INDULGE IN THE CHOCOLATEY GOODNESS OF GEMLIFE CHEF MATT CONQUEST’S HAZELNUT CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES FOR WORLD CHOCOLATE DAY ON THURSDAY, 7 JULY.
Chocolate’s four-thousand-year history began in ancient Mesoamerica (present-day Mexico) where the first cacao plants were found. In 16th Century Europe, chocolatiers added sugar to chocolate to make it the iconic sweet treat it is today. Royals and the upper classes consumed chocolate for its health benefits as well as its decadence.
In 1828, the invention of the chocolate press revolutionised chocolate making. This innovative device could squeeze cocoa butter from roasted cacao beans, leaving a fine cocoa powder behind. The powder was then mixed with liquids and poured into a mould where it solidifies into an edible bar of chocolate.
And just like that, the modern era of chocolate was born.
Hazelnut Chocolate Truffles
150g hazelnuts, roasted and peeled
350g 70% dark chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil
200g chocolate-hazelnut spread
1 tbsp dark cocoa powder/raw cacao
1 tbsp Frangelico hazelnut liqueur (optional)
- Set aside 20 hazelnuts. Chop the remaining nuts with a knife or wrap them in a cloth and crush them with a rolling pin.
- Put 150g of the chocolate along with the coconut oil in a heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water to melt the chocolate. Once melted, take the bowl away from the heat.
- In the bowl, add the chocolate and hazelnut spread, cocoa (or cacao), liqueur, and the finely chopped hazelnuts. Mix well and place the bowl in the fridge for 15 minutes to slightly harden the mixture.
- Take the mixture out of the fridge and shape the chocolate into 18-20 walnut-sized balls, making sure to place a whole hazelnut in the middle of each one. Set the truffles in the fridge for 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, melt the remaining 200g of chocolate over a saucepan of simmering water.
- Take the truffles out of the fridge and place them on the wire rack lined with baking paper. Using a fork, dip each truffle into the melted chocolate, and allow them to cool on the rack at room temperature.
Enjoy your tasty bite-sized chocolate treats. Happy World Chocolate Day!