Truffling, not turkey

09 December 2016

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EACH Christmas, my sister produces a variety of handmade gifts for people. Last year, we all had decorated photo frames and embroidered hankies, along with no end of chocolate truffles. Making confectionery can be fun; so here are a couple of recipes.

These Gingerbread truffles are deceptively simple. Crushed ginger biscuits can be used in place of the cake crumbs.

 

225g (8 oz) plain chocolate
50g (2 oz) unsalted butter
70g (2½ oz) stale ginger cake crumbs
15g (½ oz) ground almonds
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
225g (8 oz) icing sugar
glitter sugar/vermicelli/cocoa powder

 

Melt the chocolate and butter together (the bowl-over-simmering-pan method works for me), leave to cool slightly. Mix in the crumbs, ground almonds, cinnamon, vanilla, and sugar. Chill until the mixture is firm. Scoop out small amounts with a spoon, and roll between the palms of your hands to make small balls. While still sticky, roll these in glitter sugar, chocolate vermicelli, cocoa powder, or similar. Chill again, then pack into airtight containers. Makes 25-30.

Chocolate-enrobed things feel so indulgent. The quantities here for Eggnog truffles make a little go a long way; so once made up maybe leave half the mixture in the freezer to assemble when needed.

 

600g (1lb 5 oz) chocolate (milk and white)
200g (7 oz) unsalted butter
100g (3½ oz) icing sugar
150g (6 oz) mascarpone
1½ teaspoon mixed spice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
60g (2oz) golden syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 tablespoons each (100ml/3.5 fl.oz total) of rum, brandy, and bourbon

 

For decoration:
300g (10½ oz) white chocolate
optional angelica and glacé cherries

 

Melt together the chocolate and butter, as before, or using the microwave. Set aside to cool a little.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the icing sugar, mascarpone, spices, syrup, and vanilla. Beat the rum, brandy, and bourbon into the chocolate until smooth and glossy, add it to the creamy mixture, and then stir well to incorporate everything.

Now line a loaf tin with clingfilm, pour the mixture in, and place inside the freezer for a good few hours until firm. When ready, turn out of the tin and chop into sugar-lump sizes, roll gently into balls, and space out evenly on a greaseproof-lined baking sheet, then put them back in the fridge or freezer to chill and firm up.

Melt the white chocolate with some water, and patiently, with a teaspoon, drop a little over the top of each ball to run slowly down the sides and give that pudding look. Top with a little chopped angelica and cherry if that’s your thing. Chill until the chocolate is hard, then serve or gift away to your heart’s content.

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