Chocolate Stout Truffles

by Kristin on February 11, 2013

I’ve never been a fan of Valentine’s Day. When I was 17 years old and working in the town grocery store, I remember the line of men in the express checkout lane, all clutching their last-minute bouquets of tired-looking roses, picked-over cards and a box of Fannie May chocolates, bought in a rush on their way home from work. It all seemed arbitrary instead of romantic and it made an early cynic out of me.

As jaded as I am about a Hallmark holiday, it would be a shame to pass up an excuse to have some chocolate. I’ve upped the ante on the usual chocolate box selection and incorporated beer into these truffles. Believe it or not, a craft stout is a surprisingly good match with chocolate (think chocolate stout cake or porter brownies). The stout gives these truffles a deep, dark, bitter edge — a little like love?

Chocolate Stout Truffles

Makes about 24 truffles

Dungarvan Brewing Company’s Coffee and Oatmeal Stout, Eight Degrees Brewing Company’s Knockmealdown Porter or Trouble Brewing’s Dark Arts Porter would all be excellent choices, either to use in the truffles themselves or to sip alongside them. In the future, I’m going to take a cue from Adrienne at Bake for the Border and roll these truffles in crushed pretzels instead of cocoa powder. A little finely chopped candied bacon sprinkled on top wouldn’t be half bad either.

250 ml (1 cup) stout
200 g (7 oz) dark chocolate, chopped or broken into pieces
100 ml (3.5 fl oz) double cream
a few tablespoons of cocoa powder, to dust (or crushed pretzels; see note above)

Place the stout in a saucepan and bring to the boil, watching it carefully to make sure it doesn’t bubble over, which it’s bound to do the moment you turn your back on it. Reduce the heat to a lively simmer until the stout has reduced to 50 ml (1/4 cup). Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water (a bain marie), making sure the chocolate never comes into direct contact with the water. Place the cream in a separate small saucepan and heat it through. Allow the chocolate to melt, then stir in the cream, which will thicken the chocolate. Gradually whisk in the reduced stout. Don’t worry if the mixture looks grainy or if it starts to separate – just whisk like mad until it turns smooth and shiny and the stout is fully incorporated.

Spread the chocolate into a shallow casserole dish or tray. Cover the dish with cling film and set aside at room temperature for a few hours, until the mixture firms up. You could also put it in the fridge overnight, then set it out to come back to room temperature when you’re ready to form the truffles (fridge-cold chocolate will be too hard to scoop).

Fill up your sink with some warm soapy water or have a damp cloth ready so that you can clean your hands if you need to as you go along. Sift a few tablespoons of cocoa powder into a bowl or a shallow plate. Use a teaspoon or melon baller to scoop out a little chocolate, then form the chocolate into small, bite-sized balls by rolling the mixture between your hands. Gently roll the truffles around in the cocoa power until they’re thinly coated. Store the truffles in the fridge.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Emily February 11, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Oh, these might have to be made in my house this week! They look yum!

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Kristin February 13, 2013 at 9:05 pm

If you like dark chocolate and if you like stout, you’ll love these, Emily!

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Imen February 11, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Those look amazing!!! Reminds me of one year when we hosted Christmas and I assigned Richard to making after-dinner truffles. He made them on his own (with my recipe) and they were so delicious! The family were all happily scoffing them down when I told them Richard had rolled them himself…at which point they all abruptly stopped eating them. I felt so bad for my husband! Anyway, may have to give these a go this week, they sound really good! x

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Kristin February 13, 2013 at 9:07 pm

Poor Richard! Did they know something about what he’d been doing on the farm that day that you didn’t? ;)

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Adrienne February 11, 2013 at 8:27 pm

I think we both think that love equals chocolate truffles and so right we are too! Chocolate and stout is such a great pairing, I will be trying these ones once my truffle stash in the freezer is no more. Thanks for the link love x

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Kristin February 13, 2013 at 9:08 pm

Love = chocolate truffles (and beer) – truer words were never spoken!

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Erin Kenna February 13, 2013 at 3:09 am

These sound really good! I am trying to learn more about the modern culture in Ireland and I was hoping you could tell me more about the food in Ireland and maybe even the most popular music and what the education system is like. Also, are there any traditions involved in your every day life and what does it consist of? If you could help me I would really appreciate it! Thank you.

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Caroline@Bibliocook February 13, 2013 at 11:51 am

Chocolate and beer for Valentine’s day? Who could resist!

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Kristin February 13, 2013 at 9:08 pm

Clearly, Caroline, you are a lady after my own heart. ;)

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Emily February 19, 2013 at 3:28 am

Those truffles look so good I could DIE. A nice, dramatic, chocolatey death!

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Kristin February 25, 2013 at 10:05 pm

A little more interesting than the usual death by chocolate!

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brian@irelandfavorites.com February 22, 2013 at 8:32 pm

Hi Kristin,
Came over to your writings as recommended by Aoife at the Daily Spud. Now if you could mold those truffles into rose shapes you could start a new industry. I’ll have one dozen chocolate-stout-roses to go please. I enjoy your writing, will check in again,
Cheers,
Brian.

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Kristin February 25, 2013 at 10:06 pm

You might be on to something there with the rose-shaped truffles… Thanks so much for stopping by via Aoife Spud!

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