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Sunday, November 02, 2008

Rustic Almond Truffles

The Altitude Adjustment Section
I love truffles, but there is more to this category known as “truffles” than just the ganache filling dipped in dark chocolate. Now granted those are pretty good, but if you want a healthier alternative, how about trying Debra Madison’s Rustic Almond truffles with fruit centers. Debra notes ”these truffles get better with time, but make sure they’re well wrapped so they don’t dry out.”

1 1/2 cups whole blanched almonds
1 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for rolling
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 drops orange oil or 1 tablespoon rum
30 dried cherries or 30 small pieces candied citrus peel

Pulse the almonds and the sugar and cocoa in the food processor till almonds are finely ground. Transfer to a bowl and knead briefly adding the almond extract and the orange oil or rum. Add water by the teaspoon to make a stiff dough. Scatter sugar over your counter and roll and shape the dough into a disk, then coat it with sugar on both sides. It's best to chill the dough for an hour at this point. Roll the dough into 1-inch thick coils and slice into 1-inch pieces. Now roll those pieces into balls and insert a dried cherry (which I soak in brandy or Port) into the center, or use a piece of candied citrus peel. Roll the balls in sugar and serve in paper candy cups.