Chocolate amaretto truffles (Plus: March Kosher Connection linkup!) {recipe review}

By | March 18, 2013

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This is #2 in a series of recipes that I’ll be testing and sharing from Paula Shoyer’s cookbook on pareve baking, The Kosher Baker. I was provided with a review copy of the book, but my opinions are my own. You can learn more about Paula’s work at In Paula’s Kitchen.

Previously from The Kosher Baker: Chocolate candy hamentaschen

*      *      *

Pesach makes me feel like a newlywed. But here, I’m defining newlywed as a kitchen novice.

The first couple months that we were married were also my first few months of real cooking. I’ve always been a foodie, but not necessarily a cook. So in the beginning, I followed the recipes in my two-book cookbook collection to the letter, not daring to make adaptations because I didn’t yet have a feel for how to do that. Whenever I had a question, I consulted trusty Mr. YouTube.

I watched videos on how to make pancakes, how to chop a butternut squash, how to braid a six-strand challah…and on and on. There was so much to learn.

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Five months in, I was feeling much more confident. But then Pesach came, and it was back to square one.

I turned to my cookbooks, but there wasn’t enough time to learn through trial and error. So there was a lot of error.

Our first Pesach, my brownies were barely edible and my blondies were unappealingly lumpy. Our second Pesach, the mousse cake I attempted was actually disgusting, the pareve kishka was flavorless, and the Pesadik rolls, so lovingly sprinkled with fresh herbs, emerged from the oven dense and ugly.

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It was like I had only been married for two weeks! That’s exactly it, though. I’ve been married for two Pesach weeks, now gearing up for a third.

And that’s why I’m convinced that the best Pesach recipes are the ones that are naturally Pesach-friendly. You know, the ones that don’t compensate for a lack of chametz with too many eggs, too much sugar, and too much potato starch.

In other words, recipes like chocolate amaretto truffles!

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These bite-sized beauties have a short ingredient list and simple directions. You don’t need any fancy equipment, so they won’t make you homesick for your KitchenAid or food processor if you don’t have those things in your Pesach kitchen. And they do just great stored in the freezer, so you can get a few batches in there as soon as your kitchen’s ready, and just pull them out as needed.

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These truffles are small — only the size of a teaspoon — but they are mighty. The combination of melted chocolate and cream, first mixed and spread thin, then chilled and rolled in crushed toasted almonds, results in an elegant, rich treat with a wonderful texture contrast.

I coated a couple in cocoa powder, as Paula says to do in her classic chocolate truffles recipe, and those were also great. But I definitely liked the crunch of the almonds best. (The original amaretto truffles recipe calls for coating them in ground almonds, but crushing them instead gives you better texture and appearance. Go for the crunch.)

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One gripe, though: I wish they would have held their shape a little more. To me, the prettiest truffles are the ones that are really round and plump, firm enough so there’s no drooping. Because these are so soft, they lose their height pretty quickly. This recipe doesn’t have an accompanying photo in the book; I would have liked to see whether they held their shape better when Paula and her recipe testers made them.

Truffle recipes tend to call for refrigerating the chocolate/cream mixture for 3-4 hours before rolling it into balls. Paula’s recipe says to freeze it for 25 minutes (plus an additional 10 minutes between rolling and coating). Next time, I’ll try the fridge method.

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Height issues aside, though, this recipe gets a big thumbs-up. It’s the kind of thing I can see myself making for a friend’s simcha, or serving alongside nuts and fruit for a simple Shabbos dessert. Actually, we’re having some this Shabbos. My menu plan says so.

Recipe at a glance:

  • Accessible ingredients? Yes. If you don’t have/can’t easily get amaretto, I bet almond extract would do the job (try ½-1 teaspoon).
  • Multiple steps required? Yes: melt, mix, spread, chill, roll, and coat. But none of it is hard, and hey, at least there’s no baking.
  • Left with lots of dirty dishes? The double boiler, a baking sheet, and a few utensils. Not bad.
  • Taste worth the effort? Yes!
  • Make again? Yes, but I’m going to try a longer period of refrigeration instead of the shorter period of freezing to see if I can get firmer truffles.

One year ago: Carrot dill matzah balls

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9 Comments

stephanie/the kosher foodies on March 18, 2013 at 5:05 pm.

agreed, these are the best kinds of pesach recipes; the kind i’d eat year-round!

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This American Bite on March 18, 2013 at 8:35 pm.

My mother and my great-aunt love amaretto. An awesome dessert.

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Chanie@BusyInBrooklyn on March 19, 2013 at 1:00 am.

These sound and look amazing! And I love the photos too!

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Alison@Alibabka on March 19, 2013 at 1:06 am.

These would be gone in a second in my house! Sounds and looks fantastic!

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Couldn't Be Parve on March 19, 2013 at 7:17 am.

I love making truffles for pesach and the crushed almonds make these so elegant! I love it.

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Ronnie Fein on March 19, 2013 at 1:42 pm.

Yep, almond extract works. Also brandy. Truffles are so luxurious, a great treat for the holiday. And anytime else.

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Abbe@This is How I Cook on March 19, 2013 at 5:38 pm.

Your photos are beautiful! I’ll bet these are delicious!

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dena @ohyoucook on March 20, 2013 at 2:34 am.

Delicious Passover suggestion! Your photos tell a story all by themselves.

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Ahuva on March 22, 2013 at 5:22 am.

I totally agree that the best Pesadik recipes are those that are naturally Pesadik. I can’t say I go the whole week without potato starch, but I can also say it’s not the focus of what I make. These look awesome!

Reply

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