Cocoa (or cacao) nibs make chocolate flavours even more versatile, adding a robustly savoury edge and crunchy texture to all kinds of recipes. These dark chocolate truffles are beautiful bittersweet treats, and make perfect little Easter or Christmas gifts.
400g dark chocolate
55g liquid glucose
40g unsalted butter, at room temperature
50g cocoa nibs, roughly ground
150g blanched almonds
150g shelled pistachios
280g castor sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 150C fan-forced or 170C conventional.
2. To make the praline, spread the almonds out on a baking tray and roast until they are lightly golden, about six minutes. Add the pistachios and warm through for two minutes. Set aside but don't cool down before adding to the caramel.
3. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, mix the sugar with 60 millilitres of water. Bring to the boil and cook to a medium to dark caramel. Be careful with the caramel, as it is very hot.
4. Tip the warm nuts into the caramel, stirring through to thoroughly coat. Tip out onto a lined tray and set aside to cool. Once set, crush the praline to a textured powder using a mortar and pestle.
5. Blitz the chocolate in a food processor until a gravelly texture.
6. In a small saucepan, combine the cream and glucose and bring to the boil. Pour into the food processor with the chocolate and blitz until the chocolate has melted. Add the butter and blitz again until a smooth ganache is formed.
7. Tip the ganache into a bowl and cool slightly. Fold through half the praline and pour into a 20 x 10 centimetre container lined with cling wrap. Set overnight at room temperature.
8. Using a spoon* dipped in hot water, scoop out walnut-sized balls of ganache and roll into balls. You can also slice rectangles of ganache and gently roll into egg or barrel shapes. Dip the truffles half into the cocoa nibs and half into the remaining praline.
*1. A melon baller dipped in hot water makes the process of creating evenly sized truffles that little bit easier.
2. The nuts need to be warm when they go into the caramel, if they've cooled down too much, quickly flash them through the oven before adding.