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Smoky Scotch Whisky Chocolate Truffles (Dairy-free)

Makes about two dozen truffles.

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz. dark chocolate of a decent quality (I used 4 oz. of Ghirardelli 60% cacao and 2 oz. of Ghirardelli 70% cacao)
  • 1/4 cup almond (or other nut) butter
  • 1/4 cup scotch (the Smokiness of a good Islay Whisky goes well with the dark chocolate)
  • 2 tbsp. milk/cream (I used Coconut milk creamer, which has almost the consistency of half-and-half)
  • 1/2 tsp. instant espresso powder (optional; I find a bit of coffee brings out the intensity of the chocolate and pairs nicely with the Scotch)
  • Options for coating(s):
    • 6 oz. dark chocolate, melted and tempered
    • chocolate sprinkles
    • cocoa powder (the traditional truffle coating)

Method – Truffles:

  1. Chop the 6 oz. of chocolate and place in a microwave safe bowl. Heat at 50% power, in 30-second intervals, until the chocolate is mostly melted (shouldn't take more than 3 or 4 rotations). With a spatula, incorporate the rest of the chocolate chunks until smooth. (Or, use a double-boiler or other method to melt without burning the chocolate)
  2. Beat in the nut butter with an electric mixer until smooth.
  3. Gradually add the scotch, milk, and espresso powder (if using) and mix well.
  4. Refrigerate the dough (in the bowl you mixed it in) for 1-2 hours, or until firm enough to make balls.
  5. Once the dough is set, using either a spoon and your hands, or a 2-tsp. cookie scoop, or a melon baller, create ~1-inch balls. Place on wax paper on a cookie sheet in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.

Method – Coating & Finishing:

  1. If covering in chocolate, chop the remaining 6 oz. of chocolate and melt. I don't believe I tempered the chocolate correctly but I don't really care either. :) It should be about 89-90º and not much higher. Tempering will make the chocolate coating shiny and have a 'snapping' quality like with professional chocolates.
  2. Remove the truffle balls from the freezer. One at a time, place the ball in the melted chocolate. Using a fork, gently lift the truffle out, hitting the side of the bowl with the fork slightly to remove excess chocolate.
  3. Place chocolate-covered truffles on wax paper on a cookie sheet. If desired, top with chocolate sprinkles or other garnish.
  4. Or, roll the truffle balls in cocoa powder or chocolate sprinkles or almonds or whatever takes your fancy. Using this method, you may not want to freeze the truffles as the dry coatings will stick better if the truffles are a bit warmer.
  5. Once set, place the finished truffles, on the wax paper, in the fridge to harden. If you didn't temper your chocolate, you'll want to store these in the fridge until serving.
  6. Remove any excess chocolate from the bottom of the truffles with a small paring knife. If desired, serve in small candy cups/mini muffin liners.