Rye breadcrumb chocolate treats
These boozy truffles are an old Soviet-era recipe, with pieces of walnut as sprouting eyes and a dirtying with cocoa powder - hence the name kartoshka, which is Russian for potato.
These little ‘spuds’ are lighter than more traditional chocolate truffles, which tend to be heavy on butter. Rye adds depth of flavour, as do any caraway seeds in the bread you use. Rustic has never been this chic.
Makes 18-20 x 35g truffles
215g butter, softened
100g icing sugar
85g dark chocolate, melted
3tbsp cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
2tsp vanilla extract
200g stale rye breadcrumbs
3-5 walnut halves
Heat the oven to 110°C. Slice the crusts off the bread, cut into small chunks, scatter them on an oven tray and put in the oven to dry out for a good 30-45 minutes. If using fresh bread, dry for longer. Leave to cool.
Reduce the chunks to very fine crumbs using a blender or food processor. For extra finesse much needed in this recipe, you can grind again in a coffee or a spice grinder.
Mix the butter and icing sugar together until smooth. Add in the cocoa and melted chocolate and mix in fully, then add the brandy, vanilla extract and breadcrumbs and mix until combined. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes.
Spread a few tablespoons of cocoa powder on a flat plate or tray. Take a good teaspoon of the truffle mixture (measure 35g if you’d like to be precise) and form into the shape of a small new potato. Roll each one in cocoa powder and continue until all the mixture is used up.
Arrange the truffles on a tray, plate or container and refrigerate for at least half hour to firm up again.
To finish the ‘potatoes’, cut up pieces of walnuts into tiny (3-4 mm) chunks and insert 3-5 pieces into each truffle as eyes.
These truffles will keep well in the fridge for at least three days. To enjoy them at their best, take them out of the fridge 15-20 minutes before serving.
You can experiment with using different breads for the crumbs. We find that Karaway’s Lithuanian Scalded Rye works really well, but any good quality (even white) Real Bread will do the job.
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