My two favorite holidays of the year are Thanksgiving and Passover (I know, odd, right?) Lucky for me, Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which means it's time for maple pecan truffles.
When I first starting making chocolate in college, my strategy was to keep things simple and be creative. You don’t need complex recipes and ingredients to concoct a truly amazing and delicious treat. This recipe features maple syrup, one of my favorite ingredients (in addition to chocolate).
I like my truffles to offer subtle hints of flavor so the chocolate remains the primary focus. If you like more power from the complementary flavors, this recipe is easily adaptable by adding slightly more nutmeg and the optional ginger.
The most important starting point when making chocolate is ... the chocolate. A high quality chocolate does not have to be expensive and it will reflect itself in the final results. Look for chocolate with high cocoa content and no added oils.
Maple Pecan Truffles
(Dairy or Pareve)
2/3 cup heavy cream (substitute coconut milk for vegan/pareve)
1/3 cup dark maple syrup
1/3 cup chopped or whole pecans
2 cups finely chopped pecans
9 oz dark chocolate
1 tsp nutmeg
Optional: 3 or 4 pieces of crystalized ginger to give the truffles a little extra zing
1) In a small sauce pan, lightly toast whole or chopped pecans on low heat for approximately 2 minutes.
2) Place pecans, nutmeg, heavy cream (and ginger, if desired) in a double broiler and bring to a gentle boil.
3) In a plastic mixing bowl, combine the dark chocolate and maple syrup.
4) Pour cream through a strainer over the chocolate and gently stir for 1-2 minutes or until the chocolate has fully melted and a thick ganache (glaze) has formed.
5) Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the ganache, sealing it from the air. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours until firm.
6) Spread the chopped pecans on a baking sheet. Remove the ganache from the refrigerator and let sit for 3 minutes.
7) Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop out approximately 1 ½ tablespoons of ganache and gently roll it into a ball with your hands. Be prepared, this can get messy. (Tip: run hands under cold water and dry completely before starting to roll your truffles. Do this a few times throughout the process if necessary.)
8) After rolling the ganache into balls, gently roll the chocolate in the pecans. You may want to press the nuts lightly into the truffle to help them stay.
9) Store the truffles in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Remove the truffles from the fridge at least a half hour before serving.
Makes 30-35 truffles.
Jody Peskin is the owner of the newly-opened Sweet Trading Co. in Narberth (733-B Montgomery Avenue). Contact her with questions about this recipe or chocolate in general at [email protected] .