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On the Horizon: St. Patrick’s Day – Guinness Truffles

March 15th, 2011

Guinness Truffles

So far, we’ve got drinks, veggies, and a main course… but what about dessert? Thick, foamy and rich Guinness stout seemed to be a natural match for dark chocolate, so I decided to feature it in truffle form. The stew from yesterday’s post doesn’t use an entire can of Guinness, and even though I don’t often drink beer, I’m sure not letting it go to waste!

Guinness Dark Chocolate Truffles

I used plastic shot glasses as molds, which I found at the dollar store (the same ones you might get at a cheap college bar), and they were the perfect size for a bite-sized truffle. Don’t skip out on the white chocolate “head” – it adds a creamy, light textural contrast and a hint of extra sweetness that accentuates the Guinness and dark chocolate combination very well.

Other special equipment you’ll need: a small pastry brush, hand mixer, bain-marie (if you don’t have this, not to worry! I always just use a bowl or pasta dish that fits over the top of a small pot).

Guinness Truffles

Makes 12 truffles

Shell:
vegetable oil or non-stick spray
3 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped

Fill the bottom of the bain-marie (or a small pot) 1.5″ deep with water and put it over medium heat. Put 2 oz of the chocolate into a bowl or the top of the bain-marie, and set it over top of the water-filled pot. Stir occasionally with a metal spoon to ensure that the chocolate melts evenly. When completely melted, remove the bowl or the top pot, and stir in the remaining 1 oz of chocolate until it, too, is melted in. This will ensure you have a crispy outer shell.
While the chocolate is melting, coat the inside of 12 shot glasses with a thin film of oil. This will help your truffles to pop out easily.
Using the pastry brush, brush a thin, even layer of melted chocolate inside each shot glass. The best way to do this is by starting at the bottom edge of the glass, and sweeping the brush upwards past the top edge. Work your way around the shot glass, and then make sure the bottom is also evenly coated. Wipe around the top edge of the glass so you have a clean edge, and tap the bottom lightly on your counter to remove any air bubbles. Set aside on a pan, and when they are all complete, put the pan in the freezer for a few minutes. Repeat the coating process a second time.

Ganache:
6 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 tbsp honey
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
4 tbsp whipping cream
8 tbsp guinness stout (no foam)

In your bain-marie, melt the chocolate, then remove from heat. Stir in all other ingredients until they are well combined. Allow to cool for a few minutes so that the ganache thickens, then spoon the mixture evenly into the shot glasses, packing it in lightly and making sure there are no spaces between the shell and the ganache. Create a shallow well in the center of each truffle by using a spoon to press down the center of the ganache and working it towards the top of the shell. Place the truffles back on the tray and into the fridge while you make the head.

“Head”:
1 oz white chocolate, finely chopped
6 tbsp whipping cream
4 tbsp Guinness foam

Clean and dry the top of your bain-marie before you move on, and make sure the bottom pot still has enough water in it. Melt the white chocolate, then stir in the cream. Remove immediately from heat and stir in the Guinness foam. Transfer to a small mixing bowl and whip on high speed with your hand mixer, until the mixture has cooled and becomes light and frothy.

When the truffles are set, remove them from their molds by tapping them upside down on a clean plate. Turn them right side up, top them up with the white chocolate mixture until the tops are about to spill over, and put them back in the fridge to set for approx 1/2 hour.

Enjoy!

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