Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bites of (Chocolate) Heaven

For my office holiday party, we caved in to tradition and held a white elephant gift exchange. You know, the kind of gift exchange where you take turns, and each person has the option of picking a new gift from the stash, or stealing a gift from someone else... I wanted to bring something that wouldn't break my budget, while still being one of the most coveted of the bunch. I succeeded in both goals by making these delicious Frangelico dark chocolate truffles. Not only did they get stolen more than any other gift, but the recipe also made enough so that I could save the leftovers for myself. Now that's what I call success!

This recipe is originally from Baker's Royale, and I highly recommend it for all your chocolate and holiday gift needs.



1 cup heavy cream ($0.99)
1 vanilla bean, split, I used 1 teaspoon vanilla extract instead ($4.79 for a large bottle - could be free if you have it)
1 lb. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped ($1.50)
1/4 cup of Frangelico liqueur ($5.99)
1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting ($1.59)
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Optional: 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder, I left this out

The Grand Total: $14.86 for about 25-30 truffles


Place heavy cream in a saucepan. Cut and split vanilla beans vertically and then scrape vanilla bean seeds into cream and then place emptied vanilla seeds in as well (or, pour in vanilla extract). Bring vanilla cream mixture to a boil. Remove sauceepan from heat and pour cream through a strainer over chopped chocolate. Remove vanilla seed and let stand for 10 seconds. Add salt (and espresso powder, if using) to mixture and gently stir until combined.  
Pour Frangelico in and stir until combined. Then cover the surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.   

If you have a 1 inch melon baller, use it to scoop out chocolate rounds and place on parchment lined bake sheet. Make sure to clean the melon baller with warm water as you go for easy formation. If you don't have a melon baller, scoop out about a tablespoon of the chocolate and roll it between the palms of your hands to shape it into a sphere. Make sure you hands are clean between rolling for easy formation. Finsh by rolling in cocoa powder, or crushed nuts or coconut.

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