I have something to suggest for you if you want to impress your chocolate loving friends or family with a foodie present that would be almost effortless yet still elegant to look at. Not mentioning yummy - but doesn't that apply to anything with chocolate in it?
My recipe for this season combines two essential ingredients for the Christmas holidays - chocolate and Bailey's. And the added extras of roasted hazelnuts and dried cranberries, well soaked in Bailey's.
These Bailey's chocolate truffles are going to be a gift for another foodblogger that would take part in the Let's Make Christmas Gift Swap started by Prepped! cook book author and blogger Vanessa Kimbell last year.
The 2011 edition took place at the iconic high end department store Fortnum and Mason and I was very happy to be awarded winner in the Chocolates category with my Cranberry and Port Mincemeat Pops - of course enrobed in chocolate. I won a chocolate tempering class at award winning Rococo Chocolates, but I didn't blog about it as had no camera with me and I didin't have a second chance to get there and make some photos. However, the good news is, that this year's Let's Make Christmas gift swap is going to be at the very headquarters of Rococo, where all their chocolates are created, so I might be able to make some shots and write this post!
As a busy mum of two this year I had less time to be involved in time consuming chocolate techniques, so I came up with something fairly easy.
So here's your recipe and don't forget the edible glitter, an essential festive ingredient!
Bailey's Chocolate Truffles with Hazelnuts and Dried Cranberries
Makes some 60 truffles (depending on size)
200 ml whipping cream
150 ml Bailey's
400 g dark chocolate - I used 55% Valrhona (Equatoriale feves)
+ 50 g dark 70 % Green and Black's
+ 3 tbsp unsalted butter
100 g whole hazelnuts - slow oven roasted for 20 minutes
50 g dried cranberries soaked in Bailey's for 2-3 hours
icing sugar for dusting
3 packs chocolate pearls
pearl and gold edible glitter to give everything a glam makeover
Heat the cream without reaching boiling. Add Bailey's remove from heat and leave to cool down.
In heatproof bowl add the chocolate chopped into even pieces and melt at up to 500 W power for alternative periods of 1 minute and then 30 - 20-10 seconds as needed. Mix after every melt and be careful it doesn't burn.
When the chocolate is smooth and ready add the cream and Bailey's and mix until smooth. Add the butter and smooth again.
Cover with plastic wrap and leave to cool overnight.
On the next day - using a melon baller get some of the ganache and inset a hazelnut or soaked cranberries in the middle - make a ball and roll into the pearlised chocolate pearls and coat with icing sugar.
Sprinkle food glitter generously.
May you have a Glorious and Sparkling 2013!