Wednesday, 21 December 2011

White Chocolate Limoncello and Almond Truffles

I want a well stocked liquor cabinet.   Not to drink them or anything, but to cook with them.  I love cooking with alcohol.  What's better than a chocolate mousse with a shot of rum or a stew with half a bottle of red wine or an almond cake with a generous glug of amaretto.  Mmmm.  Currently as a poor college student all I have is wine and limoncello (thank you Ross and Caitlin for the limoncello <3)
Limoncello's a lemon flavored liqueur originating from Southern Italy.  Traditionally served as a digestive after a meal, it's sweet and creamy and delicious.  It's actually quite easy to make at home, it's essentially just lemons marinated in vodka for a looong time, and then you mix it with milk and sugar (please find a proper recipe, I'm not at all confident in what I just said).  But the key lies in the lemons you use.  The best limoncello uses lemons from Sorrento -- large, beautiful, vibrant, intensely flavored lemons.

However, I prefer using it as an ingredient rather than just drinking it.  It can be used in anything that incorporates lemon juice or zest.  One day I'll upload a post about this divine torta caprese al limone with limoncello -- a flourless lemon cake made with ground almonds, lemon zest, juice and limoncello.  Yes, it tastes as good as it sounds.
Anyway, think about adding it to your lemon cheesecakes, your custards, your ice creams.  Or even just mix it with whipped cream and serve it over a dessert of your choice.

With limoncello I thought I'd make some truffles.  Truffles are one of those fancy little things that take no effort at all to make.  Normally I prefer dark chocolate truffles (with a bit of rum or brandy) but I so desperately wanted to use my limoncello, and you know what,  these were the best truffles I've ever made.  Lemons, white chocolate and almonds make a heavenly alliance that can do no wrong in any circumstances.
250g white chocolate, broken into peices
175ml double cream
2 tbsp limoncello
1 tsp almond extract
Ground almonds for rolling

Melt white chocolate with the cream over medium heat, remember to stir.

When melted, add the limoncello and almond extract.  Mix well to incorporate and put the mixture in the fridge to harden for about 2 hours.
Take the mixture out and shape into balls.  Roll them in ground almonds and place them in the fridge until ready to serve.

I got a new photographer for these truffles, my friend, Kirsten, came over from Ireland and I forced her into taking photos of these babies whilst my usual photographer, Sarah, was busy working on her 4000 word essay..or was it a presentation....  But thank you Kirsten and come visit again soon :)

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