Just incase you haven’t been inundated enough with chocolate recipes this time of year, I thought I’d throw one more into your Valentine’s weekend mix. I’ve been doing some consulting work for the beautiful little Pomodoro in Boston’s North End, and these truffles are close to a recipe I developed to hand out at the restaurant on Monday night.
As a side note, it’s been great fun walking through the North End these past few weeks. The last time I was on Hanover Street was Labor Day weekend, when we were plastered shoulder to shoulder with about ten thousand tourists having made the silly decision to get a pizza from Pizzeria Regina. Our plans were sadly curtailed by a line that stretched all the way to Charlestown. Winter mornings in the North End are a completely different world – the streets are filled with people who actually live/work there, and the traffic is quiet save for the delivery trucks making their morning rounds. It’s a little surreal to see the neighborhood transformed when no one is looking.
The truffles here are inspired by the totally insane “drunken figs” by CocoaVino, but way simplified for the home cook. Black mission figs soaked in warm port wine and folded into dark chocolate makes the yummiest little intensely chocolaty after-dinner bite. Served along with some more of that port or an espresso, these are pretty perfect.
I wasn’t in the mood to muck around with dipping chocolates, so I left these as is – plainly topped with powdered sugar. If you want something more challenging, by all means dip the finished squares in dark chocolate, and if you’re in the mood to have your chocolates and eat them too, CocoaVino does overnight delivery. Yields about 48 small truffles.
Drunken Fig Truffles
- ½ cup very finely chopped dried figs (I used black mission figs)
- ¾ cup inexpensive port wine, divided
- 14 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used sharffen berger 70%)
- 1 ¼ cups half and half
- Powdered sugar for topping
Combine the figs and ½ cup of the port in a small sauce pan. Bring to a rapid boil, then turn off the heat, cover, and steep 1 hour.
Meanwhile, butter a 9×13 inch baking tray and line it with parchment paper so the paper comes up the sides of the pan (you will need to use two sheets.)
Place the chocolate in a medium mixing bowl. Place the half and half in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Pour over the chocolate and stir to melt. Add the soaked figs and the remaining ¼ cup port. Stir to combine.
Pour the chocolate into the prepared pan, and spread with a spatula. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to even the top. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
Cut the Truffles: Using a chefs’ knife, loosen the chilled truffles by sliding the knife around the edges of the pan. Remove the truffles from the pan by pulling on the parchment paper.
Place the truffles on a cutting board. Using a sharp chefs’ knife dipped in warm water and patted dry, trim the edges of the truffles, and then cut them into small squares (8 long and 6 wide.) As you cut, periodically dip your knife in the warm water and pat it dry.
Dust the tops of the truffles with powdered sugar and store at room temperature. You may want to touch up the powdered sugar before you serve them.