Truffles, small delectable treasures. These particular truffles have toasted hazelnut in them which gives a slight crunch. Of course, hazelnut paired with chocolate is a match made in heaven. You just can’t go wrong. Or can you? Well not with the truffles themselves but I did have quite a bit of trouble with this recipe, but I worked out the kink. The original recipe instructed me to melt the bittersweet chocolate in the microwave, which turned out to be a horrible mess. I think my microwave oven was heating at too high heat. The chocolate would harden up and become unmanageable after just dipping 1/3 of the truffles. So I tried again, but this time melting the chocolate over a water bath which turned out so much better. And so, in the end everything turned out alright. Now we can finally enjoy these delicious little truffles.
Danish Christmas Tradition: Juleklip (Paper cut-outs)
Paper cut-outs such as flettede hjerter (braided hearts), kræmmerhuse (cones), angels, Christmas trees and flettede stjerner (braided stars) is a common part of Danish Christmas decorations. They are made by children and adults alike, possibly at home but always in schools planned as a special day of fun with colored paper, glue, scissors and baked goods. These homemade treasures often times end up as an important part of the Christmas Tree decorations.
I first learned to make the braided star as an adult. I meet once a month with other Danish ladies for an evening of stimulating conversation and good food. It was during one of these evenings many years ago that my Danish friend Lise’s husband Bill taught me how to make the braided star. He would make them at any given time of the year and he was very enthusiastic about making them. I now make them every year around Christmas time and they remind me of Lise and Bill, who has since passed away. It’s a happy memory.
2 cups heavy cream
1 (11.5 ounce package) semi-sweet chocolate chunks
8 (1 ounce) semi-sweet chocolate squares – chopped
2 cups hazelnut – chopped, toasted and divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (11.5 ounce package) bittersweet chocolate chips (60% cacao)
Chop hazelnuts and toast them on a dry pan over medium heat until fragrant. Stir often to make sure they don’t burn. Remove nuts from heat.
Place chocolate chunks in a medium bowl. Chop chocolate squares and add to bowl. Bring heavy cream to a simmer and then add the hot cream to the chocolate, stirring well to melt the chocolate. Add vanilla and 1 1/2 cups of the toasted hazelnuts. Stir to combine. Place in refrigerator to chill for 1 to 2 hours or until hard enough to keep a shape.
Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop 1-inch balls from chocolate mixture and roll quickly between hands to smooth edges. Place on prepared baking sheets and refrigerate for 1 hour or until cold and firm.
Bring a saucepan filled with 1 inch water to a simmer. Once water is simmering turn heat all the way down to low. Place bittersweet chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl and place over the saucepan, making sure bowl is not touching water. Stir chocolate occasionally until melted and smooth. Place chocolate ball on a fork and drizzle warm melted chocolate over the chocolate ball to cover. Use a toothpick to help push the truffle off the fork onto to the baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining hazelnuts and refrigerate to harden.
Glædelig Jul and Merry Christmas♥
Source: adapted from Taste of the South