Smoky Scotch Whisky Chocolate Truffles (Dairy-free)

I really wanted to get Hermit some sort of dark chocolate with Whisky (preferably the Islay Scotch Whisky  if I could) for Valentine’s Day. The pickings were slim (and expensive!).

So I went to the trusty Google and found a couple recipes I used as inspiration. Very happy I was able to make a delicious, yet dairy-free (and subsequently, vegan) chocolate truffle! The flavor of the almond butter is not noticeable in the final product as the consistency is very similar to a ganache (chocolate + heavy cream), which is the traditional filling for a truffle. Just a splash of non-dairy milk/creamer helps bring it together.

Due to the dairy intolerance, I used a dark chocolate – which Hermit really likes anyway, so it was a win. I imagine a milk chocolate (or maybe even white chocolate) might be good as well!

Smoky Islay Whisky chocolate Truffles

Makes about two dozen truffles.

Printable Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz. dark chocolate of a decent quality (I used 4 oz. of Ghirardelli 60% cacao and 2 oz. of Ghirardelli 70% cacao)
  • 1/4 cup almond (or other nut) butter
  • 1/4 cup scotch (the Smokiness of a good Islay Whisky goes well with the dark chocolate)
  • 2 tbsp. milk/cream (I used Coconut milk creamer, which has almost the consistency of half-and-half)
  • 1/2 tsp. instant espresso powder (optional; I find a bit of coffee brings out the intensity of the chocolate and pairs nicely with the Scotch)
  • Options for coating(s):
    • 6 oz. dark chocolate, melted and tempered
    • chocolate sprinkles
    • cocoa powder (the traditional truffle coating)

Method – Truffles:

  1. Chop the 6 oz. of chocolate and place in a microwave safe bowl. Heat at 50% power, in 30-second intervals, until the chocolate is mostly melted (shouldn’t take more than 3 or 4 rotations). With a spatula, incorporate the rest of the chocolate chunks until smooth. (Or, use a double-boiler or other method to melt without burning the chocolate)
  2. Beat in the nut butter with an electric mixer until smooth.
  3. Gradually add the scotch, milk, and espresso powder (if using) and mix well.
  4. Refrigerate the dough (in the bowl you mixed it in) for 1-2 hours, or until firm enough to make balls.
  5. Once the dough is set, using either a spoon and your hands, or a 2-tsp. cookie scoop, or a melon baller, create ~1-inch balls. Place on wax paper on a cookie sheet in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.

Method – Coating & Finishing:

  1. If covering in chocolate, chop the remaining 6 oz. of chocolate and melt. I don’t believe I tempered the chocolate correctly but I don’t really care either. 🙂 It should be about 89-90º and not much higher. Tempering will make the chocolate coating shiny and have a ‘snapping’ quality like with professional chocolates.
  2. Remove the truffle balls from the freezer. One at a time, place the ball in the melted chocolate. Using a fork, gently lift the truffle out, hitting the side of the bowl with the fork slightly to remove excess chocolate.
  3. Place chocolate-covered truffles on wax paper on a cookie sheet. If desired, top with chocolate sprinkles or other garnish.
  4. Or, roll the truffle balls in cocoa powder or chocolate sprinkles or almonds or whatever takes your fancy. Using this method, you may not want to freeze the truffles as the dry coatings will stick better if the truffles are a bit warmer.
  5. Once set, place the finished truffles, on the wax paper, in the fridge to harden. If you didn’t temper your chocolate, you’ll want to store these in the fridge until serving.
  6. Remove any excess chocolate from the bottom of the truffles with a small paring knife. If desired, serve in small candy cups/mini muffin liners.
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Bite-Sized Cinnamon Chocolate Scones

I seriously love these things. They’re one bite of crumbly, chocolaty, soft perfection. Yum! I’m kind of addicted to baking mini portions. Just a little addicted (heh, get it? mini, little…). Scones, pies, cookies, cakes… yup, addicted to mini versions of all of those.

These little guys are adapted from Small-Batch Baking for Chocolate Lovers. I love these Small-Batch Baking books – you can eat an entire recipe (or share with your husband, if you do that sort of thing…) and not feel horrible. Also, it helps not having multiple dozens of something sitting around the house.

The original recipe is for 3 regular-sized scones. I made 12 bite-sized scones because they’re so much prettier and delicate. And because I can.

I hear people either like cinnamon with chocolate or they don’t. Hermit said they were ‘dry’ tasting because of the cinnamon. I loved them though. It adds another dimension of flavor I think.

Bite-Sized Cinnamon Chocolate Scones

Printable Recipe

Scones:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 2  tbsp. cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 tbsp. well-beaten egg (note: There are about 4 tbsp, or ¼ cup, in one beaten egg)
  • 2 tbsp. heavy (whipping) cream
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Coarse sugar, to sprinkle on the tops (optional)

Cinnamon Chocolate Glaze:

  • 3 tbsp. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp. hot water
  • 1 tbsp. powdered sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

Making the scones:

1. Preheat oven to 375°, place rack in middle of oven. Cover a small baking sheet with parchment paper or grease well. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse a few times: flour, sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. (My food processor bowl was in the dishwasher so I did this the old-fashioned way. If you also don’t have a food processor handy, you can whisk the ingredients in a medium bowl.)

3. Add the butter pieces and pulse until coarse-looking crumbs form. (… Or incorporate with a pastry blender or two knives. )

4. Place the mixture in a medium bowl and create a well in the center.

5. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, cream, and vanilla until blended. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients. Gently mix with a fork just until combined – you do not want to over mix. Your mixture should still look a bit “crumbly”.

6. Lightly flour a work surface and your hands; form two equal-sized balls with the dough. Place the dough balls on the floured surface and gently form two discs 1/2- to 3/4-inches in height. With a butter knife or pastry chopper, cut your discs in half and then in thirds, so you have 6 equal pieces.

7. If desired, sprinkle the scones with coarse sugar. With a sharp-edged spatula, gently transfer the scones to the prepared pan and space evenly. Bake the scones until they feel dry and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 9-11 minutes.

Making the Chocolate Glaze:

1. Add the chocolate chips and butter pieces to a small, microwave-safe bowl; microwave 30-45 seconds on 50% power, until soft but not melted entirely. Whisk with a fork until smooth. Add hot water until combined; add the powdered sugar and cinnamon and mix until smooth.

2. Pour the chocolate mixture into a zip-top plastic bag; force the mixture to one corner and secure the top by twisting and holding in place. Cut a small piece off the corner of the bag and drizzle chocolate over the scones. Or spoon it right over the top, all gooey and messy. I’m too much of a perfectionist to do this. I need my deserts to be pretty before I devour them.

Scones are best eaten the same day, either warm or room temperature. And they’re really good if you eat them all in the same day. What? There are only 12 bize-sized portions. I totally didn’t eat them all the same day. It took 2 days for that. Hermit had one or two. I think.