Although there's no denying that I love my food, I'd like to think that I'm not a pretentious foodie. My daily diet does not consist of such things as quinoa and pearl barley, I don't breakfast on wheatgerm smoothies and if I'm going to snack, it's not likely to be on kale crisps or chia seeds.
Having said this, I must confess that I can be a snob about chocolate. I'm ashamed to admit that I once looked so disappointed at receiving a particular box of chocolates that the person who'd bought them for me promptly snatched the box back out of my hands and wouldn't let me have it. Not my finest hour I'll admit, but I've worked on receiving gifts more graciously since then I promise (and for future reference, it was those seashell-shaped confections that taste as though they contain only about 1% cocoa and 99% I don't know what).
So yes, I can be elitist about chocolate; I would rather spend all my pocket money on one tiny morsel of Paul A Young's salted caramel popcorn bark or indulge only once every few months in William Curley's almond and orange caramel mou bar (which frankly might be my most favourite ever chocolate based on its name alone - I mean it's called a 'mou bar'!) than choose to eat those seashell chocolates every day of the week.
But before anyone gets cross with me, let me qualify my snobbery: I am not saying I will only eat expensive chocolate; I'm saying I will only eat good quality chocolate. To my mind, the two need not be synonymous and Ferrero Rochers surely prove my point - they won't break the bank and doesn't everyone agree that they're scrummy?!
Because I'm so enamoured with them, I decided it was time to have a go at making my own Nutella-filled nuggets of chocolatyness, but with a twist - the addition of my favourite ingredient to complement chocolate: orange! I loved how they turned out and am sure that any chocolate snob would approve!
These Ferrero Rochers were easy to whip up and would make a great Christmas present if you want to add a personal touch to your gifts this year. For other homemade Christmas gift ideas, see Christmas Rocky Road and chocolate orange biscuit truffles.
Adapted from Scoochmaroo's Ferrero Rochers
Adapted from Scoochmaroo's Ferrero Rochers
Makes approx. 30 chocolates (I got 29)
- 80g hazelnuts
- 85g hazelnut wafer biscuits
- 400g chocolate orange spread*, refrigerated for at least an hour beforehand
- 260g good quality milk chocolate (35% cocoa) or plain chocolate (50% cocoa)
*If you can’t find chocolate orange spread, you could use standard hazelnut chocolate spread/Nutella with either the zest of a small orange mixed thoroughly through it or a few drops of orange oil added. Alternatively, if preferred, omit the orange flavouring entirely to make standard Ferrero Rochers.
Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan).
Place the hazelnuts onto a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10-12 minutes, checking every three or four minutes to give them a shake and make sure they’re not burning.
Remove hazelnuts from the oven and allow to cool before placing them in a tea towel and rubbing vigorously to remove as much of the papery skins as possible.
Set aside 30 whole nuts and chop the rest fairly finely, either by blitzing them for a few seconds in a food processor or as I did, the old-fashioned way, on a chopping board with a knife.
Place the wafer biscuits in a Ziploc bag and bash with a rolling pin until they’re finely crushed.
Tip the biscuits and chopped hazelnuts into a bowl and mix together with a spoon.
Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
Remove the chocolate spread/Nutella from the fridge and working quickly with a teaspoon – or ideally a melon baller – scoop a small ball from the jar (it should be roughly the size you want your final Ferrero Rochers to be).
Whilst the ball is still on the spoon, push a whole hazelnut into the middle.
Drop the ball into the biscuit/chopped nuts mix and roll it around until its surface is entirely covered. Place on the lined baking sheet.
Repeat until you have made all your chocolate balls, then place the tray in the freezer for 45 minutes to an hour.
Once the chocolate balls have been in the freezer for the required time, break the milk or plain chocolate into pieces in a bowl and melt either in the microwave or a bain marie.
Allow the chocolate to cool slightly, then remove chocolate balls from the freezer.
Working quickly, drop the balls one by one in the melted chocolate to coat them completely.
Remove from the chocolate with a fork and place back on the lined baking sheet to set. You will find that the chocolate coating will start to go set almost immediately against the cold chocolate balls.
Once all of the rochers have been coated, place the tray in the fridge for an hour to set completely.