The Kiwi Cook

Illusions and delusions of a foodie from Down Under

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Eggnog Truffles

December 21, 2014

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If you like eggnog and you like white chocolate, you’re gonna love these sinfully decadent little mouthfuls of yum. As I explained in my last post, eggnog is taking its own sweet time to come into favour in Kiwi-land, so I’m on a mission to incorporate its unique flavours into my festive baking this year.

This recipe comes from Taste.com.au. I didn’t make any changes to the recipe, though in hindsight I’d recommend (as other reviewers have) that you double the amount of brandy, as you can’t really taste it (I’ve subsequently changed the amount in the recipe from one tablespoon to two).

The recipe is as simple as it gets. However… as I discovered, working with white chocolate (which isn’t even real chocolate) does have its pitfalls, due to the fact that it has a lower burn point than regular darker chocolate. If you don’t want to consign a batch of white chocolate to the bin as I had to (yes, my mother regularly informs me that I’m not quite ready for Masterchef!), you might want to consider these helpful suggestions from Craftsy.com:

  1. First and foremost, don’t overheat the chocolate! Ensure the simmering water in the saucepan doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl that the chocolate is in. Also, bring the water in the saucepan to a gentle boil, then turn the heat down to low and only then place the bowl of chocolate on top.
  2. Don’t let any steam from the boiler, or any water at all for that matter, get into the bowl of chocolate or it will seize.
  3. Once the chocolate has nearly melted, take the bowl off the saucepan – the residual heat will melt the rest. Once the chocolate’s fully melted, you can then start using it to coat your truffles.
  4. Troubleshooting: If your chocolate seizes up, you can add (at room temperature) any flavourless oil, butter, milk or cream, one tablespoon at a time to loosen up the mixture. However, the consistency will not be quite the same.

I hope you find those suggestions as useful as I did. And just a note: you can, of course, use a microwave to melt your chocolate if you prefer, though it can be harder to control the level of heat.

Now, just to finish, can I add… the quality of the white chocolate is absolutely key to this recipe. If you use regular old baking chocolate, you will probably end up with cloyingly ‘burn-the-back-of-your-throat’ sweet truffles. I reckon, if you’re going to go to the expense of making this recipe in the first place, you might as well do it right and use high-end chocolate, like Lindt. Do that, and you’ll end up with something that’s got real depth of flavour and makes everyone go ‘wow’. Enjoy!


EGGNOG TRUFFLES

Makes at least 30

Ingredients:

  • 360g (12.5 oz) good-quality white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 80ml (1/3 cup) heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons brandy, or to taste
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For dipping and serving:

  • 375g (13 oz)  good-quality white chocolate, finely chopped
  • Ground nutmeg, to dust

Method:

  1. Place a saucepan with a good couple of inches of water onto the stove top and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Turn down to low until it’s gently simmering.
  2. Place a bowl over top of the saucepan – one which sits high enough so that the water below doesn’t touch it. Add the chocolate, cream, brandy and nutmeg into the bowl and stir with a metal spoon until chocolate is nearly melted. Take off the heat and stir, letting the residual heat melt the remaining chocolate.
  3. Let the chocolate mix cool a little before placing the bowl in the fridge for 2 hours or until firm enough to roll into balls. If it hardens too much, simply take it out of the fridge and let it soften a little at room temperature.
  4. Line a tray with non-stick baking paper.Use a teaspoon or mini melon baller to scoop out chocolate mixture and use your hands to roll into a ball. Place on prepared tray. Repeat with the remaining chocolate mixture, then place in the fridge for about 1 hour or until firm.
  5. Place second measure of chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan with simmering water (ensuring the water doesn’t touch the bowl) and stir with a metal spoon until chocolate is nearly melted. Take off the heat and stir, letting the residual heat melt the remaining chocolate.
  6. Line a tray with non-stick baking paper. Use 2 forks to dip a truffle into the melted chocolate to coat (don’t let it sit in there too long or it will start melting). Remove truffle, tapping the fork handle gently on the edge of the bowl to shake off any excess chocolate. Place on prepared tray. Repeat with remaining truffles and melted chocolate. Place in the fridge for at least 20 minutes to set.
  7. Dust truffles with a little nutmeg and serve.

Eggnog Pots de Crème

December 20, 2014

Eggnog Pots de Creme

I’m not sure why, but New Zealand has been slow to adopt eggnog at Christmas-time. Which is a shame as far as I’m concerned – it’s such a wonderfully decadent hit of boozy cream. So, I thought it was time to remedy the situation, at least within our own household, and make some eggnog inspired festive treats this year. First up, Eggnog Pots de Crème.

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Black Forest Cake

December 10, 2014

Black Forest Cake

It was my brother’s birthday today and, as he’s attempting to go gluten-free (I can’t say he’s always successful!), I decided to make a flourless chocolate cake. In searching for recipes, I came across this lovely retro classic – Black Forest Cake – and as I had a jar of morello cherries in the pantry, I thought ‘why the heck not?’.

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Pomegranate & Rosewater Champagne Cocktail

December 7, 2014

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Don’t you love the lead-up to Christmas? Soon it’ll be time to put up the tree, haul out the Christmas albums and play swing ball on the lawn (yep, folks, it’s summer down here in Kiwi-land). And let’s not forget the traditional festive treats we all love to eat…

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Russian Fudge

December 3, 2014

Russian Fudge

I’ve been known to be the sort of person who acts now and thinks later. I’d never made fudge before and assumed it would be dead easy – just shove some ingredients together, give it a stir and Bob’s your uncle. So, without reading through the recipe, or honing up on the finer points of fudge-making, I characteristically launched straight in.

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Roasted Pumpkin & Pomegranate Salad

December 1, 2014

Pumpkin & Pomegranate Salad

You’ll know from my last post that I came across a stash of pomegranates at our local supermarket recently. It was a bit of a find, given we don’t get to see pomegranates very often Down Under. So, with pomegranates to spare and a hankering for a salad that I could dress with some ruby red arils (which are fibre-rich as well as being powerful antioxidants), I hunted out some recipes and found this recipe from Leigh Erin Connealy, MD at Newport Natural Health.com.

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Pomegranate Mousse

November 29, 2014

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What a treat to find a cache of imported pomegranates in our local supermarket the other day. They’re something I’ve only ever seen online, given our New Zealand climate is not conducive to growing them. Of course, it goes without saying that I bought some immediately without any idea of what to do with them; even how to open or eat them! I’m such a babe in the woods!

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