For years, enjoying a dark chocolate truffle has been my evening ritual whenever I don’t indulge in dessert.
Paired with a hot cup of herbal thé, the day gently winds down when I sit and snuggle in to savor this special treat.
Beginning this year following my trip to Paris and having had the melt-in-your mouth pleasure of praline truffles, I returned home to Bend and adapted a trusted truffle recipe to become my now favorite truffle to enjoy during this beloved evening ritual, the hazelnut praline dark chocolate truffle.
Today I will be flavoring my truffles with Cognac, and sharing three different options for finishing your truffles.
In today’s episode discover a variety of ideas for flavoring your truffles as well as learn how to make your own praline with your favorite roasted nuts. Discover how simple making your own truffles can be, how to store them, and how to best enjoy them as well.
Now to the episode! I do hope you enjoy.
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Links shared during the episode:
- À la Mère de Famille —oldest Parisian chocolatier factory
- Palais des Thés, L’Herboriste, No. 74
- Scharffen Berger chocolate
- small stainless steel scoop (more sizes)
A stainless steel scoop makes the precise round truffles easy to create in less time. (from Sur la Table)
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Hazelnut Praline Dark Chocolate Truffles
- 7 ounces bittersweet chocolate at least 70% cacao, my go to brand is Scharffen Berger
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp Cognac optional (this is the flavor profile you prefer)
- 1 tablespoon honey optional (if not using liqueur)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature to ensure it melts quickly
- 3-5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder top quality, Scharffen Berger is my choice
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2-1 cup roasted hazelnuts
- Prepare the roasted hazelnuts (see how to roast below at the bottom of the recipe or you can buy roasted nuts at the grocery store). Place 1/2 cup of hazelnuts on a parchment lined baking sheet. Make sure they are in one layer. Set aside and begin caramelizing the sugar.
- Caramelizing the sugar: Add the sugar (1/2-1 cup) to a saucepan that is over low-medium heat. The sugar is melting gradually, using a spatula, stir regularly and when it begins to liquify stir constantly. As soon as it turns a deep amber color, pour over the roasted hazelnuts in the baking sheet. Try to pour evenly over all of the nuts. If some of the nuts don't get covered or if some nuts receive more caramelized sugar, as soon as you stop pouring, using your spatula, try to evenly distribute the sugar so that all nuts are touched with the liquified sugar. Set aside to cool (15 minutes).
- When cool, using a food processor, roughly break up the praline and pulse until you reach a fine or nearly fine nut/praline texture (this is to your preference as they will be placed in the ganache).
A Minimum of 2-hours before (can be completed the day or 2 days before)
- In a saucepan, pour the heavy cream and drizzle the cognac or honey or other preferred liqueur. On a low heat, bring just to a bowl, and then immediately follow the next step.
- Pour one-third of the hot cream mixture over the chocolate in the metal bowl. Work quickly with a silicone spatula as the chocolate melts from the heat of the cream mixture. Mix until you obtain a smooth and glossy finish. Gradually add the remaining cream mixture ensuring the emulsion remains until the chocolate has completely melted and is smooth.
- Immediately as the butter and mix with the warm chocolate allow the butter to melt completely, incorporating itself with the chocolate. You've created ganache!
- Now, add the finely chopped praline to the ganache. Add as much or as little as you prefer. Mix with the ganache until all combined.
- Set the metal bowl with the ganache combined with praline to the side on the counter and allow to come to room temperature. When cool, cover with plastic wrap and let set at room temperature for at least two hours, ideally overnight, to harden, until it is firm enough to scoop. (See the image of my hardened ganache that sat overnight. (When the ganache has set, it can be refrigerated for up to 2 days, so don't be afraid to plan ahead!)
Making the truffle balls and preparing for serving
- Place the a wire mesh sieve on a small bowl (see image). Using a small ice cream scoop (with a lever preferably) or a melon baller, to create a 1-inch ball of ganache. After scooping the chocolate for each truffle, roll between the palms of your hands into smooth balls.
- Place the rolled ganache ball into the sieve and dust with cocoa powder or roll in the praline (baker's choice). An alternative is to place the ball in the bowl with the powder and then remove the ball, placing it in the sieve above the bowl to remove excess powder. Repeat to coat the remaining truffles.
- Serve at room temperature or place in a storage container (covered) and place in the refrigerator for up to one week. Be sure to remember to bring to room temperature before serving.
- Bon appétit!
To Roast your Hazelnuts
- Using a stovetop, use a dry skillet over low-medium heat for 7-10 minutes, tossing regularly as they toast. OR in the oven, at 300 degree for 10 minutes, place hazelnuts in one layer on a baking sheet.
~View more episodes of The Simply Luxurious Kitchen here.