Friday, November 24, 2006
When Johanna from The Passionate Cook announced the theme for the Sugar High Friday 25, I knew the time had come to take part in my first SHF event. There were several reasons - who can resist the lovely chocolatey flavored delicacies, but mainly because it was a perfect theme for the next Cooking School.
So what are Truffles? Well like their namesake - the Truffle mushrooms, they have become somewhat legendary. They are decadent, luxurious, irresistible and can be very expensive when bought in stores. There are entire stores that dedicate themselves to making and producing these little delicacies. The chocolate Truffles have an aura about themselves. Everyone thinks they are fantastic and everyone believes making these is a huge mystery. The truth be told here and today. They are not difficult to make in the least.
A basic truffle is made with Ganache, which is a mixture of boiling heavy cream poured over rich chocolate and blending until smooth. The ganache is formed into a ball and then dipped in tempered chocolate for a crunchy and chocolatey exterior. The trickiest part when making truffles is preparing the tempered chocolate.
For this session I have decided to keep my truffle variation simple by leaving the tempered chocolate preparation out. This however, does not mean the taste suffers. These truffles are very exclusive, smooth and rich. They have a crunch in the center and are coated with nuts and coconuts for an unmistakable flavor. I created these truffles a couple of years back by combining two recipes I found in a magazine. I experimented with the ingredients and was happy that I came up with a type of recipe that eliminated the heavy cream completely.
So, if I eliminated the cream and the tempering of the chocolate, what are my truffles made of? Nougat! That is my secret and you will never believe how easy they are to make. I urge you to try and buy organic and high quality ingredients for these truffles. You won't be sorry once you have tasted them.
Warning: Those making these truffles are prone to over-tasting and this may cause a sugar high shock - LOL!
Hazelnut Nougat Truffle
200g Nougat. I used the German Nougat, which is smooth and chocolatey.
100g + 3 teaspoons Concentrated butter
100g Whole hazelnuts
50g Pistachios - finely chopped
100g Coconut flakes
100g Hazelnut brittle
100g Dark chocolate
30 Truffle forms
Cut up the nougat and 100g concentrated butter in small cubes and place in a metal bowl. Place this bowl over a pot of boiling water and allow to melt. Gently mixing until the mixture has melted.
Pour this in a cold glass container. First allow to cool at room temperature for about half an hour then place in the refrigerator. Cool for at least an hour.
After the cooling process you will notice that the nougat mixture has become more solid again. Using a melon baller, scoop out small portions of the nougat. Take one whole hazelnut and place in the middle. Using your finger tips quickly form a ball, covering the hazelnut with the nougat.
My tip: Place a large bowl of ice water and a large towel next to you while forming these nougat balls. Cool your hands in the ice water after you have formed each nougat nut ball and wipe dry. This is a bit messy, but you will realize doing this allows you to handle the nougat just a little longer between your fingers. I do not advice you to use your palms to form the balls, rather quickly form them between your fingertips.
Place the nougat nut balls on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper and cool in the refrigerator again for an hour.
In the meantime in three flat plates, pour out the chopped pistachios, coconut flakes and brittle. Set aside.
Break up the dark chocolate, place in a bowl and over a pot with boiling water begin to melt. Add the 3 teaspoons of concentrated butter and stir gently. This gives the chocolate a nice sheen.
Take the nougat nut balls out and with a fork dip each ball very quickly into the chocolate. You have to really work quickly, making sure that the nougat does not melt in the chocolate. Place the chocolate covered truffle in one of the flat plates filled with the chopped nuts, brittle or coconut. With the back of a spoon roll until it is completely covered. Place on the baking tray to set and dry. Repeat this with each of the truffles until you have all covered with the toppings.
Once all the truffles are ready, place into the refrigerator for another hour, so everything get harden.
That was it! You have now just made your own delicate, rich and 100% homemade truffle candy.
Makes about 30.
You can add alcohol or liqueur to the nougat mixture while it is melting. Whiskey, rum and cognac are popular variations, but also try Pernod or Amaretto. Use approx. 4 cl of the alcohol of your choice
Adding a bit of orange zest to the mixture gives a whole new aroma and taste.
Try a bit of cardamon powder for a lovely spiced taste.
You can use any type of nuts for the center of the truffle. Almonds or whole pistachios make it all the more interesting and luxurious.
A great a fruity topping for the truffles is chopped dried cranberries. Mix these with the pistachios and watch the truffles disappear within seconds.
Rich, velvety, crunchy and melt in your mouth. As you drop these small luxurious candies into your mouth the nougat starts to melt straight away. Biting into it the whole hazelnut adds a pleasant crunchy surprise.
These are just perfect to give away as gifts for friends and family. Think Christmas folks! Packed in small gift boxes, these will not only impress but also add a personal touch. I used this batch of candy as a thoughtful giveaway for my guests yesterday evening at our Thanksgiving party. Something that the couples can enjoy together a little later in the evening ;-)
I hope Johanna will accept my treats for the Sugar High Friday #25.
photography, nikon, nikon d70s, photo, truffles, foodblog, food, candy, nougat, hazelnut, sweet, Sugar High Friday, SHF, chocolate