Chocolate Cheer

IMG_5186As the fog lifts over Wellington and frazzled travelers finally leave the airport, I sit back with a coffee contemplating Christmas eve and wondering if I should make one more batch of chocolate whisky truffles.

There is nothing complicated about these decadent treats and they are a perfect gift.

I’ve used the recipe from my new favourite cookbook – Bryn’s Kitchen. Welshman Bryn Williams won the fish course in the Great British Menu and cooked it for the Queen’s 80th birthday bash a few years ago. The book showcases 20 ingredients and, luckily for me, chocolate is one of them. More than this though, Bryn comes across as a likeable bloke without the pretension of many in his profession.

IMG_5141This is my take on his recipe. Finely chop 250g good quality dark chocolate and put into a bowl. Bryn recommends 64% cocoa solids so the richness doesn’t compete with the whisky. I used Whittakers 62% and have also made it with a 50%(ish) cocoa solids option. Both worked perfectly.

IMG_5143Heat 85ml of cream (red top here in NZ) until boiling point. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Stir with a wooden spoon until the chocolate has melted. If it doesn’t completely melt, put the bowl over some hot water in the sink and keep stirring.

IMG_5151Stir in 50ml of whisky. Bryn’s recipe uses 75ml, but I’ve found 50ml strong enough (although, if you want the bolder hit go for 75ml). Put the mixture into the fridge – Bryn suggests four hours. My fridge is on the cold side, so it hardens sufficiently in two-three hours.

IMG_5159Sift about a third of a cup of cocoa powder together with two-three tablespoons of icing sugar. Roll small balls of the hardened chocolate mix in the powder. Your hands get quite mucky at this step so I find employing your 12-year-old nephew to undertake it works well (or you can use disposable gloves – or both!). If the mixture is too hard to roll (you want it reasonably firm or it will soften too much as you roll it), zap in the microwave for five-10 seconds on medium heat.

IMG_5161Refrigerate until required. I think they taste best straight from the fridge.

And, if you are looking for a last minute gift, grab a copy of Bryn’s book – better still grab two, one for you and one to give away (thanks Janine for my copy).

Merry Christmas all!

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