St. Patrick's Day is a very popular day of celebration. It's often associated with the beginning of spring, flowers blooming, warm breezes in the afternoon, and all things green. Green beer is a traditional celebration tool but not for me. I've never had green beer and don't plan to start now. I do however, enjoy baking and creating tasty desserts that start with Bailey's Irish Cream Liquor.
Since I've never made truffles before, I did a lot of research and recipe comparisons. In the end, David Lebovitz's Chocolate-Port Truffles recipe was my inspiration. I was really surprised how easy it is to make the truffle creamy middle. You can start with chopped good quality bittersweet chocolate, heavy cream, butter and spirits. David recommends a tawny port, Grand Manier, whisky or dark rum. I went with Bailey's Irish Cream.
Heat the cream until it comes to a boil over medium heat. Don't walk away, once it gets hot the cream will easily boil over. How do I know this? Yeah don't ask. Let's just say my stove top is very clean today. Once the cream is hot, pour it over the chopped chocolate in a large mixing bowl. Allow the cream mixture to sit for a minute or two, then start stirring with a spatula. Gently fold and stir until all the chocolate is melted. Add the chopped butter and Bailey's and stir until combined.
Pour the mixture into a tall container or measuring cup suitable for using a stick / immersion blender. Blend until the ganache is shinny and smooth. Take care not to blend in any air. Keep the blender below the surface.
Pour the ganache into a shallow pan and cool in the refrigerator at least 3 hours.
Using a melon baller or scoop holding about two teaspoons, form into balls, rolling in your palms, and place on a parchment or wax paper lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm. While the truffle filling is in the fridge, prepare the chocolate coating. If you want to skip this step, roll the truffles in sifted unsweetened cocoa powder and store in an airtight container.
While researching truffles I also researched chocolate tempering, I've been afraid of trying this but once I completely understood it wasn't so scary. Yes I think I would do some things different next time, but for now, I followed the instructions for chocolate tempering on the Ghirardelli website. Their chocolate, their instructions. They make it sound very easy. The reason for tempering the chocolate is simple. You want to maintain a smooth and glossy finish and you also want the chocolate to have a crisp snap when bitten. But most of all, you don't want the chocolate to melt when it touches your fingers. This all makes sense to me.
Instead of posting instructions for tempering, I think you would do better reading it for yourself. I will however, post a chocolate tempering post one day when I use this method again. I love to master these unique processes so you know I'll try again.
In the end I decided to dip all the truffles in a bittersweet chocolate coating. Some were immediately rolled in sifted unsweetened cocoa power, a few were sprinkled with chopped pistachios and the last were decorated in a green tinted melted white chocolate. I do like to play with my food!
Served with a little Bailey's Irish Cream, these are a great finish to your special St. Patrick's Day meal.
Bailey's Irish Cream Chocolate Truffles
(adapted from David Lebovitz' Chocolate-Port Truffle recipe)
8 ounces good bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, room temperature
3 tablespoons Bailey's Irish Cream
For the topping:
2/3 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder
8 ounces good bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine for dipping
Other toppings such as melted white chocolate tinted green and chopped nuts if desired
Bring the cream to a boil over medium heat. Pour the hot cream over 8 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate. Allow the mixture to rest for a minute or two, then stir with a spatula until all the chocolate is melted. Stir in the butter and Bailey's and blend until smooth. Spread the ganache into a shallow glass pan and refrigerate for several hours.
Using a melon baller or scoop holding about two teaspoons, form into balls, rolling in your palms, and place on a parchment or wax paper lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm. While the truffle filling is in the fridge, prepare the chocolate coating by tempering the chocolate in your preferred method. If you want to skip this step, roll the truffles in sifted unsweetened cocoa powder and store in an airtight container.
Coat the truffles in the tempered chocolate and top as desired. Store the finished truffles in the refrigerator removing one hour before serving.
Do you celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a special dish? Maybe Irish soda bread, corned beef or cabbage and potatoes? Feel free to link a post in the comments section and let us know what you're making these days! Sharing is such fun.
I guess I'll go ahead and mention my wonderful, adorable, special, sweet grandson, again! Isaac came over with his mom and had dinner with us yesterday. He was wide awake and cooperated a bit for picture time!
Hope you have a great week and thanks so much for stopping by!