With the holidays fast approaching, this year I’ve decided to make some of my gifts. One of them on my DIY list is beautifully wrapped bags of homemade chocolate truffles and ‘boozy balls’. Not complicated to put together and a guaranteed hit with friends and family – I think I’m onto a winner here! Switch up the booze or coating if you fancy something different; the ganache recipe always remains the same.
Spiked Chocolate Truffles
Makes about 25-30 truffles
3dl double cream
300g good-quality dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids, ideally) or solid white chocolate, broken into small pieces
Knob of butter
1 tbsp of orange liqueur such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier, or 1 tbsp of coconut rum such as Malibu
Finely grated zest from ½ an orange, or 1 lime
Pinch of sea salt
100g (3½ oz) toasted coconut, to decorate
3-4 tbsp cocoa powder, to decorate
Candied orange zest, to decorate
Heat the cream in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer, just under boiling point. Remove from the heat and add your choice of chocolate and the butter. Stir occasionally with a spoon until smooth. For dark chocolate variety, add the brandy, orange zest and the pinch of sea salt and stir well until combined. For the white chocolate variety, follow the same method but add the coconut rum, lime zest and pinch of sea salt instead. Cover and refrigerate until firm. Remove from the fridge about 10 minutes before rolling.
Using a melon-baller or two teaspoons, shape the mixture into balls ¾ inch in diameter. Roll each ball between the palms of your hands to smooth them out. This must be done quickly as the ganache will start to melt with the heat of your hands. If the room is warm, and this is difficult to do, roll them into rough shapes, freeze for 10 minutes and re-roll.
Coat the truffles by tossing in cocoa (for dark chocolate) or toasted coconut (for white chocolate). The truffles are best eaten fresh, but will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Boozy Holiday Balls
Makes about 24 balls
120g icing sugar
155g crushed shortbread cookies, such as Walkers
85g chopped toasted macadamia nuts (unsalted)
4 tbsp butter, melted
4 tbsp dark rum
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
¼ tsp vanilla paste
¼ tsp sea salt
Put 40g of the icing sugar into a small bowl. In a large bowl, combine the remaining sugar with the rest of the ingredients. Refrigerate until firm, about 1-2 hours.
Scoop the mixture by using a teaspoon (one heaped teaspoon per ball), then shape into 1inch balls with your hands. Put on a rimmed baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 12 hours and up to 2 weeks. Just before packing or serving, roll the balls in the reserved icing sugar, coating them evenly.