Ahhh Christmas time. I am a total Christmas nut...lurve the whole shebang. Yip, I am one of those people.
I love the tinsel, the tree, the presents, the goodwill and peace on earth. And I adore Christmas food...Christmas pudding with lashings of custard, gingerbread men, champagne ham, mulled wine, and eggnog.
For those of you who have never tried eggnog, boy are you missing out! It's the creamy spicy tipple that has gotten many a people in trouble at work Christmas functions. I like to think of it as a Christmassy version of Baileys. Yum!
So to celebrate the annual Christmas Round for Baking for Hospice I made White Chocolate Eggnog Truffles.
I saw this recipe ages ago on taste.com.au and have been dying to try it out. I'm actually not a huge fan of white chocolate but something about the spices and the brandy makes these truffles utterly delectable in that soul-warming Christmas cheer kinda way.
They aren't terribly difficult to make but are rather time consuming and just a little bit fiddly so block out a whole afternoon if you are thinking of tackling these puppies.
Part of the fussiness is getting the temperature of the coating chocolate just right - too hot and it melts the truffle centre; too cool and it just sets. Be sure you do coat it with white chocolate buttons or melts rather than the good white chocolate as this will harden better at room temperature. The compound chocolate coating will literally set within minutes!
You also have to watch the truffle mixture rather closely - if it is a hot day, it will start to melt and you will need to put it into the fridge or freezer for a bit to set again.
But it's all totally worth it for these elegant, decadent little Christmas treats that would be perfect as stocking fillers or to serve with a cup of coffee after Christmas dinner.
White Chocolate Eggnog Truffles
adapted from Taste.com.au
360g good white chocolate, roughly chopped
1/3 cup cream
2 Tbsp brandy
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp cinnamon
400g white chocolate buttons (for coating)
~ 1 tsp ground nutmeg and pinch of cinnamon to dust
1. Place good quality white chocolate, cream, brandy, cinnamon and nutmeg in a heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan of simmering water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Heat until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth, stirring with a silicon spatula or wooden spoon. Be very careful not to get water into the mixture as this till cause the chocolate to seize up.
2. Line a 25 cm square baking dish with foil and spray with cooking spray. Pour the truffle mixture out onto the baking dish and allow to cool to room temperature then place into the fridge to set. Takes around 1 hour.
3. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Take the set truffle mixture out of the baking dish as a flat sheet. Cut into squares around 1.5 cm squared and then with gloved hands roll into a small ball (around a teaspoon full size) and place on to the waxed paper. I found that I could roll around 8 before the mixture got too gooey and I had to place the truffle mixture back into the fridge for a bit.
4. Place the tray with the rolled out balls into the fridge to set. Meanwhile, melt around 100g of white chocolate buttons in a small microwave safe bowl in 30 second bursts. Allow to cool till it is warm to touch. Also, mix together the 1 tsp ground nutmeg with a pinch of cinnamon. Line a second tray with waxed paper.
5. Take the pre-rolled truffle centres out of the fridge. Drop the balls one at a time into the coating chocolate and use two forks to fish it out and place back on to the tray of waxed paper. Dust with a pinch of the nutmeg/cinnamon mixture right away. It takes a little bit of juggling getting the coating right but once you get the hang of it, it's easy, messy fun.
6. Once the white chocolate coating has set you don't really need to refrigerate them. Although you can freeze them in an airtight container for months.