl in the microwave for 15 seconds and stir again. Continue until the mixture is smooth. Add the Scotch and whisk again until smooth.Put the bowl somewhere relatively cool (i.e. not in the sun) and let the mixture sit at room temperature, uncovered, for about 2 hours. It will harden some but will not be fully solid. Some people prefer to put their truffle mixture in the refrigerator and then scoop it like frozen ice cream, but I like to have my truffle mixture more the texture of soft-serve - I think it makes for prettier truffles in the end. It's up to you.Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Take a small spring-loaded scoop, or two spoons, and dish out about 1 Tablespoon of the mixture onto the parchment-lined sheet for each truffle. They will look rustic and misshapen, and that's fine. When you've used all the mixture, put the tray in the refrigerator, uncovered, and let harden at least 2 hours.To finish the truffles remove them from the refrigerator. If you're dusting them in cocoa powder, put about half a cup of cocoa powder in a plastic container with a lid, put a handful of the truffles in, put on the cover, roll them around, and then lift them out into a strainer and shake off the excess cocoa powder. If you're using sprinkles, you'll want to roll each truffle in your palms a little to melt the outside layer before rolling them in the sprinkles - this will help the sprinkles stick. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks. Amaze your friends, family and coworkers.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: approximately 3 dozen truffles


Natalie @ The Devil Wears Parsley said...

Erika, these truffles were amazing!! Once I got them home after the FBLA Cookie Swap, they were easily the favorite. These definitely have a place in my Christmas goodies repertoire for years to come. Thanks for posting!! :-)

Erika Kerekes said...

@Natalie I'm so glad to hear that! Thanks for letting me know. I think they get better with the scotch!

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