I kicked off the Christmas cupcakes last week and now I think it's time to kick off the Christmas recipe posts too!
Truffles are always on my Christmas To Bake List, velvety smooth, silky chocolate truffles make such a great little homemade gift, I give out little cellophane bags of truffles every year and they always go down a treat.
I particularly love these little White Chocolate Caramelised Nut Truffles, they are a joy to make and of course to eat!
I've kept this batch simple but you can make so many flavour variations, add 1/2 tsp of any flavouring extract or 1tsp of any liqueur you choose or you can even add orange or lemon zest. The possibilities really are pretty endless but here are a few ideas:
Add 1/2 tsp coconut extract to the ganache mixture and omit the caramelised nuts and instead roll the truffles in coconut to make White Chocolate Coconut Truffles.
Add 1 tsp Amaretto to the ganache mixture and instead of using mixed nuts, caramelise only almonds to make White Chocolate and Almond Truffles.
Instead of dipping the truffles in white chocolate why not dip them in milk or dark chocolate instead?
If you are adding an extract or liqueur, simply do so at the point in the recipe that I add the vanilla paste.
Apart from the chocolate of course, what really makes these truffles special are the caramelised nuts.
The homemade caramelised nuts I use in this recipe are amazing, they are so simple to make and taste so much better than any store bought caramelised nuts.
They are brilliant just eaten as they are but they also have so many other uses. I use them to decorate cupcakes and layer cakes, I chop them and sprinkle over ice cream and they also make a brilliant cookie add-in.
250g mixed nuts
150g icing sugar
2 tbsp vodka
Combine the nuts, icing sugar and vodka in a heavy based saucepan, place over a medium heat and stir continuously until the sugar crystallises around the nuts and begins to caramelise. The sugar will turn golden brown.
Remove the pan from the heat and spread the nut out on a sheet of greaseproof paper to cool.
White Chocolate Caramelised Nut Truffles
Makes around 30 Truffles
200g white chocolate, chopped
90ml double cream
1/4 tsp vanilla paste
200g white chocolate
75g caramelised nuts (recipe above)
Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set aside.
Pour the double cream into a saucepan, add the butter and bring to the boil over a low heat. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate. Stir the chocolate and cream with a rubber spatula as the chocolate melts. Continue to stir the mixture until all the chocolate has melted and you are left with a smooth shiny ganache.
Add the vanilla paste or extract of choice and stir to combine.
Cover and refrigerate the ganache until set and pipe-able, around 1 hour.
Remove the ganache from the refrigerator and transfer to a piping bag, fitted with a 1.5cm plain round piping tip. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and pipe the ganache into long even logs (as shown below).
Piped lines of ganache.
Cover the baking tray and refrigerate until firm and set.
Remove the piped lines of truffle from the fridge and cut into small one inch logs with a sharp knife.
Return the truffles to the refrigerator.
Chop the caramelised nuts finely and spread them out over a plate or chopping board.
Lay out a sheet of greaseproof paper ready to place your finished truffles on.
Melt the remaining white chocolate in a heatproof bowl, placed over a pan of gently simmering water. Do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the surface of the water.
Remove truffles from the refrigerator, place a truffle onto a small fork and dip it into the melted chocolate, remove the truffle from the chocolate and tap the fork against the side of the bowl to remove any excess chocolate. Now you can either transfer the chocolate covered truffle straight to the sheet of greaseproof paper and sprinkle with caramelised nuts or transfer the truffle to the plate or chopping board that hold your nuts and roll the truffles in the nuts.
Repeat with the remaining truffles.
Allow all of the truffles to set completely on the sheet of greaseproof paper before moving.