Every time I make a fruit gin (which is often) I look at the boozy fruit left over and wonder what to do with it. This is the perfect solution, especially as gins of this sort are usually ready to be strained and bottled close to Christmas, and these truffles make such great presents.
Once made, they will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 10 days but are best eaten as soon as possible. Honestly, that’s not usually a problem. The problem is keeping enough to give away as gifts.
This recipe is based on one for prune and armagnac truffles from River Cottage. If you don’t have any damson gin maturing in your cupboard, I suggest you nip across to their website, where they also provide variations for anyone who doesn’t fancy prunes.
I doubled their quantities to make these. What can I say? I know a lot of chocaholics. Halve them again if you prefer. You don’t need a huge quantity of fruit either way. I pureed my whole batch of gin-soaked damsons and froze some for future experiments.
Damson Gin Truffles
160g pitted damsons from damson gin
300g 65-70% dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
400ml double or whipping cream
4 tsp light brown soft sugar
To coat: your choice of cocoa powder, finely chopped nuts, golden caster sugar
Stone the gin-soaked damsons – you can do this by simply squeezing the pits out but it’s easier with a cherry/olive stoner, if you have one. Discard the stones and puree the damson flesh with a hand blender. Set aside.
Put the chopped chocolate into a bowl. Put the cream into a saucepan with the sugar and bring it slowly to the boil on a low-medium heat. Once it’s just come to the boil, remove from the heat and wait for the bubbles to die down. Pour it onto your chocolate and stir until it’s all melted together into a glorious, glossy ganache.
Stir in the damson puree and place in the fridge for an hour or two, or until it’s set enough to roll into balls. Put your choice of coatings in a series of small baking trays or shallow dishes and a teaspoon at a time, roll the truffle mixture between your palms into small balls.
Now roll them gently in your coatings … if you’re using cocoa powder the easiest way is to press your palms into the powder and roll and coat at the same time. As you can see from the picture above, I tried icing sugar as well but I didn’t feel it was a success, too melty and not very attractive.
Place into covered containers and refrigerate. You can put them into little petit fours cases if you like, the sort that look like tiny cupcake wrappers. They are too delicate to be bagged up like most sweets.