Nik Mastalerz, newly-appointed pastry chef at Oleana in Cambridge, has a sweet and very timely treat for you to add to your Valentine’s Day bag of tricks. These coconut almond truffles make for a lovely little confectionary project with a tasty, easily-giftable goodie as the end result. The chocolate needs time to set so be sure to plan accordingly. Give them a whirl then gift them to your Valentine or your Galentine or anyone you know who’s got a bit of a sweet tooth. This recipe makes a bunch so you’ll have more than enough to spread the love.
for the coconut ganache
- 1 cup (100 grams) shredded sweetened coconut
- 1 cup (227 grams) heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon (4 grams) kosher salt
- 1/8th teaspoon (1 gram) almond extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) Orchidea Spice Blend (La Boite)
- 16 ounces (454 grams) high quality white chocolate (Valrhona, Opalys works best)
- 1/4 cup (70 grams) heavy cream, cold
- 1 tablespoon (14 grams) unsalted butter, room temp
- 50 each Marcona almonds, toasted or fried
- 8 ounces (227 grams) white chocolate (high quality, ideally Valrhona Opalys)
- 2.3 ounces (65 grams) cocoa butter pellets, food grade
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) virgin coconut oil
- 1/2 cup (55 grams) shredded sweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup (55 grams) feuilletine (If you can’t find feuilletine, you can substitute with more coconut or ground almonds)
- Toast the coconut in a 350 degree oven for about 4-5 minutes or until very dark & golden brown.
- Once toasted, place the warm toasted coconut in a small pot with the heavy cream. Bring to a simmer and turn off the heat. Add the salt, almond extract and orchidea spice blend. Allow to steep for 5 minutes.
- After five minutes, strain the coconut and spice out of the cream through a fine mesh strainer into another small pot. Set aside.
- Finely chop the white chocolate and place in a food processor.
- Bring the cream mixture back to a boil and immediately pour on top of the chocolate. Run the food processor until the chocolate is emulsified into the cream and no lumps remain.
- While the food processor is running, add your cold heavy cream in a steady stream. Once all the cream is added, add the butter in small pieces and continue to run the food processor until the butter is blended in.
- Once the mixture is smooth and shiny, pour into a container and allow to sit 6 hours or overnight at room temperature for the chocolate to set.
- After the ganache has had time to set, it is time to form the truffles. You can either use a very tiny ice cream scoop (about 3/4 inch in diameter), a piping bag or a teaspoon. You can scoop the ganache or the preferred method of piping them. Scoop or pipe small round, about 3/4 inch in diameter on a half sheet pan lined with parchment paper. This should yield you 48-50 truffles. Place a Marcona almond on top of each one and press down.
- Allow the truffles to set up in the fridge for about 20-30 minutes. With gloved hands, remove them from the fridge and quickly roll them between your palms into a small ball. Place back in the fridge while you prepare the coating.
- Fill a small pot with about 2 inches of water. Bring to a simmer. Use a small enough bowl that fits on top of the pot, but doesn’t touch the surface of water. This will be your double boiler to melt the chocolate.
- Place the cocoa butter in the bowl to melt first. Once the cocoa butter is all melted, then turn off the heat to the water and add in your chocolate and coconut oil. Stir until it is smooth and melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit.
- While the chocolate cools down, toast the coconut very lightly in the oven just until it starts to color and crisp. Allow the coconut to cool to room temperature before handling.
- When ready to assemble the truffles, add your coconut and feuilletine to the chocolate. Remove the truffles from the fridge and with gloved hands. Dip them and roll them in the coating mixture. Allow excess to drip off and place on a parchment lined baking tray. Roll them occasionally so a puddle of coating doesn’t form.
- If you want a thicker shell, you can roll the truffles a second time in the coating. Allow them to set up at room temperature. The truffles can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container with parchment or wax paper between layers for up to one week