I have been making puffed rice chocolate truffles since I was a child and it was probably the first sweet treat I was able to make completely on my own. My childhood version of the oval truffles – called “hedgehogs” or “pine cones” because of their form – contained only cocoa, butter and rice, but now I always use chocolate and add nuts, raisins and a dash of aromatic alcohol. Last weekend I wanted to use my new kitchen toy, namely a big silicone mould for rectangular bars or biscuits and this way my rice balls have been transformed into rice bars. I have discovered that using moulds is much easier, quicker and allows me to use less chocolate. Whatever the shape, they are ridiculously simple, filling, relatively healthy, irresistibly chewy thanks to softened rice and slightly crunchy thanks to the walnuts.
As you can see on the photo I don’t put a lot of chocolate. It’s there mainly to “glue” the remaining ingredients. If you want, you can double the chocolate amount. I also don’t add any sugar. Raisins and chocolate are sweet enough for me. If you decide to make truffles, definitely double the chocolate amount and add more butter.
Special equipment: silicone moulds (not necessary if you want to make truffles)
Preparation: 15 minutes + several hours in the fridge
Ingredients (makes about 8 bars 5 x 7,5 cm):
20 -30 g puffed rice (I prefer the unsweetened one)
15 walnut kernels
4 heaped tablespoons raisins
50 g dark chocolate (or more)
15 g butter
1 flat tablespoon instant coffee (optional)
50 ml Grand Marnier or any aromatic alcohol of your choice
Put the chocolate, the butter, the coffee and the raisins in a big pan (big enough to contain also the puffed rice).
Melt the chocolate, continuously stirring and don’t let it boil.
Chop the walnuts (or break them into pieces) and add to the pan.
Add the puffed rice, stirring and stop when you see the mixture will not stick together if you add more rice (it depends on the chocolate you use).
Fill the silicone moulds with the mixture or form balls with wet hands.
Refrigerate for a couple of hours. The taste improves if you leave the bars in the fridge overnight.