Provence celebrates the chestnut in all its glory, particularly during its peak season of late autumn, when village fêtes, featuring dégustations of roasted chestnuts and musical entertainment, come to town. Living in France has fueled my love of chestnuts, whether simply roasted, or in the form of crème de marron, the sweet purée featured in the Mont Blanc dessert. This little recipe is utterly addictive; these are perfect with a strong cup of coffee or for edible Christmas gifts. Try them once and you’ll be finding any excuse to make them again.
- Yield: 18 truffles
- Preparation Time: 10 Minutes
- Cooking Time: 10 Minutes
- 12 oz (340 g) dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 7 oz (200 g) cooked chestnuts
- 4 tbsp (50 g) butter, softened
- ¼ cup (50 g) sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Candied violets (optional)
- Place 3 oz (85 g) of the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water (make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the hot water). Melt the chocolate and then remove the bowl from the heat and leave to cool a little.
- In the meantime, blend the chestnuts, butter, sugar, and vanilla in a food processor.
- Combine the melted chocolate with the chestnut mixture and mix well. Roll into walnut-size balls and refrigerate for 30 minutes. If the mixture becomes too soft to shape, chill for a few minutes to firm.
- To coat the truffles, temper the chocolate. Melt the remaining 9 oz/255 g chocolate over a pan of simmering water, as before. You want it to reach 115°F on the thermometer. Then, you need to cool the chocolate to 80°F. You can do this by placing the bowl over another bowl of icy water and stirring it until the temperature drops. The cooled chocolate must then be reheated to 88°F; at this temperature it is ready to use.
- Dip the truffles in the chocolate and place them on a wire rack to set. Top each with a candied violet, if desired. Store, refrigerated, in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Bring to room temperature before serving.