Saturday 18 February 2012

Chocolate orange biscuit truffles

It's a friend’s birthday this weekend.  She’s moving house and getting rid of a lot of clutter in the process.  This gave me cause for concern: what does one buy for someone who’s trying to get rid of everything?  Then I realised - something edible of course.  I decided that 'something' should be truffles.

Homemade truffles are perfect as a gift; they’re relatively simple to make but look so elegant and can be packaged up prettily for that extra wow factor.  Furthermore, let’s not forget that they're bound to be a hit because everyone loves chocolate...everyone except for those who say they don’t that is.  But I don’t believe them for one second, they're evidently in denial.

I mentioned in my very first post on this blog that I love the combination of chocolate and citrus.  In particular, I love chocolate and orange together (in time, it’s pretty much guaranteed that an inordinate number of recipes on my blog will bring together these two ingredients), so when thinking about what type of truffles to make, my immediate thought was chocolate orange.  “Can’t really get better than that” I thought.  Oh, how wrong I was.  Following a bit of online research, I stumbled across a truffle recipe that combined chocolate and orange and shortbread and cranberries.  I know, amazing right?! So below is my adaptation of said recipe.
These truffles are a sophisticated, grown-up chocolate, but be warned, they are not for the faint-hearted.  A friend who ate one commented that he thought it was going to kill him, accusing me of chocolate poisoning (yes, believe it or not, such a thing does exist).  He swiftly went back for a second though so he obviously figured, if he was going to die, this was a good way to go!

Adapted from BBC Good Food’s Chocolate biscuit truffles

Makes approx 45 truffles

  • 350g dark chocolate (70%), roughly chopped
  • 350ml double cream
  • Zest of 1 orange and approx. 2 tbsp juice of the orange
  • 75g unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
  • 5 shortbread biscuits, broken up into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp dried cranberries
  • Cocoa powder or desiccated coconut for rolling
Pulse the chocolate in a food processor until it's the consistency of breadcrumbs.

Place the cream in a saucepan with the orange zest and bring to the boil.  Once boiling, remove from the heat.
Turn on the food processor again and pour the cream very slowly onto the chocolate, mixing until you have a smooth emulsion. If the mixture splits, process for a couple more minutes and it should rectify itself.

Add the cubes of butter, one by one, to the chocolate cream and beat until the butter has been incorporated, then add the orange juice and mix for a further few seconds.  You should end up with a smooth, beautifully glossy ganache.
Pour the mixture into a bowl and stir in the biscuit pieces and cranberries.
Refrigerate for an hour.

Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
When the chocolate mixture has set, spoon into truffle sized chunks.  Working quickly (and ideally with cold hands that have been dusted lightly with cocoa powder), roll the chunks lightly into circular balls and then drop into cocoa powder or desiccated coconut, ensuring an even overall coating.

Place on the baking tray and refrigerate to set.
The truffles will keep for one to two weeks if kept in the fridge.

My chocolate orange biscuit truffles, packaged up in cellophane, tulle and ribbon for the birthday girl

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