With St Patrick’s looming, I had been wondering what to do to mark the occasion. Potatoes? Stew? No – after Frugal Hausfrau’s inspired attempt at making her own Bailey’s Irish Cream, I knew I had to go down the truffles route.
Since making boozy truffles the other day, I had been itching to give it another go. It’s so simple, once you have your chocolates, shells and a working thermometer, nothing can hold you back. So don’t be surprised if I dedicate this Spring (and my ever-expanding waistline) to chocolates!!
Following Mrs Hausfrau’s breakdown of the basic ingredients – Irish whiskey, cream, chocolate and vanilla, I simply ignored her herbal infusion (although, in hindsight, why not soak a little cinnamon, aniseed and cardamom in the cream beforehand?) and added some cocoa powder to the finished truffles, to give them a slightly bitter kick that befits adult sweets. If you fancy them as a dessert, check out Mrs Hausfrau‘s range of Irish dishes – there’s something for everyone!
Whisky Truffles (makes 30 truffles)
For the ganache:
- 120g white chocolate couverture
- 50g dark chocolate couverture
- 80g double cream
- 2 tsp vanilla sugar
- 10 g soft, unsalted butter
- 40ml whisky
For the truffles:
- ca. 30 dark chocolate shells
- 100g dark chocolate couverture
- 4 tbs cocoa powder (unstweetened)
Chop the white and dark chocolate couverture very finely and place it into a small bowl.
Bring the cream and the vanilla sugar to boil, stirring it to dissolve the sugar. Keep it at that high temperature for a minute. Then pour it over the chocolate and stir continuously until the chocolate has melted. You might need to place the bowl over a saucepan filled with a little simmering water to raise the temperature a little more. Add the butter, and when it is fully incorporated, the whisky. The ganache will be quite runny; simply place it in the fridge for ten minutes or so to speed up the setting process.
Temper the dark chocolate couverture by bringing a small casserole filled with 1-2 cm water to boil. Remove the pot from the hob and place a bowl with 2/3 of the chocolate couverture on top of the casserole: the bowl should not touch the water – you want to avoid that any water, including steam, comes in contact with the chocolate. One drop of water and you need to bin the lot!
Once the chocolate reaches 40-44C, remove the bowl from the casserole and dry it. Place it on a cool surface and add the remaining chocolate. Keep stirring constantly until the temperature has cooled down to 27-28C.
Place the bowl back onto the casserole and heat the chocolate to 32-33C. Now it has reached the ideal temperature and you have to make sure you keep it at that!
Close off your shells with a drop of the chocolate. Fill a shallow bowl with half the cocoa powder. Then place a dollop of the melted chocolate in the palm of your hand and roll each truffle separately in it, covering it with a thin and even layer of couverture. Place the truffle in the cocoa and ensure that it is covered evenly. This can take a good minute or so.
Place the finished truffles on a sheet of baking parchment to harden.
These truffles will last for at least two weeks if you store them in a dark and cool place (15-18C or 60-65F). Enjoy responsibly! Unless, obviously, you’re celebrating St Patrick’s. In that case, ignore my advice.
Happy St Patrick’s Day!