These crisp chocolate shells are filled with a rich chocolate ganache that has been blended with toasted and crushed nuts: a kind of grown-up Nutella, with a soft, melt-in-the-mouth finish. And this is a great way to use up the remains of various packets of nuts that were opened ages ago!
I am proud of these chocolates, which arose after eating a lovely chocolate with a soft, nutty filling. There were only a few in the box so naturally I wanted more: always an incentive for me to have a go at making them myself!
These have a soft filling, but if you want the filling to be firmer, increase the chocolate in the filling to about 200g.
Go for a good chocolate
Really good quality chocolate makes the world of difference to home-made chocolates, and indeed with anything when chocolate is used in the kitchen. I used the Lindt brand here, but there are some excellent supermarket own-brand chocolates out there: and as long as it is a chocolate you like, the end results will be great.
Silicone moulds are inexpensive and are great for home-made chocolates.
To remove the chocolates from them (once the chocolate has set firm – I have been caught out by this when patience has eluded me!), you pull the silicone at the top, which loosens them and then they pop out easily when you invert the moulds.
If using the rigid plastic moulds, rap the short edge of the mould firmly on the work surface at about a 45 degree angle and most of the chocolates should pop out easily. Then repeat with the other short edge.
Recipe: toasted nut chocolates
- 50ml good quality white chocolate: melted or, ideally, tempered
- 150ml good quality dark chocolate: melted or, ideally, tempered
- coloured cocoa butter, melted – optional
- 100ml double cream (or a mixture of milk and cream)
- 140g good quality dark chocolate (or use milk)
- 100g nuts of choice (hazelnuts, almonds, macadamias, walnuts – or a mixture)
- a few tablespoons rum, brandy or Amaretto, optional
Prepare the chocolate moulds:
(1) Randomly slash or brush the cocoa butter, if using, inside the moulds and leave to set for a few minutes in the fridge. Pipe or spoon a thin layer of white chocolate into the base of the moulds and give a gentle shake to flatten off. Chill until set.
(2) Pipe or spoon the dark chocolate on top of the white chocolate, coming to the top of the moulds. Invert the moulds a few inches over a sheet of greaseproof for about a minutes to let the excess chocolate drip out onto the greadeproof. Place, hole-side down onto a clean sheet of greaseproof and leave to set: this prevents the chocolate from pooling into the base of the moulds.
NB: the chocolate that dripped onto the greaseproof can be used again; just let it set and it comes off the greaseproof easily.
(3) Spoon or pipe the filling (recipe below) into the set moulds, coming almost to the top. Spoon over the rest of the melted dark chocolate and run a palette knife or ruler over the top so you have a smooth top – which will become the base of the chocolates when they are turned out. Leave to set until firm.
(4) Turn them out and eat!
(1) Place the nuts in a small frying pan without oil and heat gently until they are lightly browned all over. Pour onto a tray and leave to cool.
(2) For the ganache, put the chocolate in a small bowl. Heat the cream in a small pan just until it comes to the boil, and then remove from the heat. Pour it over the chocolate and leave for a few minutes before stirring until the chocolate melts and you have a shiny, smooth mixture.
(3) Put the cooled nuts in a blender or food processor and blitz until you have either a coarse texture or more of a powder: either way works well. Stir into the ganache and leave until needed.