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SPIKED MOCHA CHESTNUT TRUFFLES

MAKES ABOUT 20 TRUFFLES

Start to finish: 4 hours (25 minutes active)

1 (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 recover 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.

Sara Moulton, AP



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