A longer version of this post first appeared on my old blog last December 19, 2008.
Drunk Truffle Balls
450 grams cookie crumbs
80 grams apricot jam
60 ml rum
115 grams chocolate, melted (for filling)
40 grams glucose
500 grams chocolate (for coating)
chocolate vermicelli, nuts, and sprinkles
In a bowl, mix the cookie crumbs with the jam and liquor. Add the 115 grams of melted chocolate until well blended. If using glucose, warm it up in the microwave for about 30 seconds and add to the mix.
If it looks too mushy and moist, gradually add more crumbs until its consistency is easy to handle with clean hands or spoon out in mounds. Shape into bite-sized balls and let set in the refrigerator. This takes about an hour.
When the truffle balls are set, melt the remaining chocolate over a double boiler, stirring occasionally. Dunk the truffle balls into the coating chocolate and sprinkle on the vermicelli, nuts, or sprinkles. Alternately, if you don’t want to get your hands messy, you may arrange the truffle balls over a rack with a pan underneath to catch any drippings. Spoon the chocolate over them. Decorate and let set.
These keep for about a month in the refrigerator.
The original recipe is from John Slattery’s Chocolate Cakes for Weddings and Celebrations but I’ve changed so many things—like dry cake crumbs to cookie crumbs!—I guess I can call it mine.
I use my surplus homemade cookies for this recipe, which is rather buttery to begin with, so I have to add around 200 grams more crumbs to make it work. To get a fine crumb I grind everything up in a Cuisinart. Store-bought cookies, especially those that are on the dry side, should work well. I’ve used my homemade chocolate chip, dark chocolate, macaroon, and spice cookie crumbs and they all taste fine.
The same rule applies for the jam. Apricot is great but if you only have strawberry or raspberry on hand that will work too. I’ve even accidentally used a low-fat jam before and it still turned out good.
Regarding the liquor, I started out exclusively with rum but then I tried brandy and vanilla vodka. Tita Ana gave me this twenty-year-old bottle of Kirsch to play with and it’s highly potent in these treats! Can you omit the liquor? I don’t think it’s advisable since the liquor will help it keep fresh for longer.
Some friends asked about the addition of glucose. I used to make this without it. While flipping though some old notes from cooking school, however, I noticed my old truffles recipe added that ingredient. When I tried it, I noticed that it gave the mixture a better consistency after setting—and a more professional-looking caramel-chewy center. If you can’t find glucose, though, you can skip it. I only figured this out last week and I’ve been making these balls for almost a year. I haven’t really figured out how much glucose I should add, either, so give or take a couple of grams shouldn’t hurt too much.
For the chocolate, block chocolate is preferable over chips. Some chips don’t melt very well, that’s why I don’t like using them unless it’s the only thing I have on hand. Anyway, it’s nice to have contrasting colors for filling and coating, so any combination between white, milk, and dark chocolate will both look and taste great.
For the toppings, anything goes. Chocolate vermicelli, sprinkles, and nuts all work well. Rice crispies get soggy if stored for too long, and nobody I know seemed to like marshmallows. Lately I have also tried chopped candied cherries. These taste great, especially with a dark chocolate filling drunk on Kirsch…
Lastly, for a professional look (if you’re giving these babies away), wear plastic gloves while transferring the truffles to small muffin liners before boxing. You want them to know it’s handmade, but you don’t want greasy fingerprints all over the treats.
Anyway, that’s it. I hope this motivates some of you to make it for Noche Buena! Cheers and Merry Christmas.