Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Orangey Chocolatey Chilli Truffles - for a dinner party, and in aid of Fairtrade

It's really amazing the lengths I will go to in support of a cause that's dear to my heart. Take this evening, for example. Now as some of you may know, I am trying to lose weight, but here I am, selflessly showing you another wonderful thing to do with Fairtrade chocolate and spices.

We have people coming for dinner on Saturday night, and as I can't bear to turn my blog into a catalogue of my weight loss (or not) I will be majoring heavily on the additional tinkering in the kitchen this event has allowed me. Like making chocolate truffles.

Do, by all means, say if you'd rather I show you how to make a mushroom souffle omelette (with dill - I know, you can barely contain yourselves) with less than 200 calories, but secretly we all know what you'd rather read about- and, let's face it what I'd rather write about.

When the Fairtrade Foundation included a bar of Green & Blacks Maya Gold in the package of goodies they sent me for Fairtrade Fortnight, I had an inkling that it might taste delicious melted down with cream into truffle chocolates, but alas it also tasted delicious on the sofa in front of NCIS one evening when I was home and the Husband wasn't, so instead, I took advantage of Fairtrade chocolate range stocked in our local Co-Op, and purchased some of their Ghanaian dark chocolate with spices and orange oil.

Add to that some more dark chocolate, cream, cloves, cinammon, allspice, a pinch of chilli flakes and some Cointreau and, my friends, you get something that is so much better than the individual components. I know some people might say why bother to make chocolates, but I say when they taste this good, it is no bother whatsoever. The quantities here make lots, but each little mouthful is very rich and even a pig connoisseur such as myself would only be able to manage a couple at a time. They also keep brilliantly in the freezer so all you need do is get a few out as you need them. And I won't tell you that in fact they need hardly any defrosting, so you could just take one as the fancy came over you, dinner party or not.

Chocolate Orange Chilli truffles

300g Fairtrade dark (70% cocoa solids) chocolate
200g Fairtrade orange spiced dark chocolate
200g Fairtrade dark (50% cocoa solids) chocolate
400ml double cream
10 cloves
pinch of dried chilli flakes
good pinch of Fairtrade ground cinammon
good pinch of  ground allspice
30g unsalted butter, cut into quite small cubes
2 tablespoons Cointreau
25g Fairtrade cocoa powder
25g Fairtrade hot chocolate powder

Grease a 20x20 cm tin and line with clingfilm. You'll also want a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper for the final freeze.

Break the chocolate into pieces in a large bowl.

Grind together the cloves, chilli flakes, cinammon and all spice with a pestle and mortar. Pour the cream into a large heavy based pan and add the spices. Over a gentle heat, bring the cream to hot, but NOT boiling (you can err on the side of caution here - see later), and then pour over the chocolate.

Stir it all together to melt the chocolate. If it doesn't melt completely, put the bowl over a simmering pan of water to complete the melting, then stir in the butter and the Cointreau, and pour the whole lot into the prepared tin. Make sure it spreads out evenly, then put the tin in the freezer for 1-2 hrs.

After the mixture has chilled, bring it out of the freezer.

Sift the cocoa and hot chocolate powder onto a large plate. You can dust a board with some of the sifted cocoa/hot chocolate then turn out the truffle mixture and cut into squares. Resist the temptation to make the squares too big - honestly, you're after little morsels of dark deliciousness. Toss the squares in the cocoa/hot chocolate mix, and put them on the lined baking sheet.

All ready for the freezer -
but there appears to be one left

When all the truffle squares are coated and on the baking sheet, cover and pop them all back in the freezer until needed. After an overnight in the freezer, you could move the truffles into a freezer bag and retrieve your baking sheet in case you needed it.

Oops - now where did that go...

I'm linking up with the "One Ingredient" for March challenge which this month is focussed on Chilli. There's not a lot of chilli in these beauties, but enough to give some warmth underlying the orange and spices. Altogether delicious. One ingredient is hosted alternately by Laura at and Nazima at . This month, it's Laura's turn and you can see more recipes in the linky here


  1. I love this idea. Freezing truffles is brilliant. That way you can pull some out to treat either yourself or your dinner guests at a moments notice. I love the co-op fairtrade range and we have lots of them near us which I always use. They are reasonable and the stores don't take hours to traipse around either.
    Thanks you very much for entering these beautifully spiced chocolate truffles into One Ingredient this month! xx

  2. Ohhh, yum. That block coming out the freezer looks a bit impressive doesn't it! :)

    1. More than yum - I had to stop myself licking it...

  3. They sound lovely, I do like the sound of all the different spices in there. Maya gold is rather good isn't it! Do they turn out fairly firm with that ratio of chocolate to cream (700g:400mL)?

    1. they are quite soft - you can see when I was coating them in the powder after an hour in the freezer that they hadn't all hardened. I guess that's why they keep so well in the freezer - you wouldn't want them out of the fridge certainly

  4. Oh my goodness they sound lovely..... I'd be just as interested in your mushroom & dill omelette though....honest!


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