To be truthful, unlike many people, chocolate is not something that I need to indulge in everyday. “Regular” chocolate candy usually seems to me to be a waste of my daily allotment of carbs and calories. Believe it or not, I couldn’t even stand the taste of chocolate until I was practically grown.
All that is ancient history now, of course, but I am still picky in my taste for chocolate. I am especially partial to the pure sensations of robust, full-bodied high cocoa content varieties. However, I do enjoy interesting complex concoctions and desserts where chocolate are only one of the components.
Now that the holidays are well upon us and chocolate delights of some kind or another are everywhere, I’ve been thinking about just what goodies really do ring my Christmas bells. The answer: truffles, truffles, and more truffles. Like any other fine recipe, truffles are only as good as the ingredients that go into them. For my taste, truffles are just about the perfect indulgence for my occasional craving. Intense dark chocolate with deep complex flavors all tied together in a neat little package that I can knock back in one or two bites… yes, please!
My current truffle favorite is the version that my friend and food-styling partner, Linda Ullian Schmid, and I created for Sheri Lee’s beautiful cookbook, Under the Fig Leaf. The recipe is for Fig Hazelnut Chocolate Truffles and includes several of my favorite flavors… dried figs, Frangelico Liqueur, toasted hazelnuts, and 85% Cocoa Extra Dark Lindt Excellence. The four ingredients combine for a stellar truffle! We are including the recipe as a teaser to the rest of the scrumptious recipes in this book, which really does make a great present. We also want to invite you to check out the other beautiful and unique chocolates on our website.
FIG HAZELNUT CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES
Makes 25 to 30 pieces
½ cup whipping cream
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon light corn syrup
9 ounces (approximately 2 ½ bars) 85% Cocoa Extra Dark Lindt Excellence Chocolate
¼ cup dried figs, finely chopped, stems removed
2 Tablespoons Frangelico Liqueur
2 cups hazelnuts, toasted, finely chopped
- Combine the cream, butter, and corn syrup in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and cool for 5 minutes.
- Break the chocolate into pieces and stir into the partially cooled cream mixture. Stir until melted and blend in dried figs. Add the Frangelico and blend well.
- Cool for 2 hours at room temperature.
- Using an electric mixer, whip on medium speed for 1 minute.
- Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls.
- Place the truffles on a parchment paper-lined tray and chill for 1 hour.
- Roll in the hazelnuts.
Chocoholics rejoice; Avanti Savoia is here for you! Find a wealth of information on the history and production of chocolate on a previous post entitled Food of the Gods.