This final instalment of the 12 Days blog series is another creation I make most years. I usually make many different kinds of truffles for Christmas and put a few aside to dress up as mini puddings. This year I'm not making a truffle tree, so rather than grabbing a few choice spares, I chose a cake recipe especially for the occasion.
We don't really like the traditional steamed puddings in our household. One we do like, however, is the untraditional chocolate and raspberry version. These truffles are made from chocolate and strawberry cupcakes to represent our ideal steamed pudding.
You can use any recipe you like for this, but I'll give you my recipe below. Making truffles is a cinch. All you need to do is break up the cake into crumbs and add enough moist ingredients to make them adhere. I use ganache as I don't like the over-the-top sweetness most other icings create. I prefer my truffles to be set at room temperature, so I make them by feel. Every type of cake will require a different amount of moisture and so I find it best to do it by eye. As such, I don't have exact quantities, but the method is simple enough to tackle by feel yourself.
I had a bowl of leftover dark chocolate ganache from the tartlet recipe that I heated up. Gradually mix in enough of the ganache into your cake crumbs until the mixture is well combined and just sticky enough to adhere to itself. Roll it into balls and stick a toothpick in the top. Then pop them in the fridge for about an hour. While, as I said before, I want my truffles to be set at room temperature, refrigerating them speeds up this initial process, and helps the chocolate set really quickly in the next step.
Alright, so now your truffles are set you want to coat them in a layer of melted dark chocolate.
Set them on greaseproof paper with the toothpick pointed upwards: the toothpick is only there to aid the coating process.
When they're set, twist the toothpick to loosen it then slide it out. You'll end up with this ugly hole at the top, but that's fine for these truffles as we're going to hide it.
Next, just drizzle a little melted white chocolate on top. In the past I tried to be fancy and pipe perfect drips into the truffles. But I found that the best look is achieved by dripping bits of chocolate on top with a teaspoon. Letting the chocolate fall and drip naturally, with a little encouragement here and there, ends up with a much better look than trying to control this process too much.
Let the chocolate set, then dollop a tiny bit more white chocolate to 'glue' some holy leaves on. I made these from fondant, but you can find many types of commercially sold ones around this time of year if you prefer. You can put the holy leaves on before the initial white chocolate has set if you want to save a step, but I've found it can be really annoying if you prematurely drop the leaves and they go sliding and mess your perfectly dripped chocolate up. This way saves a bit of accidental mess.
Then all that's left is to attach your berries. I used coated chocolate sprinkles. You can use more white chocolate if that's all you have on hand. I used piping gel because it's clear.
In no time, you'll have a little army of pudding truffles. There's 12 of these little guys here.
I used two texas-sized cupcakes worth of cake crumbs to yield this many truffles.
The raspberries in this recipe give an almost boozy taste to these moist dark chocolate cupcakes. With the little ganache you end up with a lovely and soft inside to the truffles.
The recipe I used yields 6 texas-sized cupcakes, so we ate the rest for dessert.
They are lovely warm and fresh from the oven. I dressed these up in the fashion of their baby truffle cousins and gave them a Christmas pudding look as well.
They're drizzled with cinnamon-infused custard, and topped with mint leaves and strawberries.
This is the recipe I used:
Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Cupcakes
160g dark chocolate, chopped
You'll find the printable version of this recipe here.
And with that, that's the end of my blogging until some time after Christmas. I hope you all have an amazing time this holidays season, surrounded by those you love. May it, and the new year, bring you everything you could hope for, and perhaps a little more.