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Chocolate pomegranate truffles

Chocolate pomegranate truffle

Chocolate pomegranate truffle

As I went on a walk with Helo this afternoon, I couldn’t help but notice how many people had already put on the Christmas lights around their homes. The little twinkly ones were draped around the bushes in their yard, some dangled from the eaves, quite a few had inflatable santas strewn across their lawns and of course, the white-bulbed reindeer were everywhere. I marveled at how organized these people were – and it wasn’t even December! We haven’t even raked the leaves off our yard yet, and my neighbors were already decking their homes for the festive season!

It seems that I am really slow off the blocks this year when it comes to getting ready for Christmas. I haven’t bought a single gift yet – largely because I don’t have a clue as to what people want this year. Last year, I had  pretty good ideas about what to get others, but this year, I am completely stumped. It seems that the older we get, the more particular we are about what we want and the harder it gets to shop for others. Does anyone else feel the same way?

I know for sure that I don’t want others to spell out what they want – how exciting will it be to open a gift box on Christmas day knowing exactly what is inside?! But on the other hand, I know exactly what size and color of a Le Creuset I want for Christmas – but if I tell my husband, then there is no anticipation at all come Christmas morning! Can you see the horrible, horrible dilemma I am in? (Wrings hands profusely).

Chocolate pomegranate truffles

Chocolate pomegranate truffles

One gift that I definitely don’t have to second guess about is homemade candy. I mean, who doesn’t love candy? I got the idea from my husband’s family who have the lovely tradition of sending huge amounts of homemade candy to friends and family around Christmas time. I loved the tradition so much that a couple of years ago, I too started making homemade candy and sending little packages to my loved ones. Once I got the hang of it, it was a lot of fun to make huge slabs of caramel, loads of chocolate bark, pralines and brittle.

This year I was hoping to gift them some truffles but I had never made them before, so I was a little nervous! It did take me a while to figure out the recipe, but I finally managed to get the right taste and texture! These truffles are not overly sweet and have a pleasant sweet-tart taste from the pomegranate molasses. It is really important that you use good quality chocolate (I used Ghirardelli 60% cocoa chocolate bars) and the taste was a whole lot better than when I used chocolate chips. You can make these truffles either with or without the hard chocolate coating. My husband likes the softer textured truffles (without the extra chocolate coating) better, while my favorite is the one with the hard chocolate coating rolled in both the sugar and nut mixture. I love biting into the hard outer shell to get to the soft chocolate inside!

Chocolate pomegranate truffle

Chocolate pomegranate truffle

If you happen to make these, let me know which combination you like the best!

Here is the recipe – :)

 

Chocolate pomegranate truffles

Makes 16

Ingredients

12 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate, divided

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp pomegranate molasses

1/2 cup granulated white sugar

1/2 cup pistachios, roasted and then chopped very finely

 

Method

1. Add 6 oz of bittersweet chocolate and the heavy cream to a small mixing bowl. In a small saucepan bring about one inch of water to a gentle simmer. Place the mixing bowl on top of the saucepan and stir gently until the chocolate has melted. Take it off the heat and mix in 1 tablespoon of pomegranate molasses. Let it chill in the fridge for 2 hours.

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. After 2 hours, scoop out the chocolate mixture using a teaspoon and gently roll it in between your palms to create as much of a round shape as possible. The chocolate will start to smear your palms, so work quickly! If you cannot get perfect rounds and end up with knobbly shapes, don’t worry – they are called “truffles” after all! Lay them out on the parchment lined baking sheet. Mine were about the size of blackberries. Chill them in the fridge for another 1-2 hours.

3. While the truffles are chilling in the fridge, make the pomegranate sugar for coating. Mix 1/2 cup of sugar with 1 teaspoon of the pomegranate molasses thoroughly. Since it was such a sticky mixture, I used my fingertips to mix it in evenly. It is going to look and feel like brown sugar, but it is going to have an incredibly zingy taste! Spread out the pomegranate sugar on a small plate. Spread out the roasted and chopped pistachios on another small plate. I also had a third plate where I mixed some of the sugar along with some of the chopped pistachios in equal proportions.

4. When the truffles have hardened up in the fridge, start making the final coating of chocolate. Using another small double boiler, melt 3 oz of the bittersweet chocolate. Take it off the heat as soon as it has melted and then add the rest 3 oz of chocolate and stir well until everything has melted. Make sure the chocolate has cooled slightly since having taken off the heat – if it is too warm, it’ll just melt the truffles as you try to coat them!

5. Take the truffles out of the fridge. The easiest way I found of coating the truffles was to scoop some of the melted chocolate in a tablespoon and then roll the truffle in it and then drop it on a slotted spoon and shake off the excess chocolate. I gently tossed the truffles back and forth between the tablespoon and slotted spoon a couple of times to make sure that it was coated well and the excess chocolate had dripped off. Now roll it around the pomegranate sugar or the chopped pistachios or the mixed plate. It is going to be a messy job, the chocolate will smear, so work as fast as you can. Lay it on the parchment covered baking sheet. Chill the truffles again for 1-2 hours in the fridge. Serve at room temperature. Enjoy!

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