I couldn’t let St. Patrick’s Day come and go without making something to celebrate this “green” holiday. Having an unopened bottle of Baileys Irish Cream, chocolate truffles were calling my name.
Truffles are a wonderful gift because you can make a big batch in very little time. Using premium ingredients, a ganache is whipped up in minutes and then rests on the counter to cool. While this batch of ganache rested, I went for a 3-mile walk, came home and put it in the refrigerator for 45 minutes, then straightened up my house.
The end results are impressive. Wrapped in pretty boxes and gifted to those that deserve them wins bonus points for weeks to come.
One for the Table is an online magazine that specializes in food, politics and love: www.oneforthetable.com.
Irish Cream and Coffee Chocolate Truffles
16 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
10 ounces heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds removed
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
4 ounces Baileys Irish Cream
9 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
Green sprinkles (optional)
Place the chopped bittersweet chocolate in a large glass bowl. Place a mesh strainer over the chocolate.
In a small saucepan, combine the heavy cream, vanilla seeds and the pod. Bring to a boil. Remove from the stove and pour the warm cream through the strainer over the chocolate.
Let stand for 1 minute. Add espresso powder and salt; using a heatproof spatula, mix until all the chocolate has melted. Cool to room temperature (about 1 1/2 hours).
Add Baileys and mix to combine. Place a piece of plastic wrap over mixture, pressing directly onto the chocolate, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Using a 1-tablespoon ice-cream scooper, form balls, roll in the palm of your hands, and place on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. When all have been rolled, refrigerate at least an hour.
Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler until it reaches a temperature of 115 degrees on a candy thermometer. Set aside to cool, stirring slowly until it forms a thick, pasty texture.
When the white chocolate is ready, dip the cold truffles into the white chocolate. Let the extra chocolate drip away and place on the mat. Decorate with green sprinkles.
Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Yield: 48 balls.