Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles

Dark Chocolate Hazelnut TrufflesIf you are receiving a gift from me, there is a good chance it will be edible.   These truffles are chocolate-y, Nutella-y and perfect with a cup of coffee or a glass of red wine.  That’s my kind of treat!  I learned how to make these at a bakeshop in Austin called Make it Sweet.  They have all kinds of dessert classes, and they are so much fun.  Once you have the concept down, the ideas are really endless.  All you need for ganache is 2 parts of chocolate to 1 part cream.  Feel free to change it up!   Like peanut butter instead of Nutella?  Use that.  Think the chopped hazelnuts would be good mixed into the ganache?  I do too.  Pick your favorites and make a sweet surprise for a friend’s birthday or Valentine’s Day.

Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles 2Ingredients (makes approximately 35 tablespoon sized truffles):
For the ganache:
1 lb. dark chocolate, small pieces or chopped
1 cup Nutella
1 cup cream

For coating:
¼ lb. hazelnuts, chopped into small pieces

Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles 3Place chocolate and Nutella in heatproof bowl.  In a small saucepan, bring cream barely to a boil, then pour over chocolate and Nutella.  Let stand 2 minutes before mixing (this is important!), then mix to fully incorporate with a small spatula, making sure all chocolate pieces are melted and ganache is smooth.  Letting the mixture sit a few minutes will help melt the chocolate more evenly.  Put ganache in refrigerator for approximately 3 hours, until firm enough to roll.  Using your hands, roll truffles into rounds and dip in chopped hazelnuts to coat.


Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

Dark Chocolate CupcakeI think desserts should be indulgent, with the perfect balance of rich and sweetness coming together.  I love making these cupcakes, because it’s a rich, dark chocolate cupcake with a light, fluffy, sweet Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting. The balance of the two together work perfectly.

Dry Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
1 ¼ cups cocoa
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt

Wet Ingredients:
1 cup milk
½ cup brewed coffee
½ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
½ cup boiling water
Find the recipe for the Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting here.

dark chocolate cupcakes 2Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Add dry ingredients to bowl of stand mixer.  Add wet ingredients, except for boiling water and mix on medium speed to combine thoroughly.  Reduce speed to low and add the boiling water.  Turn mixer up to medium-high for 2 minutes.  You want it to whip thoroughly but not splash out of the bowl!  Adding boiling water to chocolate cake recipes allows the flavor of the cocoa to blend out of the cocoa powder and reach its full flavor.   Place cupcake liners in cupcake tin.  Distribute batter evenly, there will be enough for 24 cupcakes with each liner about ¾ full.

Bake on center rack of oven for 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.  Top with Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting or other frosting that you love.