For those who have read the books, you'll already be familiar with my holiday gift-giving tradition of truffles. Not only do I give truffles every year, I am compelled to do so on pain of being excluded from all future family celebrations. That's kind of an inside joke, but at the same time I'm not going to test it. I know where I stand.
all started in 2002, when I was spending Christmas with J, A, S, and
S's mum. I brought truffles and a bottle of Bailey's to the proceedings.
The truffles went mainly untouched until Boxing Day, where they were
discovered by S and her mum, who ate the lot - 25 truffles - in about a
femtosecond. They are that good.
were they nommed? Let's put it this way: if the radius of a truffle is
about a centimetre, that means continuing at that rate they could eat a
Milky Way-sized galaxy's worth of truffles (I mean a gravitationally
bound system of stars and stellar remnants, not the similarly-named
chocolate bars) in somewhat shy of 13 hours. That's assuming the
truffle-stuff is poured into space, not rolled into balls and packed, by
the way. I have time on my hands but not that much time.
only are homemade truffles good, far better than any store bought
variety, they are easy. So easy you can make them now and give them as
gifts this Christmas. So easy you can do them in the microwave. But
don't tell your friends and family that, or you might find yourself with
an order for 1.13 x 1023 chocolate sweets come next year. And we wouldn't want that.
The recipe comes courtesy of Orbyn, whose method I shamelessly ripped off.
150g (5 oz) dark chocolate
2 tablespoons of dark rum
150ml (¼ pint) double cream
24g (1 oz) butter
Zest of 1 orange
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon of plain flour
1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
toasted nuts (optional)
1. Break up the chocolate and melt in a saucepan on a low heat, along with the cream and butter, and the cloves.
Grate the orange peel directly into the saucepan; add a squeeze of
juice if you like. After a few minutes, stir in the rum and add 1
teaspoon of cinnamon.
3. Keep stirring for about 3
minutes, then pick out the cloves and transfer the mixture to a bowl,
and place this in the fridge overnight.
4. The next
day, dust a wooden board with the flour, and sprinkle some cocoa powder
and the remaining cinnamon over it too. If you’re using toasted nuts,
keep them on a plate nearby.
5. Take heaped teaspoons
of the chilled truffle mixture and roll into small balls with your
hands. Roll these in the flour/cocoa/cinnamon mixture (and then in the
nuts if you like) and plop into petit-four cases.
Chill until ready to serve.
are so many variations you can do: for instance, this year half the
truffles were flavoured with whisky and Christmas spices instead of rum.
The other half had rum, but part of the cream was replaced by coconut
cream, and they were rolled in a combination of icing sugar and coconut.