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Hazelnut Chocolate Truffles

Author: Truffles, Candies & Confections: Techniques and Recipes for Candymaking by Carole Bloom

The finely ground hazelnuts in these truffles add extra depth to the flavor and a delightful crunch to the texture. Absolutely no one eats just one of these truffles.

Tools:
2-quart mixing bowl
1-quart saucepan
Rubber spatula
Whisk or blender
Ice cream scoop or 12-inch pastry bag with plain, round pastry tip (½ inch opening)

Preparation time:
Prepare truffles day before serving to allow for adequate time to set

Yield:
60 1-inch truffles

Ingredients:

  • 2½ pounds bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1½ cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup toasted, skinned finely ground hazelnuts
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons cocoa powder

Directions:

  1. Place 1 pound of chocolate in a 2-quart mixing bowl. In a 1-quart saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream to a boil. Pour the cream into a bowl with the chocolate. Let the mixture stand for 1 minute, then stir together with a rubber spatula, whisk, or immersion blender until thoroughly blended.
  2. Mix in ¾ cup of the hazelnuts and blend well. Cover the truffle cream, let cool to room temperature, and chill in the refrigerator until thick but not stiff (2 to 3 hours). Or let the truffle cream sit at room temperature for several hours or overnight until completely set and thick.
  3. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or waxed paper. Fit a 12-inch pastry bag with a large, plain round pastry tip with a ½ inch opening and fill partway with the truffle cream. Holding the pastry bag 1 inch above the paper, pipe out mounds about 1 inch in diameter. Or use a small ice cream scoop to form the mounds. Cover the mounds with plastic wrap and chill in the freezer for 2 hours or in the refrigerator for 6 hours.
  4. Dust your hands with cocoa powder and roll the mounds into balls. These will be the truffle centers. Cover and chill the centers for another 2 hours in the freezer.
  5. Remove the truffle centers from the freezer and bring to cool–room temperature so the outer coating won’t crack when they are dipped. Line 2 more baking sheets with parchment of waxed paper. Melt and temper the remaining ½ pounds chocolate. Place a truffle into the tempered chocolate, coating it completely. With a dipper or fork, remove the center from the chocolate, carefully shake off the excess chocolate, and turn the truffle out onto the paper. After dipping 4 truffles, sprinkle a pinch of the remaining hazelnuts on top of them, before the chocolate sets up.
  6. Let the truffles set up at room temperature, or chill them in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes. When the truffles are set place them in paper candy cups. In a tightly covered container wrapped in several layers of aluminum foil, the truffles will keep for 1 month in the refrigerator or 2 months in the freezer. The truffles are best served at room temperature.

 

Variations
Instead of dipping the truffles in tempered chocolate, roll them in a small bowl of cocoa powder, confectioners’ sugar, or finely chopped, toasted hazelnuts as soon as they are rolled into balls. Any nuts can be substituted for the hazelnuts both inside and outside the truffles.

White Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles
Substitute white chocolate for the bittersweet chocolate and use ¾ cup heavy whipping cream.

Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles
Substitute milk chocolate for the bittersweet chocolate and use 1 cup heavy whipping cream.

Milk Chocolate Almond Truffles
Substitute milk chocolate for the bittersweet chocolate, use 1 cup heavy whipping cream, substitute finely chopped almonds for the hazelnuts.

Praline Truffles
Substitute finely ground praline for the hazelnuts.