One of the best parts of the holidays (for me, anyway) is all the specialty foods and drink that accompany the parties. Rich winter beers are edging the ambers and pales to the edges of the store shelves, and although the IPAs still manage to hold their own, the dark, high-gravity Barleywines and stouts are the stars of the season.
Chocolate also shines during the holidays, and happens to go very well with the beers of the season. With the idea of creating a dessert that both travels well and tastes appropriately decadent, I turned to the Beeroness once again for inspiration. The result was these easy-to-make and very impressive Black Hawk Truffles. They take a bit of time to roll and complete, which is a perfect reason to listen to music, drink some beer and hang out with friends in the kitchen. Elevate the Christmas Cookie tradition, and host your own truffle rolling party!
1 cup Black Hawk Stout
8 ounces of good chocolate (around 60% cocoa) broken into chunks
8 ounces good chocolate—either dark, milk or white. You will want tempered chocolate, which comes in a shiny, thin bar in the baking section. Do not use chocolate chips–they will not melt correctly.
Optional toppings like cocoa powder, candied ginger, sprinkles, nuts, coconut…
(Here I will say that the original recipe also called for Himalayan Sea Salt. I can’t quite get my head around salt and chocolate, but many people love it.)
In a pot, bring the 1 cup of beer to a boil over high heat, stirring often. Reduce to ½ a cup. (Check by pouring into a measuring cup if you’re not sure.)
Remove the beer from the heat and melt the un-shiny chocolate into the beer, stirring constantly until smooth. You can let the reduced beer on low heat if you are having trouble melting the chocolate.
Cover the chocolate and put it in the refrigerator until it is firm enough to shape—about two hours.
Once the chocolate has set, scoop out small bits and roll them into balls. Place the balls on a tray or plate and put them back in the refrigerator for about an hour.
Break the shiny-bar chocolate into small pieces and melt over a double boiler. (See Tips below.)
Remove from heat and roll the chocolate balls around in the melted chocolate until they are coated.
Place the coated ball on a tray with parchment paper, add the optional topping, and chill until serving.
Never melt chocolate directly in a pan. It’s way too easy to burn. To make a double boiler, place a metal bowl over a pot of boiling water (not touching the boiling water), then melt the chocolate in the bowl.
When melting the chocolate for the coating, don’t let any water touch the chocolate. None. That will make the chocolate seize and become a gross, clumpy mess.
Use a pair of forks to remove the coated truffles from the chocolate. It’s a bit less messy and leaves more coating on the truffle.
What’s your holiday treat?
Do you have any favorite holiday baking traditions, or any you’re hoping to start? Let us know in the comments below!
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