December 17, 1997 in Food

Truffles Easy, Quick To Make

Betty Rosbottom Los Angeles Times Service

Like most people, I have a hectic agenda at this time of the year and limited hours to spend cooking. But I still like to prepare special creations not only to serve when people come to our house but also to take as gifts when we go to our friends’ homes.

I recently developed a new chocolate truffle recipe that serves both of these purposes. In addition, they are so quick and easy to assemble that even the most harried holiday cooks could fit them into their schedule.

Toffee coffee chocolate truffles are made simply by melting pieces of bittersweet chocolate in cream and then adding instant espresso granules and Kahlua. After cooling, toffee bits are stirred in and the chocolate shaped into balls and dusted with cocoa powder. The truffles will keep well for up to a week in the refrigerator.

Toffee Coffee Chocolate Truffles

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, broken into small chunks

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons whipping cream

2 tablespoons Kahlua or other coffee-flavored liqueur

1-1/2 teaspoons instant powdered espresso coffee granules

6 tablespoons English toffee bits (see note)

1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder (see note)

Place chocolate and cream in top of double boiler over medium-high heat. Stir constantly until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.

Place Kahlua in small heavy saucepan over low heat and heat until warm (do not boil). Remove from heat. Add espresso granules and stir until dissolved. Stir this mixture into melted chocolate.

Transfer chocolate mixture to shallow bowl and refrigerate until cool and slightly firm, 30 to 40 minutes. Stir in toffee bits. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chocolate is cold and firm, about 2 hours or overnight.

When ready to shape truffles, spread cocoa powder on dinner plate and have another plate empty. Coat hands with some cocoa powder and scoop 1 heaping teaspoon chocolate mixture into hands and roll into ball. Roll truffle in cocoa powder and place on clean plate. Continue until all chocolate has been shaped.

Cover truffles tightly with plastic wrap. Truffles may be refrigerated up to 1 week. Keep refrigerated until serving.

Yield: About 3 dozen truffles.

Nutrition information per truffle: 58 calories, 4.45 grams fat (69 percent fat calories), 1 gram protein, 6 grams carbohydrate, 7 milligrams cholesterol, 2 milligrams sodium.

Note: Hershey’s Skor brand English Toffee Bits and Heath Bits O Brickle are two good products available in the baking section of most groceries. Dutch-process cocoa powder is treated with an alkali, which helps to neutralize cocoa’s natural acidity.

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