Holiday Baking Week: Chocolate Praline Truffle Squares
Published Tuesday, December 4, 2012 7:41AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 4, 2012 7:42AM EST
Who hasn't fallen in love with truffles? A crunchy praline gives a surprise contrast to this creamy, smooth truffle mixture that we've spread into a pan to cut into tiny squares. No need to keep your hands cold while you take on the tedious and messy task of rolling the mixture into little rounds. They are lovely served in tiny gold bonbon cups with after-dinner coffee and perhaps a cognac.
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) whole hazelnuts (filberts)
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp (45 mL) water
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) whipping cream
- 12 oz (375 g) dark bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 3 tbsp (45 mL) Frangelico liqueur, rum or brandy
- unsweetened cocoa
- Toast the hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet in a 350°F (180°C) oven until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Enclose and rub in a clean tea towel to remove most of the skins. Grease the sheet and return the nuts close together in a single layer.
- In a small heavy saucepan, combine the sugar and water; cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium-high; boil, without stirring, until a rich caramel colour, 5 to 8 minutes. Immediately pour over the hazelnuts; let cool completely and break into pieces. Finely chop the pieces in a food processor. (Make-ahead: Place in an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 5 days.)
- In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil; remove from the heat and whisk in the chocolate until melted completely. Whisk in the liqueur until smooth. Stir in the praline. Spread the mixture in a plastic wrap-lined 8-inch (2 L) square cake pan. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Holding the plastic wrap, carefully remove the chocolate mixture from the pan and place on a cutting board; peel off the wrap. With a long sharp knife, cut into squares about 3/4 inch (2 cm). Sift the cocoa lightly overtop. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks or freeze for longer storage.)