Sunday, 22 December 2013

Jamaican Snowball Truffles

Jamaican Snowball Truffles

I'm throwing in another Christmassy dessert for you lucky readers! And this time I'll save you the rant about my hatred of Christmas shopping.
Jamaican Ginger Truffles
When I lived in Australia, I dreamed of a white Christmas. Before moving to the UK, the nearest I had gotten to snow was a patch of it one metre in diameter in the Snowy Mountains (I don't think they understood the principles of nomenclature). Now, having experienced a total of eleven Christmases in the UK without a flake of snow in sight, it seems the grass is greener on the other side. In fact, I get a bit down when reminiscing on the fantastically hot and sunny festive period down under. 

Jamaican Snowball Truffles
In keeping with the climate, the lavish but one-dimensional Christmas roast never made an appearance at our table. Likewise, cold desserts like pavlova were all the rage; never Christmas pudding. So these truffles are a kind of tribute to all the people who are lucky enough to find themselves in the southern hemisphere at this time of year.

Jamaican Ginger Truffles
For this recipe, I was thinking along the lines of tropical Christmas decadence, and thought that dessicated coconut would fit the bill perfectly.

I've made oreo truffles many times before. One evening in my first year of uni and thoroughly fed up with the university hall food, some friends and I decided it was a good idea to make oreo truffles, as they are ridiculously simple. Living in self catered halls required a fair amount of improvisation as to tools. For crushing the oreos, the nearest item that came close to a rolling pin was a wine bottle. In typical fashion I became a bit too enthusiastic about bashing, and smashed the bottle on my desk. Glass flew everywhere, but somehow avoided my laptop which was right beside the bottle! Thankfully the bottle was empty, or things could have gone a lot worse. Anyway, I've learnt my lesson.

I've worked on other versions of the oreo truffle, using different biscuits and flavourings like curd. Some tasted too pasty, and a bit boring. This one uses gingersnaps and the flavour is enhanced by some ground ginger, rum flavouring and orange juice. It's good, but doesn't quite trump the original oreo-cream cheese combo.

The truffles are tossed lightly in cocoa powder and refrigerated prior to coating in chocolate etc. This seems to stop the mess created when the truffle dough becomes too sticky for dipping in chocolate.

The white-chocolate and toasted coconut coating gives a crisp shell and a great snowball effect, but dark chocolate and ginger are always a winning combo.

Jamaican Snowball Truffles

Jamaican Snowball Truffles

Makes 30 truffles


300g gingernuts, crushed finely
200g cream cheese
1/4 cup orange juice
1tsp rum flavouring
1tsp ground ginger
4tbsp icing sugar


100g white chocolate
100g dark chocolate
70g dessicated coconut, toasted (toss it in a pan until slightly coloured)
30g glacé ginger, chopped into small pieces

1. Mix all the truffle ingredients together. Refrigerate until firm.
2. With your palms lightly coated in cocoa powder, shape the filling into 1 inch balls. Refrigerate again if necessary.

3. Melt white chocolate in a bowl and dip balls into melted chocolate, lifting them out with a fork, and tapping it on the side of the bowl to remove excess chocolate. Toss in coconut, and place on baking paper to set. Repeat with the dark chocolate; top with glacé ginger pieces.
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