You’ll notice instant espresso in the list of ingredients. It’s there to amplify the chocolate flavor while adding a hint of coffee flavor. But you can leave it out if you don’t like coffee. Likewise, I suggest adding a couple of teaspoons of any of several different liquors, all of which pair up nicely with chocolate. But feel free to swap in any of your favorites, or none at all if you prefer. Either way, you’ll be happy, guaranteed.
SPIKED MOCHA CHESTNUT TRUFFLES
Start to finish: 4 hours (25 minutes active)
Makes 20 truffles
5.2-ounce package roasted and peeled chestnuts, medium chopped
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup low-fat evaporated milk
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, medium chopped
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder or 1 tablespoon instant coffee
Pinch of table salt
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 teaspoons Tia Maria, Kahlua, Baileys, brandy or rum
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the chestnuts and water. Bring to boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until the chestnuts are very tender and all the water has been absorbed, about 30 minutes.
Add the milk and heat the mixture until it just comes to a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat, add the chocolate, then re-cover the pan. Let stand off the burner until the chocolate is melted, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir and transfer to a blender along with the espresso powder, salt, corn syrup and liquor. Blend until very smooth.
Transfer to a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill until very firm, at least 3 hours. Form the mixture into small balls (about 2 teaspoons each) and roll the balls in the cocoa powder until they are coated, shaking off the excess. Chill until ready to serve. Will keep, refrigerated, for 2 weeks.
Nutrition information per truffle: 50 calories; 25 calories from fat (50 percent of total calories); 2.5 g fat (1.5 g saturated, 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 8 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 4 g sugar; 1 g protein; 15 mg sodium.