It would come as no surprise to anyone that I couldn't find my Australian Women's Weekly Big Book of Beautiful Biscuits. However, I did have a scribbled note about this recipe in the kitchen, and I took a leap of faith and went with that.
I make these truffles every Christmas for MrsDrWho, and of course, Christmas comes late to our house. You can make up to 60 truffles with this recipe, but the hazelnut outer coating can be frozen and kept for afterwards. Maybe Easter??
You can replace the hazelnut meal with almond meal. I used some very vintage Cherry Brandy to soak the cherries and flavour the truffles, but you can use brandy, rum or whatever you fancy. If you would prefer not to use alcohol, substitute some orange juice or maybe vanilla extract.
Though they may look complicated, the separate parts are easy to make. The assembling can be a tad messy!!!
The pictures may be a bid worse than usual as my camera battery's charge ran out and I used my iPad, poorly, for some of them. I hope the recipe makes sense, I am still not totally compos mentis.
Hazelnut Cherry Truffles makes up to 60
- 40-60 glace cherries
- 20ml Cherry Brandy or whatever you fancy
- 350g white chocolate
- 1 cup pure icing sugar, sifted
- 1 cup hazelnut meal
- 1 egg-white
- 1/4 cup thickened cream
- 2 tspn extra Cherry Brandy
- 400g dark or milk chocolate to coat the truffles
- a little extra white chocolate for decorating if you wish
Soak the glace cherries in the Cherry Brandy, overnight or at least for a few hours. U put them in a ziplock bag, so I could make sure they were well and truly macerated.
Melt 350g white chocolate gently, in the microwave or over a bowl of gently simmering water. It is best to let is almost melt, and then remove from the heat and stir to melt the last few pieces so it is smooth.
While the chocolate is melting, mix the hazelnut meal and icing sugar in a large bowl. Add the egg-white and mix till a thick paste forms. This didn't happen for me, so I just poured in the cream and continued to fold everything together. If it is a little wet, add some extra hazelnut meal, if it is a little thick add some cream. It should be thick enough to stand a spoon up in it.
Finally add the Cherry Brandy and the melted chocolate and mix together well. Spoon into a lined bar tin or some other square or rectangular container. This makes it easier to cut even pieces later on, rather than spooning the mixture out inaccurately. of course you don't have to do this, but I like my truffles to be almost the same size. Refrigerate for about an hour until firm.
My bar of hazelnut truffle coating measured 27 x 7 x 3cm. I cut generous 1cm slices and then cut each one into quarters.
To make the truffles, form each small piece of the hazelnut mixture into a flattened disc and then place a cherry in the centre. Wrap the sides of the disc up and around the cherry to encase it. Finally roll into a ball. I kept the scraps of hazelnut mixture in case I needed to patch a hole. The cherry needs to be totally encased. The coating can be as thick or thin as you choose.
Refrigerate the truffles for about 30 minutes, or even put them in the freezer.
Melt the dark or milk chocolate gently, as before, in a bowl or container that is the right size for truffle dipping. Dip each truffle in the chocolate to cover it totally. I used a toothpick to dip, and I covered up the toothpick hole on top with a swirl of extra chocolate. Refrigerate the truffles and then they are done.
Or you can decorate them as you please. I melted a little extra white chocolate in a ziplock bag, snipped a hole in the corner and swirled or swooshed across the truffles. You could roll them in sprinkles, use gold leaf (my word!) or a sliver of hazelnut or cherry.
The truffles will keep for quite a long time in an airtight container in the fridge and I have even frozen them!!!