Claudz from Purple Lips and Perfect Smiles gave me this method, and I knew I was saved. The only catch was, I had to bake a cake, and we all know how I feel about baking...
But, Ree to the rescue! This cake doesn't involve creaming butter and sugar together (thank heaven!) It involves a bowl, a spoon, a measuring cup, and a pot. Oh, and something to bake the darn thing in, and even that can vary. So on Friday night, while everyone was out partying (including the hubby), I stayed in and baked cakes.. and rolled truffles... and dipped them in chocolate.. But doesn't that sound good?
These were without doubt the most delicious truffles I've ever had, and people seemed to like them more than the wedding cake, more than the food... more even than their wine. And if that's not a recommendation, I don't know what is.
These are so flexible - you can use any combination of different kinds of cake, different liqueurs, different chocolate to roll them in. I have in mind a chocolate orange version, with some orange zest and Triple sec, or a cranberry and white chocolate one, with white cake, cranberry pieces, rolled in white chocolate. I think this'll make an incredible (and cheap!) gift for all the colleagues and random friends this Christmas, so give them a try! Once you start, it's difficult to know where to stop...
Amaretto Chocolate Cake Truffles
Makes 160 truffles
1.5 chocolate cakes, crumbled
4 tbsps Amaretto (2 for the first cake, 1 for the second half. Or all together if your bowl's big enough)
3 tsps almond essence (2 for first, 1 for second half)
5 slabs milk chocolate (to be melted for dipping, but use good quality chocolate, not baking chocolate)
- Bake a cake or pick up one from the shop. This is a great recipe for old cake, but if you want to bake from scratch, I used this recipe from Ree over at Pioneer Woman Cooks. It was easy, and it was amazing - and I followed the recipe to the letter (I know! Can we have a moment of silence for that amazing feat?)
- Let the cake cool, but not completely. You want it slightly moist still, so it sticks together more easily.
- Once the cake is all crumbled, drizzle the Amaretto and almond essence over the cake, and mix it in with a knife, to distribute it evenly, making the cake crumbles a bit sticky - this helps you to form balls.
- You can probably do this with a cookie scoop or something, but I didn't have one, so I just scooped up some cake into my hands, squeezed it a little to compact it, and formed it into a rough ball. I found the crusty top part of the cake didn't make very pretty balls, whereas the middle part was great.
- Place the balls on a cookie sheet (or any other flat surface, I made 160 truffles, so I had several trays and cookie sheets) lined with wax paper. (This will be especially important once you dip them in chocolate, because it'll be much easier to remove them once the chocolate hardens.)
- Once you've rolled all the cake into balls, leave to harden covered for a couple of hours or overnight. (I found that once I was finished rolling the last ones, the first ones were cooled and hardened, but I did a lot so they took a lot longer.)
- Once the cake balls are cooled, melt some milk chocolate in a wide, flattish bowl. I did this in the microwave - break the chocolate into blocks, and microwave in 30 second burst, stirring between bursts. When the chocolate is almost all melted, stir it so that the residual heat melts the rest, and if its just a little too hard, give it another 10 seconds and stir again. You want the chocolate to be smooth and glossy, not grainy and boiling, so don't overheat it.
- Take each ball (one by one), and drop it into the chocolate. Using 2 forks, roll it in the chocolate until covered, and place on a wax paper covered cookie sheet. Wash, rinse and repeat for all truffles, breaking and melting more chocolate, as needed.
- Leave out to harden for an hour or so (in hot weather, you can put them in the fridge, but it was cool enough this past weekend to just leave them out).
PS. Apologies again, for the horrible phone photography, these were such a rush job, I barely had any time to breathe, let alone take photos, so I was lucky to get even these. And I totally forgot to get a picture of the finished product, I had to pack and hightail it to Langebaan with these babies!!