Chocolate and Hazelnut Praline Truffles

A very close friend of mine is getting married next month. A talented pretty young girl, I have no doubt that she will look amazing on her wedding day. A couple of days back she emailed me her wedding card with note that said :

“It gives me great pleasure to invite you to be a part of a momentous occasion in my life, my WEDDING!!”.

I loved the cheer and the excitement in that note. But instantly I wanted to tell her that the wedding is just a beginning. There are much bigger and way more important things that will happen after the wedding day. In fact, in the big fat Indian weddings, the bride and groom rarely have to do anything in the planning of the wedding. Of course, the bride has to shop, look pretty and generally enjoy all the excitement. But once the “wedding” is over, then starts life, a new and slightly scary life. Especially if you are living with your parents-in-law, like I do and my friend will be doing.

When I say scary, I don’t imply any dramatic monster-in-law kind of situations, but there are several big and small changes which happen to your daily life, that it feels overwhelming. And as a matter of fact, the bride is the only one changing her house and moving in with the new family, in a new home. It can be strenuous, yes, but I think it fades out in comparison to being married to the guy you love. I am no expert in this, but having been married for the last two and a half years, I would like to tell my dear friend three very important things which I always remembered:

  • Treat your parents-in-law just like you would treat your own parents, even more carefully, because it will take time to build a relationship. They will be anxious in the same way that you are, as you are new and unknown to them as much as they are to you. Always believe that they are trying their best to get you settled in the family, and the things that they do, or don’t do are in an effort to make things easier for you. And if you have to assume certain things, always assume the positive.
  • Your spouse is the most important person in your life. It might sound very old-school, but it is essential for growth. Growth of you personally and growth and sustenance of the relationship. When you believe that your husband is the best and deserves the best, and you act accordingly, trust me, it works miracles. I don’t remember if I had this philosophy in the beginning or that I picked it up from my husband, but its like a golden rule. Both of you treat each other as the best, most important people in the world, and see how you do end up as the best people, individually and as a team.
  • And lastly never talk harshly to anyone. This applies in all walks of life, but when you are young, and newly married and whole world feels like it is at your feet, be careful. Be gentle, and accommodating. Everyone around you will be making an opinion of you in the first few months after getting married, and that is the best time to make everyone like you. And you do want that. Life gets easier when your new family is fond of you. It’s as simple as that.

Having said those things, it was easier for me, because my mom and dad in law and my husband’s whole family are amazing people. Very warm and loving, they made my transition into the new family quite easy. And I am ever thankful to them.

Dear reader, do you remember a particular story which happened when you got married? Or your guiding principles which make you the amazing person that you are? Do share in the comments section, I would love to know it.

each truffle

In the meanwhile, last week, I finally decided to use the delicious hazelnuts sitting in my cupboard since a month and turn them into these chocolate and hazelnut truffles. It is a perfect bite-sized no-bake dessert, which is egg-free and gluten-free. And it has the classic chocolate and hazelnut combination. Need I say more?!

Chocolate and Hazelnut Praline truffles

making praline

What you will need :

For the praline –

  • ½ cup hazelnuts, shelled & skinned
  • ½ cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water

For the Ganache –

  • 1¾ cup milk chocolate, finely chopped
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ – 1 cup Crushed or Ground Roasted Hazelnuts for coating

What to do :

  1. Dry-roast the hazelnuts on a non-stick baking tray at 180°C for 10 minutes, or in a pan at low heat, continuously stirring till they get slightly brown and aromatic.
  2. Let the hazelnuts cool completely on a baking sheet or a pan.
  3. Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium low heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Turn the heat up and bring to the boil (do not stir), brushing down the sides of the pot with a pastry brush dipped in water to remove any sugar crystals.
  5. Boil until the mixture turns amber in color, and add the toasted hazelnuts to it. Pour it on a baking sheet and let it cool.
  6. Break the praline mixture into pieces and grind in a mixture until desired texture, either fine or rough.
  7. For the ganache, finely chop the milk chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl.
  8. Heat cream in a saucepan until just about to boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir gently until smooth and melted.
  9. Allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes and then stir in the hazelnut praline.
  10. Leave to cool and set overnight or for a few hours in the fridge. Bring to room temperature to use.
  11. Forming the truffles : Using a teaspoon, scoop round balls of ganache. Roll them between the palms of your hands to round them off. Finish off by rolling the truffle in the crushed roasted hazelnuts.
  12. Place on small muffin paper molds and you are set.

truffles

Notes :

  1. However tempting it is, do not use chocolate chips for the ganache. Chocolate chips are specifically designed to not melt and are unsuitable for melting for the ganache. Chop regular milk chocolate slab into small pieces and use them.
  2. I always use a mixture of low-fat Amul fresh cream (80%) and heavy cream (20%) for the ganache, It works well and is relatively less calorific.
  3. I roasted the hazelnuts on a pan, and they are more browned in some areas, which is fine. I like the crispness which comes with it.

plate of truffles