I’ve always had a sweet tooth, but over the last couple of years I have developed a mini addiction to dark chocolate, albeit in smaller doses over my previous preference of the milk variety. I’ve explored many different flavour variations with dark chocolate, but one of my all time favourites is ginger with dark chocolate. I love the sweet, spicy, warmth that the ginger imparts in a good dark chocolate.
As the festive season is upon us, I very much get into holiday baking/gifting mode. One of my favourite things to do around Christmas is to make personal gifts for people with flavours I think they may enjoy. It’s the perfect time for experimenting, sharing and giving a gift made with love.
So far I have my a Christmas cake ready to be decorated, my mincemeat ready to make pies and numerous biscuits, cookies and crackers are ready for gifting. One thing I hadn’t attempted so far was anything chocolatey, which is unusual for me! Last night whilst flicking through my new favourite Ottolenghi cookbook “Sweet” , I came across a truffle recipe that I’d had my eye on since I recieved the book. Alas, I had no pecans! But chocolate truffles were on my mind and there was a jar of stem ginger staring at me….so I started to look for ginger truffle recipes online. As is usually the case I wandered all over the Internet with many distractions along the way and ended up deciding that ginger was not enough. The bag of figs on the counter was going to find at least some of its way into my truffle concoction! And so it came to fruition… Dark chocolate, ginger, fig truffles…. Sweetened with jaggery. A lot of different flavours… But trust me…. They all work so well together! The fig adds a texture and fruitiness that pleasingly complements the slight bitterness of the dark chocolate. The ginger adds a lovely sweet, spicy warmth and to bring it all together the jaggery embraces all those flavours and adds a distinctive but understated molasses sweetness that just makes this flavour combination perfectly festive. You can adjust the jaggery in this recipe to your taste. Jaggery in its pure form is unrefined sugar and so it has more flavour than sweetness. If you prefer a sweeter taste, you may add more jaggery or alternatively you can add some honey which would also complement the flavours, but give a slightly sweeter result. I made the ganache firmer than I usually would because I was going to coat my truffles in cocoa. This was mostly due to knowing I would not have enough chocolate to coat them all, but next time I would try these coated in chocolate. Either way I think the flavours are fabulous. Dark chocolate lovers… This is for you.
Dark Chocolate Ginger, Fig & Jaggery Truffles
Makes about 40 truffles
115g dried figs – soak these in hot water until soft… About 10 mins and blitz them in a blender to a paste
2-3 stems of ginger 35-50g (the one in syrup) chop these as finely as you can. I added 3, but I like ginger a lot so you can go according to your taste. The great thing about truffles is that you can taste the ganache and add more flavour before it sets. I suggest adding less first as you can add flavour…but you cannot take it away!
200g of good quality dark chocolate
160g double cream – for a slightly softer texture you can add another 20-40g of cream if you want to coat the truffles in chocolate
30-45g jaggery – adjust to your taste
25g unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 – 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp vanilla powder or a tsp of extract
Good quality cocoa for dusting or about 250g dark chocolate for coating.
- First prepare the figs and ginger as directed above.
- Next chop the chocolate finely and add to a heatproof bowl along with the ground ginger and vanilla powder. If you’re using extract add that to the cream instead as it’s liquid and may cause the ganache to split.
- Now take a small pan and heat the cream and the jaggery (and vanilla extract if using) bring to a boil and pour straight over the chocolate.
- Stir the cream and the chocolate until you get a glossy lump free ganache. Don’t stir to add air as this will cool it too quickly and it won’t allow for the chocolate and cream to emulsify properly.
- When you have a good emulsion add the butter and stir well to incorporate.
- Next stir in your figs and chopped ginger. Mix this in well and taste. Remember the flavours will develop as the mix sets, but at this stage you can adjust the sweetness with honey or add more ginger of you want a little most of a ginger hit… Either the chopped stem or the ground.
- Now leave the mix to set at room temperature overnight or if you want to make them quicker, leave for a couple of hours in the fridge. If you put the mix in thr fridge take it out 10 mins before rolling so thr bowl comes to room temperature. It will be easier to roll them.
- When you’re ready to roll them, take a teaspoon or a small cookie scoop to make the balls and either leave the balls in the fridge to set for 30 mins or roll them immediately in cocoa. These can be kept in the fridge for at least a couple of weeks and if it’s cold about 5 days on the counter.
- If you’re dipping them in chocolate, once dipped leave to set before putting them in the fridge.