Chocolate Cointreau Truffles

When I was growing up I spent a lot of time in the kitchen, surprise surprise!  I loved the kitchen then and I adore the kitchen now.  As a child I relished the time I spent flicking through my mother’s recipe books scouring the pages to determine what I would be cooking that day. 

And when the Christmas season rolled around and summer school holidays were in full swing my kitchen enthusiasm sky rocketed, resulting in me spending most days on tip toes peering over the kitchen bench sifting flour, stirring bowls of cake batter and eating preparing icing.

When I arrived at high school it’s no surprise that I favoured home economics above all of my other classes.  I was thrilled at the thought of spending an entire class cooking, cleaning (well not so much that part) and eating!  With an abnormal level of enthusiasm I would inspect the class schedule to see what creations we would be cooking over the semester and my interest was always more heavily focussed on the Christmas cooking we would be partaking in. 

One year we made chocolate truffles.  To say I was hooked is a complete understatement.  I was in love.  Not only because the truffles were a breeze to prepare and offered a plethora of possibilities for flavourings but also because I thought they were the epitome of chic.  These little nuggets of lusciously decadent chocolate dusted in cocoa were so grown up to me.  I could imagine these chocolate treats being offered at the end of an incredibly chic, grown up party along with an espresso.  I loved making them; it was like if by cooking osmosis they somehow made me feel chic and grown up. 

And to this day I still continue to make them, although I no longer need to chase the ‘grown up’ feeling I am still very happy to borrow some of the ‘chic’ qualities these delectable truffles exude.   The recipe I used today is thanks to the Australian Gourmet Traveller, I made a tiny adjustment by opting for Cointreau rather than orange blossom water and am so unbelievably thrilled by the results.   These truffles are rich.  They are luscious, smooth, full of dark moody chocolate and exude the orange citrus fragrance of Cointreau.  For the season of over indulgence these truffles make a perfect addition to your Christmas cooking repertoire.  And in the season where time can be a little scarce these are a homemade luxury that should not be missed, they take minutes to prepare and enthuse you with instant Christmas cheer.  Enjoy, K x

Chocolate Cointreau Truffles

300 gm   dark chocolate (58% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped
200 ml   pouring cream
1 tbsp     cointreau
¼ cup pistachio kernels, coarsely chopped
½ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder

Combine chocolate and cream in a small saucepan, stir over low heat until melted and smooth (4-5 minutes), stir through cointreau. Pour into a shallow tray and refrigerate until firm (2-3 hours). Finely chop remaining pistachios.  Using a dessert spoon dipped in hot water, scrape ganache into large curls, dust with cocoa, top with a pinch of finely chopped pistachio and serve. Truffles will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for 10 days.

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