Inspired by the classic Negroni cocktail, these boozy Negroni Truffles feature Campari, gin and red Vermouth. Wrapped up in crisp milk chocolate these smooth and flavoursome truffles would make an impressive accompaniment to after-dinner coffee.
I'm not sure what I've signed myself up for here. At the best of times I manage to spill out one or two recipes each week, but a few weeks ago I started talking about a mini seres of chocolate truffles inspired by cocktails. And here I am about to embark on sharing 5 recipes in 5 days at, oh... let's see... the busiest time of the year.
Will I live to regret that promise? Most probably, but let's not waste time pondering the state I'll be in by the time my final recipes rolls onto the screen. Instead, let's kick things off with my favourite cocktail in chocolate form: Negroni Truffles.
At it's simplest and classic form, the Negroni is a mix of Campari, gin & red vermouth in equal measures. It is stirred rather than shaken and served over ice with a twist of orange. I prefer a twist of lemon, but the Negroni is the drink I come back to time after time (after time...).
When I started planning this mini series I knew I had to test out a version of my favourite cocktail and see if the flavours would marry with chocolate. Instinct told me that the flavour of the 3 alcohols mixed in with rich & powerful dark chocolate might get a little muddled, so I contemplated white and milk chocolate instead.
I made tiny batches of Negroni truffles using both types of chocolate. The white version was ok, but nothing special. In fact, it was almost too sweet. But the milk chocolate version proved much more successful. The strong, punchy and slightly bitter-sweet Negroni flavour melded with the milk chocolate to create a punchy little truffle.
I really couldn't imagine rolling these Negroni Truffles in cocoa powder, nuts or icing sugar so... I pitched myself a further challenge and coated them in milk chocolate. I'm terrible when it comes to coating anything in chocolate, so my main aim in baking life is to avoid doing it whenever I can. Anyway, if you can excuse the non-uniform look of some of the truffles then the reward is a crisp chocolate shell that is the perfect partner to the soft and boozy truffle lurking inside.
Now you have your first instalment, I think it's only fair to tell you what else is coming up in this cocktail inspired truffle series:
- Bramble Truffles - that's gin and blackberries
- Black Russian Truffles - Hi there vodka and coffee
- Snowball Truffles - appropriately festive advocaat takes a starring role
- Manhattan Truffles - well hello there rye
I've got some variations on a couple of these classic cocktails which I'll be sharing along with the truffle recipes. And let's not forget my already published Rum & Ginger Truffles inspired by the Dark 'n' Stormy cocktail.
Oh and if you want to jump right in today, you'll find the recipe for these Negroni Truffles along with a mildly tweaked recipe for the Negroni cocktail itself. Let's face it, the classic is perfection, but just occasionally it's nice to give it a twist.
And on the subject, have you seen my recipe for the Winter Spice Negroni with charred oranges? It's perfect for autumn and winter.
Ok, I need to go. For some reason, I have a busy week ahead of me.
For the Truffles
- 100 g/ ⅔ cup Milk chocolate
- 1 tbsp Double (heavy) cream
- 1 ½ tsp Gin
- 1 ½ tsp Campari
- ¾ tsp Red vermouth (rosso)
- 4 Strips lemon peel (or orange if you prefer)
Covering the Truffles
- 100g ⅔ cup Milk Chocolate
- Melt the chocolate gently in a heatproof bowl - either in short bursts in the microwave or over a bain marie
- Stir in the double cream
- Add the alcohol and twist each strip of lemon peel over the bowl of chocolate to release the lemon oils. Stir until the ganache is smooth and all ingredients are fully incorporated
- Let cool, cover and transfer to the fridge for 4 hours to firm up
- Divide the ganache into 12-16 equal piles - if you have electronic scales try to weigh out 10g at a time
- Roll each piece of ganache into a smooth ball and sit on greaseproof paper. When all balls are rolled transfer to the freezer to firm up for 20 minutes (this will make them easier to dip into the chocolate)
- After 15 minutes temper the remaining chocolate
- With a fork, pick up one truffle at a time and hold over the bowl of melted chocolate. Spoon the chocolate over the truffle until well-coated. Place on the baking tray and allow to set
- If not serving the same day store these truffles in an airtight container in the fridge and bring back to room temperature before serving
- 40ml / 1 part Campari
- 40ml / 1 part Gin
- 40ml / 1 part Red Vermouth (Rosso)
- 3 drops Chocolate bitters or orange bitters
- 1 strip Lemon or Orange peel
- Put the bitters into the rocks glass, top with 2 large ice cubes
- Add the Campari, gin and vermouth and stir for 10 seconds
- twist the lemon/ orange peel over the drink to release the oils. Drop into the glass and serve immediately