Some days, I wake up full of ambition and decide to tackle a recipe with lots of steps and components. Other days, I wake up with a mighty craving for chocolate and a mighty aversion to doing any real work in the kitchen. That’s when I reach for some heavy cream and whatever chocolate I happen to have in my pantry and make a batch of truffles. These little guys look elegant and sound vaguely French and therefore fancy, and yet take almost no time and effort to make. I don’t know about you, but we’ve been entertaining a lot over the past few weeks, and I am all about a five minute dessert. I love baking for friends and family, but there is something to be said for a dessert that will impress guests but that I really made in my sweatpants a week ago and stuck in the fridge in case of a future dessert emergency. And these have booze! I spiked them with hazelnut liqueur for an extra hit of nutty flavor and a little holiday cheer. Truffles, where have you been all my life?
These truffles start, fairly obviously, with chocolate. I used a combination of bittersweet and dark chocolates, but you could use all dark chocolate or a combination of semisweet and bittersweet, depending on how sweet you like your chocolate and what you have on hand.
Chop up the chocolate and and place it in a large heatproof bowl. Heat a half cup of heavy cream in a small saucepan until it’s bubbling, then pour it over the chocolate and let it sit for a few minutes. Once the chocolate has had a chance to start melting, stir it together with a rubber spatula until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Add in a quarter cup of hazelnut liqueur or the flavored liqueur of your chocie (I used Frangelico) and stir to combine. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for at least two hours or overnight.
Now it’s time to assemble the truffles! First get the hazelnuts ready by toasting a quarter cup of them in a small saucepan until they’re fragrant but not burnt, then chop these in a food processor or with a knife and some elbow grease. Put these in a small bowl. Get out a small cookie scoop, a melon baller, or a teaspoon. I for one was glad to have a use for the melon baller I inexplicably registered for a million years ago when I got married and have hardly ever used. Scoop out small portions of the chocolate and form it into a ball with your hands, then roll it into the hazelnuts. Repeat with the remaining chocolate and serve immediately or store in the fridge forever (or at least two weeks).
And that’s it! The truffles themselves are rich hits of pure chocolate flavor with a nutty kick of hazelnut flavor and crunch. One will satisfy even the most dedicated of chocoholics, so these are perfect for serving at a party or for keeping in the fridge for whenever your chocolate cravings strike.
- 8 oz bittersweet chocolate
- 8 oz dark chocolate
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup hazelnut liqueur, such as Frangelico
- ¼ cup finely chopped hazelnuts
- Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan until it's bubbling.
- Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in a large heatproof bowl. Pour the heavy cream over it and let sit for a few minutes, then stir with a rubber spatula until the mixture is smooth and shiny. Add in the hazelnut liqueur and stir to combine.
- Place the bowl in the refrigerator and chill for two hours or overnight.
- For the hazelnut coating, toast a quarter cup of hazelnuts until fragrant but not burnt. Chop them using a food processor (or with a knife) and place in a small bowl.
- With a small cookie scoop, melon baller, or tablespoon, scoop out a small ball of the chocolate mixture. Roll it briefly in your hands to make it into a sphere, then roll it in the chopped and toasted hazelnuts. Repeat with the remaining chocolate mixture. Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.