With Easter coming up it seems we all have chocolate on the brain! Well at least I do; it’s the one day a year I can indulge my chocoholic tendencies without judgement or guilt.
While giving friends and family gifts of Easter eggs is the norm as we celebrate this holiday, I think it’s a nice touch to make some homemade chocolate truffles instead of a shop bought egg. Despite these truffles looking the bee’s knees (if I do humbly say so myself), they are stupidly easy to make. This is a great recipe to add to your repertoire as a box of these bad boys always makes a thoughtful gift.
Best of all it only requires a few simple ingredients and you can use your imagination for the toppings. So put your apron on, get into the kitchen and channel your inner Juliette Binoche!
Ingredients (Makes Approx 24):
400g 70% dark chocolate
Cocoa powder & Cinnamon (equal amounts of each)
Crushed Roasted Hazelnuts
Break up all your chocolate into little pieces and place into a large bowl.
Heat your cream in a saucepan and just before it comes to the boil take it off and pour it over the chocolate pieces. Stir the chocolate and cream together continuously until it combines.
Add a splash of whiskey (I’ll let you use your judgement on this! Even if you’re not a whiskey fan I still advise adding a shot as it just adds a great depth of flavour rather than a strong whiskey taste. Don’t add more than 2 shots of whiskey though as the mix needs to be thick enough to set). Keep stirring until totally combined.
Leave the mix in the fridge overnight or for a minimum of 4 hours until it sets. When set, take it out and take a spoon at a time and roll between your hands until they form into ball shapes, do this quickly or they will melt from the heat of your hand. Don’t worry about them being perfectly circular. I advise wearing rubber gloves for this or your nails may go black!
Set up bowls containing the toppings and roll the truffles in each until they’re well coating in either your coconut, hazelnut or cocoa cinnamon topping.
Put into a lined box or tupperware and make sure to keep in the fridge until ready to eat. They will keep for up to a week, but my experience is that they all get gobbled up within a day or two!
Sometimes you just need a sweet treat and a couch night, and this recipe combo is just the ticket! I stumbled across this recipe in the Sunday Times as a teenager and have been making it every now and then since. My Dad is a bit of shortbread fiend. Shortbread and a cup of tea (Barry’s of course!) and he is happy, so that was why I made it originally but I have loved it ever since. This recipe is much nicer than the shop bought stuff and it lasts about 5-7 days in an airtight container.
The last time I made it, I decided to be very indulgent and make a hot chocolate from O’Conaill Chocolates in Cork to go with it. O’Conaill Chocolates is amazing, I started going there in school with a friend before our French grinds and it quickly became a weekly ritual! Not only is their handmade chocolate melted down with fresh creamy milk to make their famous hot chocolate, you can also add praline, orange oil, white chocolate… the list is endless and it really is like nothing you’ve ever tried before! You can also buy beautiful chocolate fudge, tiffin, brownies, cakes and more recently chocolate cake pops! It is soooo worth a visit if you are in Cork. My sister gifted me with a hot chocolate set from there, but if you aren’t from Cork you can do the same with any good quality chocolate.
It’s a delicious but heavy combo, so not recommended after a big meal!
Pistachio Shortbread Ingredients:
90g caster sugar
240g butter softened
360g plain flour
¼ tsp sea salt
75g pistachios chopped (you can use a hand blender for a few seconds to chop- this will make some nuts powdery but some chunky which gives a nice texture & taste throughout)
Preheat oven to 165C.
Cream up sugar & butter until light and fluffy.
Beat in flour and salt
Add in nuts until just combined.
Remove dough from from bowl and shape in to two rectangular logs.
Chill for 30mins.
Brush cold logs with a few drops of water, sprinkle with caster sugar and then slice the logs in to 1cm biscuits & place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
Leave space between biscuits to bake evenly.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes (they should remain pale in colour)
Let cool on wire rack.
Hot Chocolate Ingredients:
One glass of milk
One heaped teaspoon cocoa (I used from O’Conaill’s kit)
Two tablespoons of O’Conaill’s chocolate drops (mine were a mix of white, milk & dark chocolate- any good quality chocolate chopped up would work well though)
Mix cocoa with 2 tbsp milk in a saucepan until it forms a paste. Stir in rest of milk, and turn on the hob to a medium heat. Add in chocolate until melted. Enjoy!