Friday, February 10, 2012

Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles

It's almost Valentine's Day! I like to bake my husband special things throughout the year, but for Valentine's Day, I devote all  of my energy to making him something totally chocolate. I can't think of a better way to achieve that then with truffles!
My husband loves Lindt hazelnut truffles so I decided to make him a homemade version of them. I think they came out awesome. The only change I would make next time is to either up the amount of the hazelnut liqueur, or try using a bolder hazelnut flavoring, like this one that I found at KAF. I just think the hazelnut flavor in the filling of these truffles is a little weak, but they are still super yummy! I know my husband is going to love them!

Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles
(recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen who adapted it from Ina Garten)

1 cup hazelnuts, chopped
3 1/2 ounces good bittersweet chocolate (about 1/2 cup)
3 1/2 ounces good semisweet chocolate (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 T hazelnut liqueur (I used Frangelico)
1 T prepared coffee (warm is ok)
1/2 tsp good vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Place chopped hazelnuts on a baking sheet (I lined mine with foil). Roast for about 10-15 minutes until fragrant. Set aside to cool.

Coarsely chop the bittersweet and semisweet chocolate and place in a medium sized bowl (try to use a bowl that can either be microwaved or used as a double-boiler).

Heat the cream in a sauce pan or in the microwave until boiling. Immediately pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate. Using a wire whisk, stir the chocolate and cream until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth (if the chocolate doesn't completely melt, place the bowl over simmering water-like a double-boiler, or microwave at 50% power for 30 second intervals, until it's completely melted).

Whisk in the hazelnut liqueur, coffee and vanilla. Cover the chocolate and refrigerate until firm enough to scoop, about an hour or so.

Scoop out small dollops of chocolate and roll into balls using your hands. Work quickly because the chocolate will melt. Place chocolate balls onto a wax or parchment lined baking sheet. Refrigerate again for 15 minutes or so until the chocolate has firmed up again.

Roll the chocolate balls in the toasted hazelnuts, lightly pressing them into the chocolate so they stick. At this point the truffles are finished and can be stored in the refrigerator, but I decided to dip them in melted chocolate as well. I melted some dark chocolate candy melts, dipped the truffles in it and then sprinkled a few chopped hazelnuts on top. I think they came out very pretty. You could also just drizzle a little melted chocolate over the top as more of a garnish. Whatever way you decide to make them, they are sure to be fabulous!  Enjoy!

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