I stole this recipe. There, I’ve said it. At least I’m honest about the theft!
When I read this recipe on Measure and Whisk I could actually imagine making these light (yes, really), delicious (oh, definitely!) and easy (actually, yup) truffles in *my* kitchen.
See, I’m a terrible candy maker. I have the thermometers and a few of the other trappings, but I get confounded by “soft ball stage”, “hard ball stage”, and all that jazz. I’m much better at cooking and even baking – those sports at far more forgiving.
Still, this sounded like something even I could manage and sure enough, to my delight, they came out just as promised!
Then, of course, I just had to fiddle with it.
If you know me, then you know that I can rarely leave well enough alone. See, when I read the original recipe I thought it would taste a bit like Nutella ™. Instead, (and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, mind you) they tasted rather like Reeses ™. The peanut butter completely overwhelmed the delicate hazelnut and stole the show.
In my rework, I opted for almond butter and almond powder, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Just so we’re all on the same page (so to speak), here’s the exact recipe I stole (with thanks again to Measure and Whisk).
Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles:
3/4 cup hazelnut meal (I use the Bob’s Red Mill brand)
1/2 cup peanut butter, softened to the point of being a little melty
2 Tbs cocoa powder
10 oz dark chocolate (I like Hershey’s special dark chocolate chips)
large grain sea salt for sprinkling
Begin by combining your hazelnut meal, and cocoa powder in a medium sized bowl. Get your peanut butter nice and softened in the microwave (30 seconds to a minute, stirring once or twice), and pour it into your hazelnut meal and cocoa powder bowl. Stir until the mixture is thick and thoroughly blended.
Roll about a tablespoon of the dough into a ball, and put it on a silicone mat or wax paper lined cookie sheet. Do this with the rest of the dough until you have 20 or so small dough balls. Place in the fridge for about 30 minutes to chill.
Next, melt about 6 ounces of your chocolate chips in a medium bowl in the microwave (I used this tutorial for tempering chocolate, and it was really helpful). You want to melt them just enough to get them totally melted and shiny, but not to the point of being really hot or bubbly. I did mine in about 30 second increments, stirring until they were just melted and pretty warm. Then add the last 4 ounces of chocolate chips, stirring until they are melted in.
Now, remove the dough balls from the fridge, and place one in the chocolate mixture, roll it in the chocolate until it is coated, remove from the chocolate with a fork, scraping the excess chocolate onto the side of the bowl, and carefully push the truffle off the fork onto the silicone mat. Repeat with each truffle. Top with a small sprinkle of sea salt.
Let the truffles refrigerate for 2 hours up to overnight, until the chocolate is a nice hard matte shell. Try not to eat them all, and enjoy!
Here’s what I did differently for my round two: no change to the amounts but I substituted almond meal and chunky unsalted almond butter. Cocoa as above, but less chocolate chips as I hate to waste and I ended up with far more melted chocolate than I actually needed the first time. Also, I used a dark chocolate chip that is less sweet. Divine (she said modestly…)
The thing I learned, also, that wasn’t completely clear to me (although probably those of you who have a hand at making candies probably figured this out) is this. When you are making the small balls from the warm paste, its best to portion them out, chill them for a few hours, and *then* roll them into actual balls. This would be a fun thing to have kids help with, I think.
Then chill them again (amazing how quickly your hands can heat up a small ball of yumminess) before rolling them in the melted chocolate. Chill yet again and enjoy. I set mine on parchment on a cookie sheet for the chilling part and it worked just fine.
This is all pretty easy – mostly it takes time to chill everything in stages. Here’s what they looked like in case you’re curious.
batch one, step one (roughly)
Mine are (obviously) not as perfect as Measure and Whisk’s; they have a bit of that “clay ashtray” (or, as we now say, “artisinal”) air about them, but they sure went like hotcakes and I was hard pressed to restrain myself. I’m thinking I may try a hazelnut meal and hazlenut butter next time… mmmmmmm!
Do let us know if you try these, OK? Stay safe and warm, enjoy your friends and family and any holiday you choose during these wintry times!