Saturday, January 12, 2008

Chocolate Caramel Peanut Truffles

It should be obvious by now that I adore chocolate, but my favorite pairing with chocolate is salt. These truffles are creamy, rich, salty, and crunchy on top. My husband doesn't like nuts in his chocolate though, so when I made a batch for us, I made a few with sea salt lightly dusted on top instead of the peanuts so he could still get the salty/sweet combination that makes me swoooooon.

The original recipe, from Sara Moulton, can be found here. Not for novices!!* (but the results are so worth it)

Chocolate Caramel Peanut Truffles
1 c. sugar
2/3 c. heavy cream
9 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 T. creamy peanut butter
1/4 t. table salt
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 c. finely chopped peanuts, for coating

Place the sugar in a heavy non-stick saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly and just until the sugar has melted. Continue cooking, swirling the pan often, until the sugar is a dark golden caramel. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully pour in the cream. Return the pan to the heat and simmer, stirring, until the caramel has dissolved.

Remove the pan from the heat and, while hot, stir in the chocolate, peanut butter, salt, and vanilla. Let stand for about 5 minutes or until the chocolate and peanut butter have dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill until firm, about 2 hours.

Use a small spoon to scoop out the truffles and form into 1-inch balls with your hands. Roll the truffles in the peanuts and transfer to a tray covered with waxed paper. Chill until firm, about 1 hour. Store in airtight container for up to two weeks. (I actually store in the refrigerator. These guys get really melty!)

*Why is it not for novices, you ask? Because even experienced bakers can accidentally drop a blob of molten, sticky caramel on their finger, leaving a niiiice scar. :(

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