Happy holidays everyone! I have been rather absent from my blog in recent months, due to a combination of factors – dud recipes, baking the same old things, being too lazy to write things up and getting mega stressed out with my PhD. This year I want to complete my PhD with my mental health in tact, so hopefully getting back on the blog will help with that.
I hope everyone has had a great Christmas/New Years period. Here in NZ, everything (University included) seems to shut down for a few weeks to allow everyone to enjoy the warm weather. It’s pretty disruptive for my lab work, but it is good to have an enforced holiday. Dan and I had a lovely Christmas with our families, soaking up the sun (I got burnt… ouch!) and eating plenty of delicious food. I got three cookbooks for Christmas, and have already tried a handful of recipes. We had fabulous weather between Christmas and New Years, so we enjoyed a few beach days, spent time with friends and family, and lazed around. The weather has packed in over the last few days, so unfortunately we had to cancel our camping plans. Now I find myself, sitting inside on a rainy summer’s day, reviving my blog.
For the last few years I have gotten into the habit of doing a stack of baking to give to our families for Christmas. This year I made Panforte; White Chocolate, Cranberry and Pistachio Fudge; and Chocolate, Rum and Raisin Truffles. The Rum and Raisin Truffles were a hit, and given they’re not an exclusively Christmassy kind of food, I figured I could post the recipe in the New Year and it wouldn’t be too weird and out-of-date.
I never used to like the combination of rum and raisin that much, but now that I’m older, I find the aroma of dark rum simply irresistible. I blended up the raisins, so the texture is smooth and rich. The truffles were coated either with melted chocolate or dark cocoa. To be honest, I preferred the taste and texture of cocoa powder, not to mention the fact that it’s WAY easier to do. If you do use melted chocolate (it does look a bit more appealing), please use good quality chocolate. I cut costs here and regret it. This recipe should make about 25 – 30 truffles.
Chocolate, Rum and Raisin Truffles
For the truffles:
- 80g raisins
- 1/4 cup dark rum
- 350g dark chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup cream
- 15g butter
- 400g good quality dark chocolate
- or cocoa powder
- Combine rum and raisins in a small bowl. Leave to soak for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight.
- Set up a double boiler: add a few centimetres of water to a medium-sized saucepan. Place a heat-proof bowl over the saucepan and make sure it doesn’t touch the water. Add cream to the bowl and heat over a medium heat until the cream is hot to the touch. Remove from the element and add chopped chocolate and butter. Stir until melted and smooth.
- Blend rum and raisins in a food processor until raisins are minced. Add to the chocolate mix and combine.
- Leave to cool in the fridge for a few hours.
- Form into small balls using your hands. The mixture is very soft, and I found it easiest to spoon drops onto a baking tray and place in the freezer for about 10 minutes, and then roll the drops into balls.
- To coat, melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler. Use chop sticks or spoons to dip the chilled/frozen truffles in the chocolate. Place on a tray to allow chocolate to set. Alternatively, roll truffles in cocoa and place into small paper candy cups.
- Store in the fridge.