Monday, December 12, 2011

Baileys Hazelnut chocolate truffles - a ball of fun

I used to have a ‘no drinking on Mondays’ rule that was mostly enforced for my liver’s welfare. The rule isn’t really necessary anymore but I’m not sure how alcohol in food would have been assessed by the rule.

On the one hand, the Burgandy in a boeuf bourgignon or the Pinot Grigio in a risotto will more often than not have the alcohol cooked out of the food given its lower-than-water boiling point of about 78 degrees Celcius; thus evaporating by the time you bring whatever stock to the boil.

On the other hand, there are the edibles with alcohol that isn’t cooked out. Hello, Baileys Hazelnut chocolate truffles.

Baileys Hazelnut chocolate truffles
Earlier this year, Baileys launched its latest flavour – hazelnut – joining the existing stable of mint chocolate, crème caramel and coffee flavours.

Baileys Irish Cream Hazelnut Flavour
Image courtesy of Porter Novelli
The hazelnut flavour is blended with the original Baileys ingredients of Irish whiskey and indeed, milk from Irish cows for a creamy liqueur of 17% alcohol content by volume.

According to Baileys, preservatives are not required as the alcohol preserves the cream, but that said, an opened bottle shouldn't be kept too long (this from personal experience).

Mise en place for Baileys Hazelnut chocolate truffles
While I could have just sipped the entire 1L bottle on ice (not in one go!), a recipe on the Baileys website had me intrigued enough to try my hand at truffles.

It was my first attempt as I’d heard stories about the fiddly, messy nature of making truffles – and they weren’t wrong.

‘Balls’ of chocolate ganache
The ingredients list reads like a heart attack on paper, but is simple enough. The ganache involves melting dark chocolate (recipe calls for chocolate of 66% cocoa solids) with butter, then whisking in thickened (double) cream and the Baileys – or in my case, Baileys Hazelnut.

Do something for about two hours while the ganache sets (tip: shallower containers seem to expedite this step); or do as I did – Google how to use a melon baller. This utensil has a little more technique to it than, say, an ice cream scoop, and as I found out, is not really designed for the soft stickiness of chocolate ganache as opposed to firmer, smoother melons and fruits.

Nonetheless, it’s apparently appropriate for at least portioning out consistent sized ganache balls, though I haven’t a clue as to how one is supposed to remove the ball from the baller. I resorted to a toothpick with an end result that was probably closer to a cube than a sphere.

Cocoa-dusted Baileys Hazelnut chocolate truffles
These went back in the fridge, but not before a little delicate shaping (with gloves, unless you want chocolate all over your hands) for a little while longer.

Being a little rushed for time, I skipped the chocolate dip step, which would have added a nice crisp shell of chocolate to the ganache ball as well as protecting it from heat or pressure a little better.

Mine went straight into the cocoa for a roll and came out looking not nearly as bad as I’d anticipated (baker’s trick: dust everything in cocoa or icing powder to hide the flaws). Back in the fridge until serving time, the truffles get a bit of a chance to firm up.

And the painstaking, fiddly end result? Not half bad. Dark chocolate is a must as it has adequate sweetness and a delightful slight bitterness to counteract the boozy hit of Baileys (of which the hazelnut flavour is sadly minimal), while the texture just melts in the mouth. I found the melon ball size perhaps a little on the large side, but can’t think of a good alternative.

I made these on a Saturday afternoon, but would say that they’re appropriate for any Monday – rule or not.

Food, booze and shoes received a sample of Baileys Irish Cream Hazelnut Flavour with thanks to Porter Novelli.


Tambourine said...

maybe use nutella in the truffle mix?

Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) said...

I've made chocolate truffles twice and have pretty much sworn off making them ever again. Chocolate everywhere - hands/gloves, hair, little bits on the kitchen floor!

chocolatesuze said...

heh i used to have that rule too but i figure monday is the day you need alcohol most..

Corinne @ Gourmantic said...

Made them once and never again. Way too messy and fiddly. So, in that case, when am I coming over to try yours? ;)

Katie said...

I tried these as well but with the original baileys flavour. The mix was delicious but I absolutely agree, they were way too fiddly. The mix just didn't seem to firm up enough so now i'm trying to figure out what to do with the rest of the mix that I coudln't be bothered making into truffles. Kudos to you for seeing it through!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

My hands are too hot to make truffles successfully! I'll stick to eating them ;)

The Food Mentalist said...

Yum!! I lurve baileys and I'm with you, I could easily sip on the whole lot ( gradually of course) with lots of ice. Yum! I'm going to try my hand at rum balls next week. I like the idea of alcoholic flavoured festive treats :)

Dumpling Girl said...

They look great Tina. I wish I had the patience to roll these out, but the stickiness always gets to me :)

Tina said...

Hi Tambourine - You mean with the ganache for more nuttiness? Good idea, but not sure I'm ever trying again... :/

Hi Rita - I'm pretty sure I didn't get any in my hair, but that's probably because I didn't chocolate coat them :)

Hi Suze - Hmm, not if you're nursing and Sunday daytime drinking hangover... :S

Hi Corinne - Err, they didn't last long... Admittedly they were pretty good, but not worth the hours and hours of effort.

Hi Katie - Yes, perhaps it needed freezing. How about using the ganache as an icing for an adults-only cake/cupcakes?

Hi Lorraine - So this 'summer' weather we're having should be perfect!

Hi The Food Mentalist - I hope rum balls are less fiddly than these. Or I hope you have more patience than me...

Hi Dumpling Girl - It was the stickiness, the melon baller not working for me, the not set mixture... not smooth sailing in my kitchen, that's for sure!


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