Before you start yawning, seeing a second truffle recipe in a row, I must assure you I have a very good reason for that. These truffles are perhaps not very spectacular, perhaps they will not please crowds, but for me they count among the most successful culinary experiments of recent years. Slightly tangy, slightly bitter, chunky, chewy, boozy, they combine three different textures and sharp adult flavours. All this makes them an addictive, fantastic treat for all the prune lovers.
The idea was simple: starting with my beloved Prunes in Chocolate as a basis, I decided to throw in some walnuts and splash some rum I often add to Prunes in Chocolate too. The barely cooled mixture in the pan was already so fabulous, it was difficult not to eat all of it with a spoon. Compared to other truffles, these were quick and easy to prepare, though, due to the chunks of nuts and prunes, they will never be as smooth as most truffles I make. On the other hand, at least they resemble real truffles! If you don’t like walnuts, you can choose any nut you prefer (or no nuts at all), but in my opinion prunes are the crucial element.
If you don’t have time and/or patience, but the idea of prunes combined with chocolate tempts you, you might try these super quick, effortless and absolutely delicious Prunes in Chocolate:
As a reminder, here are some other truffles I have written about:
TIPS: Whether you prefer bitter or milk (or even white) chocolate, choose always good quality product to prepare truffles. For me good quality chocolate starts at the level where cocoa butter is the only fat on the ingredients list. (This doesn’t necessarily mean expensive chocolate!).
Do not attempt “slimming down” these truffles, i.e. making them without butter or cream. These are necessary to soften the chocolate.
During the chocolate melting process, keep very low heat, stir constantly and do not let it boil.
While forming the truffles, make sure your hands are not too warm, running cold water on them from time to time and rolling the truffles between your fingers and not on the palm of your hand (which is warmer).
The truffles should be kept in the fridge (it can be the warmest part of the fridge), so make sure you say it while offering a box. Take them out about 30 minutes before serving.
The cocoa coating will become slightly moist in the fridge, so either coat them just before serving or coat them twice: once before putting them into the fridge and once again before serving. Of course the dry coating changes only the look, not the taste.
Preparation: about 1 hour (including the cooling time)
Ingredients (yields about 12 walnut-sized truffles):
100 g (about 3.5 oz) dark good quality chocolate, broken into small pieces
30 g (about 1 oz) butter
30 ml (about 1 oz) liquid cream (no thickeners; at least 20% fat)
10 chopped prunes
12 walnut kernels, chopped
2 tablespoons rum
2-3 tablespoons bitter cocoa to coat the truffles
Pour the cream into a small pan. Add the butter and the chocolate.
Melt the chocolate and the butter at low heat, constantly stirring.
When you see that about 80% of the chocolate has melted, take the pan off the heat and stir vigorously until it dissolves completely. (If you wait too long, you might overcook the chocolate).
Add the chopped prunes, walnuts, rum and combine well.
Put aside in a cool place for about 20 minutes until it sets to a point where truffles can be formed.
If the mixture sets too much and is too hard to form, wait a bit. It will soften at room temperature.
Quickly form truffles (try using only the fingers because the palm of your hand is always much warmer).
Repeat the same with each truffle.
Put the truffles into a bowl filled with cocoa and, moving the bowl, coat the truffles thoroughly or put them into the fridge and wait with cocoa coating just before serving (see the TIPS above).
Place the truffles on a plate or in paper cases and refrigerate a couple of hours before serving or before offering them.
The truffles should always be kept in the fridge (it can be the warmest part, but the fridge is obligatory).