Chocolate and prunes were made for each other so if you get cracking right away, you and whoever you share them with will be enjoying these incredibly scrumptious treats for Christmas – they also make a wonderful gift.
They’re not difficult to make but you do need to plan 6 -7 days ahead, as the first five days of macerating the fruit in alcohol is absolutely necessary. So take my word for it – they’re totally worth it, they look impressive and I bet nobody can guess what’s in them. Plus, you’re going to have so much fun licking all the chocolate off your hands after stage two…..
I like to decorate mine with a piece of walnut and/or a dusting of edible gold dust; if you can’t find edible gold dust and hate walnuts, they’re just as delicious plain, otherwise get creative and top them off with whatever appeals to you.
(Makes approx 50)
Ingredients for the filling:
8 oz (250g) soft pitted prunes
4 fl oz (125ml) of any of the following – cognac, kirsch, Grand Marnier or calvados
9 oz (275g) of dark chocolate, chopped
8 fl oz (250ml) of heavy cream
2 oz (50g) of unsalted butter
Starting 5 days ahead, soak the prunes in the alcohol – keep covered.
After five days, place the chocolate, cream and butter in the top of a double saucepan or in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Don’t allow the bowl to come in contact with the water. Stir until smooth and completely melted. Take off the heat and set aside.
Strain the prunes of any liquid and chop finely in a food processor – add two tablespoons of the soaking liquid (about all you’ll have), then add this to the chocolate cream mixture – cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
The next day, line a large cookie sheet with baking parchment.
Take teaspoon-sized amounts of the chocolate-prune mixture and roll together quickly between your palms until you have a round ball – place on the baking parchment (see pic) and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour and up to 24 hours, before coating them.
Ingredients for coating the truffles:
15 oz (450g) of dark chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons of sunflower or grapeseed oil
Walnut pieces and edible gold dust for decoration (optional)
Carefully melt the chocolate as follows; bring a pan of water to the boil and turn off the heat. Put the oil and chocolate in a bowl and set it over the pan, making sure it’s a good fit and the bottom of the bowl doesn’t come into contact with the water. Cover the bowl with a lid or foil and leave until the chocolate has melted.
Give it a good stir and allow it to cool to about 95F ( 35C)
Working with small batches at a time while keeping the others refrigerated, drop each truffle into the melted chocolate to cover and then lift it out with a fork, scraping the fork on the side of the bowl to remove any excess.
Slide it onto another parchment-lined cookie sheet and before the chocolate sets, top with a piece of walnut.
Keep them refrigerated and eat within ten days, or freeze.