I'll usually wait until March to start parading around ale-infused sweets, but since beer-flavored truffles make a great Valentine's Day gift for the guy in my life, exceptions are made. Plus, a thought occurred to me while watching my Grizzly Adams-bearded hubby eat a heart shaped cookie - maybe he deserves a break from all the pink and frilly that comes from my kitchen.
Frequent readers will find this a familiar flavor combination. There's something about the deep malty flavor of Guinness paired with chocolate and that crunchy, salty last bite of pretzel that just does it for me. What's better, these are a snap to make so there's no good reason to turn up empty-handed on Valentine's Day -or even St. Paddy's Day.
The thing I really love about these truffles - there's no heavy cream involved. Because of this, the ganache is slightly more firm when chilled. And if you're one of those people who have trouble palm-rolling ganache because you have very warm hands, then this may be your truffle recipe.
These look nice all lined up on a party tray, and skewering them with cocktail forks will make for easy pick-up!
You can find some of my other chocolaty Guinness treats, here.
Yield: 16 truffles
Prep: 30 minutes
Total with chilling: 3 hrs 15 minutes
12 oz. bottle Guinness Extra Stout (divided)
8 oz. semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup softened unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup finely pulverized pretzel rods
3/4 cup crushed pretzels for rolling truffles
- Place 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. Guinness Stout in a 2 cup saucepan. Set aside.
- Pour the remaining Guinness Stout in a separate small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook until reduced to 1 tablespoon, about 15- 20 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on this because, once reduced considerably, it can burn easily.
- Chop the chocolate into pieces and place in the saucepan with the Guinness Stout. Place the saucepan over medium- low heat and let stand until the chocolate starts to melt. Stir with a wire whisk to blend together the chocolate pieces, but don’t whisk vigorously – we’re not trying to incorporate air.
- When the chocolate is melted and smooth, begin to add butter 1 tbsp. at a time. Whisk gently until butter is melted, and then add the 1 tbsp. Guinness Stout reduction. Stir in the pulverized pretzels.
- Pour the chocolate mixture into a bowl and chill in the refrigerator until firm (or overnight).
- Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Scoop out ganache out by the heaping tablespoon and quickly roll between your palms.
- Once all the chocolate is used up, chill the truffles in an air-tight container in the fridge until ready to roll in crushed pretzels. These chocolates will keep for 7 days when stored properly in the refrigerator. Roll truffles in crushed pretzels just before serving (so they’ll be crunchy!).
- Pretzel rods can be finely pulverized in a food processor. Avoid getting large pretzel pieces in the ganache, it will give the finished truffle a lumpy, undesirable texture.
- If crushed pretzels resist sticking to the chilled truffles, roll the truffles between your palms to warm them up, and then roll in the pretzels. The pieces should stick.
- If you're watching your salt content, unsalted pretzels may be used in the ganache mixture.