Chefs Host Christmas Too includes more than 80 recipes, from drinks to nibbles, “showstoppers” (such as mud crab and pineapple and mustard-glazed ham) and desserts.
Purchese, owner of Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio in Melbourne’s Chapel Street and a former guest chef on TV’s MasterChef, says the truffles can be made up to a couple of weeks in advance and stored in the fridge until needed. He suggests either serving them with coffee after lunch or packing them into small bags to give as gifts.
Coffee-Infused Rum + Dark Chocolate Truffles
A decadent ending to a decadent celebration lunch, these will keep them going until cheese on toast later in the evening, especially with that extra little buzz from the coffee.
Prep time: 30 minutes (plus overnight infusion and cooling time)
Cook time: 30 minutes
20g coffee beans
320 ml thickened (whipping) cream
1 tablespoon honey
Canola oil spray
475g chopped dark chocolate (67% cocoa solids), or melts (buttons)
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons rum
20g unsalted butter
200g unsweetened cocoa powder
Preheat the oven to 120C (250F). Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place the coffee beans on the tray and warm them in the oven for 20 minutes.
Put the cream and honey in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the lightly roasted coffee beans. Leave to cool for 20 minutes before covering the pan with plastic wrap and placing it in the fridge to infuse overnight.
The next day, put the chocolate in a tall narrow plastic container, such as a jug. Remove the saucepan from the fridge and place over medium heat. Bring to the boil and then strain the mixture through a sieve onto the chocolate in the jug. Add the salt, rum and butter and leave to sit for 30 seconds.
Blend with a hand-held stick blender until the ganache is smooth and shiny. Lay plastic wrap over the surface of the ganache and leave it to harden at room temperature for around 3 hours.
Lightly spray a flat tray with oil spray and line with baking paper. Use your hand to smooth and flatten the paper on the tray.
Transfer the ganache to a piping (icing) bag fitted with a 2cm plain tip and pipe small bulbs onto the prepared tray. Place the tray in the fridge for 10 minutes to harden slightly.
Tip the cocoa powder into a shallow tray or container. Working with a few bulbs of ganache at a time, roll them into irregular-shaped spheres and then drop them in the cocoa powder, rolling them around to coat. Once all of the truffles have been coated, store them in the fridge.
Edited extract from Chefs Host Christmas Too, by Darren Purchese, RRP $29.99, published by Hardie Grant Books.
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