Mocha Almond Truffles 12.1.2009

I offered to bake something for an alternative gift fair at work, but opted to attempt truffles when I realized I was out of eggs. I modified a cookbook recipe to make them, and at first I thought they were turning out to be a disaster, but found they actually worked out pretty well (once I decided to use the freezer instead of the refridgerator). In fact, they were a hit, with no leftovers at the end of the fair. Just what I like.

Mocha Almond Truffles

Modified from Mocha Truffles recipe in the Mrs. Fields Best Ever Cookie Book; makes about 40 truffles

Filling:

Ingredients: 1 bag (11.5 oz) milk chocolate (Nestle), 3/4 C heavy whipping cream (try 1/2 C if you want the filling to be thicker), 1/4 C (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, 2 T instant espresso granules dissolved in 2 T coffee liqueur or in 1 T hot water, 1/2 t almond extract, crushed almonds (1–2 C)
  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add cream and bring to a simmer.
  2. Pour hot cream mixture over chocolate chips in a large shallow bowl and add coffee mixture and almond extract. Mix until smooth.
  3. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until firm enough to mostly hold its shape when scooped out (about 2 hr). You can also put it in the freezer if you want to speed the process up or make the mixture firm enough to mold into balls.
  4. For each truffle, use a spoon to scoop out a tablespoon-sized lump of the chocolate mixture and drop it into a bowl of crushed almonds. Sprinkle almonds over the lump and roll it around until you have a ball of almond-coated filling. Place the filling ball on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet.
  5. Put the cookie sheet of truffle fillings in the freezer until fillings are cold and firm (about 30 min).

Coating:

Ingredients: 2 bags (11.5 oz each) milk chocolate (Nestle), 4 t vegetable oil
  1. Melt chocolate in a double boiler over hot (not simmering) water, or in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave in 30-second increments on HIGH, stirring between. Stir until smooth.
  2. Stir in oil and let cool to lukewarm.
  3. Dip truffles in the chocolate coating. Try to let the excess coating drip off before returning the truffles to the wax-lined cookie sheet.
  4. Refrigerate or freeze until the coating hardens. Store chilled, letting truffles sit at room temperature for a few minutes before serving.
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