Orange Spiced Truffles (THM S)
Truffles are quickly becoming one of my favorite holiday treats. They're easy to make, but they look so *fancy*. Plus, you can get really creative with the flavors! Thus, these spicy chocolate-orange truffles were born.
Of course, the base of almost any truffle is really good chocolate. I started with a base of 85% dark chocolate, because that's what I keep on hand most times. A few other options you have would be unsweetened baking chocolate, a Lily's Baking Bar, or sugar free chocolate chips. If you choose to use unsweetened baking chocolate, you can use a few teaspoons of THM Super Sweet to get the sweetness where you want it. You can also use a few drops of liquid stevia if you want to sweeten any of the already-sweetened options just a tad.
The spice used in these truffles is cardamom. It's a strong and unique flavor, so you won't need much of it, but it truly makes these truffles something to talk about. The flavor is equal parts herbaceous and floral, with an aromatic scent. I also used orange extract and orange liqueur.
The only work involved in these babies is prepping the chocolate mixture.
First, you heat the cream with any granular sweetener you plan to use (if using), orange extract, cardamom, salt, and butter. You want to heat the cream almost to its boiling point, so that it'll melt the chocolate quickly.
Add the hot cream to the chopped chocolate. Whisk, whisk, whisk....
Keep whisking the chocolate and cream until the chocolate is fully melted. You'll then reach this stage.
The mixture has this seemingly "gritty" texture because the butter is not yet fully incorporated. Whisk a bit more vigorously, until it emulsifies.
Once fully emulsified, you get this rich, velvety smooth chocolate. At this point, add in your orange liqueur, and whisk a little more.
Pop the mixture into the fridge for quick hardening, or if you want to roll the truffles at a later time.
I then rolled them in chopped raw macadamia nuts. I thought macadamias would best compliment the orange-chocolate flavor, but you can use any unsalted nut you like. Or, if you don't mind the extra work, you can dip them in melted dark chocolate!
I also use the term "rolled" very loosely. By "rolled" I mean I scooped the chocolate using a small cookie scoop (about 1 Tbsp), turned it directly into the chopped nuts, tossed lightly, and rolled gently between my hands to get a more rounded shape. Using this method, my hands got away nearly mess-free.